At the beginning of the BEST project in January 2006, there were about 12,000 ethanol cars on the European roads. More than 99% of these cars where found in Sweden. Since then, development has been rapid. The number of FFVs in the EU countries had risen to around 170,000 by the end of 2008.
Totally 79, 000 FFVs were sold in Europe during 2008. The largest single market was Sweden with a sales of 59, 000 cars. The European markets following in size were Germany, France and Ireland.
Market breaktrough in Sweden
The Swedish market for ethanol cars now appear to have matured and reached a breakthrough. By the end of 2008, FFVs represented over 20 percent of vehicle sales. E85 was available at more than 30 percent of filling stations and over 100 FFV models were available on the market.
Growing European market, but still immature
Across Europe, the market for high blend bioethanol fuels is growing parallel to the increasing car fleet. By the end of 2008 there were 2,200 installed E85 pumps. The strong market development has, however not been spontaneous. Many countries still struggle with unfavourable taxes, lacking regulations or imbalance between car sales and E85 infrastructure.