Sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles still increased across the EU in the first quarter of 2020. And while the Covid-19 crisis may explain the rather sudden tripling of market share, some countries and the segment as a whole experience robust growth.
First to the Eurozone as a whole, where a total of 91,756 electric cars and 75,376 PHEVs were newly registered in the first quarter of 2020, according to data from the ACEA. The numbers represent a year-on-year increase of 68.4% (BEVs) and 161.7 % (PHEVs) respectively and a market share of 6.8% among all new EU registrations in this Q1.
For comparison: In the first quarter of 2019, the market share of electrified models was still 2.5 %. Plug-in passenger cars benefited from a significant decline in registrations of pure diesel and gasoline vehicles, which fell by around one third in the EU from January to March.
The pandemic aside, however, and you still find some countries catching up. The most significant change of 497.9 % was registered in the Czech Republic, home to electric car production itself. BEV registrations here grew from 143 in 2019 to 855 units in Q1. Also in Italy, sales grew over three times (+355%) with 5,399 electric cars sold, up from 1,186 in Q1/2019. Also, when leaving places with shallow levels of EVs such as Slovakia (+207%) or Iceland (+285%) aside, even the biggest markets continued to show growth YoY.
The market for electric vehicles in France still increased by 145.6% to 25,960 BEVs sold during the last quarter.
In the UK, 18,256 buyers opted for an all-electric model, a change of 204.4% YoY. The country was also late to lock down so that sales continued regularly for longer. In any case, the effects of the pandemic will fully figure in the Q2 sales data first and possibly carry over to Q3.
In Q1 though, overall, most countries showed growth or stability except Norway where electric car sales fell by ‐12.4%, from the usual high level.
The data for sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles paint a similar picture only they have not decreased in any market.
The ACEA data does not include numbers by brands.
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