The share of all-electric passenger cars and plug-in hybrids has reached a record high in Europe – due to Corona. Almost every tenth new car registered in the EU in the third quarter was electric to an extent.
The data comes from the European manufacturers’ association ACEA. They claim that exactly 273,809 plug-in passenger cars were newly registered in the EU in the third quarter. This means that almost every tenth new car registered in the EU between July and September was a BEV or PHEV (9.9%). Both segments took almost equal shares, and for once a sector benefitted from the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.
“This strong growth is mainly due to the introduction of incentives by national governments, seeking to boost demand in response to the corona crisis, which has been largely to the benefit of buyers of battery and plug-in electric cars,” explains ACEA.
Demand for plug-in hybrids boomed in particular during the third quarter, going from 29,557 units last year to 138,348 new cars sold in 2020 (+368.1%). Both France and Germany recorded percentage increases of over 400% each, claims ACEA.
At the same time, growth in registrations of battery-electric vehicles was also strong across the European Union, totalling 135,461 units over the three-month period. An increase of +132.3% over the same period last year means demand is rising and stable.
Adding to this count the simple hybrid cars (HEV), which remained the bestselling alternatively-powered vehicle type in the EU, all electrified vehicles combined represented almost 25% of the EU car market from July to September 2020, with sales doubling (+101.4%) from 337,108 units last year to 678,777 this year. In total, 341,092 hybrid electric cars were sold from July to September 2020, representing 12.4% of the EU car market.
ACEA also identified four major markets. Germany (+159.8%) and France (+144.1%) posted the biggest increases, mainly driven by the above mentioned solid sales of plug-in hybrids, followed by Italy (+60.3%) and Spain (+51.6%).
For the remaining cars powered by internal combustion engines, they lost some further ground during the third quarter, with their overall market share going down from 88.6% in July-September 2019 to 75.4% this year. Diesel cars accounted for 27.8% of total passenger car sales in the European Union, with registrations falling by 13.7% to 766,146 units.