More EVs than diesels sold in the EU over 2023

According to the industry association ACEA, more than 1.5 million electric cars will be newly registered in the EU in 2023, 37% more than in 2022. New diesel registrations will lag behind. The most popular model across all drive systems was the Tesla Model Y.

Image: Tesla

According to statistics from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), a total of 1,538,621 battery electric cars were registered in the EU last year. Compared to 2022 (1,123,444 BEV registrations), this represents an increase of 37 per cent. There were also 813,480 newly registered plug-in hybrids. This is slightly fewer than in the previous year (874,777; – 7 per cent).

Across all drive systems, the EU automotive market grew by 13.9% last year compared to 2022, reaching a total volume of 10.5 million units in terms of registrations, according to the ACEA. All EU markets recorded more registered cars with the exception of Hungary (-3.4 per cent), with Italy (+18.9 per cent), Spain (+16.7 per cent) and France (+16.1 per cent) recording the biggest jumps.

The BEV share of the new car market at EU level in 2023 was 14.6% – behind petrol cars (35.3%) and hybrids (25.8%), but ahead of diesel cars (13.6%). If hybrids are broken down and plug-in hybrids are excluded, this category accounts for 7.7% and hybrids without an external charging option for 17.1%. According to Dataforce 2023, the most successful model in Europe across all drive types was the Tesla Model Y with 254,822 units sold, ahead of the combustion models Dacia Sandero (235,893) and VW T-Roc (206,438).

Growth in the EU electric car market was driven by countries such as Belgium (93,285 new BEV registrations, +148%), Denmark (62,759 BEVs, +104%) and Portugal (36,390 BEVs, +102%) with strong relative growth. In absolute figures, Germany (524,219 BEVs, +11%), France (298,219 BEVs, +47%), the Netherlands (113,981 BEVs, +56%) and Sweden (112,208 BEVs, +18.1%) are responsible for the majority of BEV sales. Electromobility pioneers Norway (104,587 BEVs, -24.4%) and the UK (314,684, +18%) are also in the six-digit range, but are not members of the EU, nor are ETFA states Iceland and Switzerland.

The ACEA also publishes a manufacturer ranking, but does not differentiate between different drive types in terms of sales. The Volkswagen Group sold 2,753,053 units across all drive systems in the EU in 2023, an increase of 18% compared to 2022 and a market share of 26%. As a pure electric car manufacturer, Tesla’s figures alone are meaningful from an eMobility perspective: the US company recorded 279,042 electric cars registered in the EU (2022: 147,457, +89.2 per cent), giving it a market share of 2.6 per cent.

In its communication, the ACEA also sheds light on December 2023: A strong BEV share of 18.5 per cent of the drive mix in December is said to have contributed to battery-electric cars taking a larger slice of the pie (said 14.6 per cent) in the diagram for the year as a whole and still overtaking diesel cars.

In general, the EU car market recorded a slight decline of 3.3% in December with 867,052 units sold, which is mainly due to the strong December 2022. As is well known, this phenomenon was particularly severe in Germany. December was therefore also the first month of decline at EU level after 16 consecutive months of growth. (Model Y)


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