Electric vehicles are clearly gaining ground in Europe. According to the European Inter-branch organisation ACEA, in the final quarter of 2020, one in six new passenger cars registered was an electric model. All over 2020, we are talking about just over 10% of the new cars. That was 3% in 2019.
According to the ACEA, the demand for electric cars is driven by government stimulus packages in the crisis. The Inter-branch Organisation indicates that the aid has been particularly positive for the sale of cars with an electric motor or other alternative power source. Hybrid vehicles last year accounted for almost 12% of the market. That was 5.7% a year earlier.
In addition, the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars, which still dominate the market, went down. In the final quarter of 2020, about a quarter of registered cars were equipped with a diesel engine. That was over 30% a year earlier.
With the petrol cars, the drop was even stronger. This percentage went from 56.6 at the end of 2019 to 40.6 now. Almost half of all cars sold in 2020 had a petrol engine, making it still the largest group.
All the alternative variants combined, so in addition to electric and hybrid cars, also running on hydrogen or LNG, accounted for over a third of the market in the final quarter of 2020. On a yearly basis, sales of these vehicles increased by almost 144 percent.
Germany, Europe’s largest economy, was the biggest driver of the growth of alternative variants with an increase in last year’s closing quarter of 237% on an annual basis.