ACEA releases breakdown of EU vehicle fuel types in 2021

February 2, 2022

Breakdown of vehicle sales over 2021 (Courtesy ACEA)

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), hybrid electric vehicles accounted for 19.6% of new passenger cars across the EU in 2021, compared to 11.9% in 2020. Chargeable electric vehicles were also reported to have had an increase in sales, from 18% of car registrations from 10.5% in 2020. Despite this, the overall contraction of the EU car market affected both diesel- and petrol-powered vehicles negatively.

From October to December 2021, registrations of both petrol and diesel cars posted double-digit drops in the European Union. Sales of petrol fell by 33.5% to 778,450 units, with nearly all EU markets recording declines, except for Bulgaria, Ireland and Slovenia. Consequently, petrol’s share of the car market shrank from 40.6% in the last quarter of 2020 to 35.8% during the same period in 2021.

Diesel was said to have seen an even stronger drop (-50.9%), from 729,446 units in 2020 to 358,083 units in the last quarter of 2021, with nearly all member states, except Bulgaria, reporting significant decreases. As a result, diesel’s share of the EU car market fell from 25.3% in the fourth quarter of 2020 to 16.5% last year.

During the last quarter of 2021, battery electric vehicles (BEV) reported the strongest growth (+24.9%) of all fuel types, totalling 309,598 units across the EU. This growth was rather modest compared to 2020, but it should be noted that 2020’s surge in BEVs (+216.9%) may have been largely driven by government stimuli for low- and zero-emission vehicles introduced in the wake of the pandemic. Sales of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), on the other hand, contracted by 1.8% in the fourth quarter.

Looking at full-year results, PHEV registrations increased by 70.7% from 507,917 units in 2020 to 867,092 last year. Battery electric vehicles posted similar growth (+63.1%) throughout 2021, going from 538,734 to 878,432 cars sold.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) recorded a modest increase (+0.4%) in the last three months of the year. With 439,172 units sold, hybrids accounted for 20.2% of the EU car market in the fourth quarter. Throughout 2021, registrations of hybrid electric cars increased by an impressive 60.5%, marking the first time that HEV sales (with 1,901,239 units) overtook those of diesel (1,901,191) in the European Union.

Demand for natural gas vehicles (NGV) in the EU saw a significant drop during the last three months of 2021 (-45.9%), mainly the result of falling sales in Italy (-40.6%). By contrast, the market for LPG-fuelled cars saw a modest increase of 5.7%, counting 59,959 units sold across the region during the same period.

Alternatively-powered vehicles (APV) accounted for almost half (47.8%) of the EU car market from October to December 2021, with over a million units registered in total. Looking at the performance of the major BEV markets in the last quarter, France posted the largest gain (+36.2%), followed by Italy (+34.9%) and Germany (+24.5%).

www.acea.auto

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