Battery electric vehicles overtake diesel for first time in EU reports ACEA

July 19, 2023

In June, the battery-electric car market share surged to 15.1%, overtaking diesel share for the first time (Courtesy ACEA)
In June, the battery-electric car market share surged to 15.1%, overtaking diesel share for the first time (Courtesy ACEA)

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has reported that in June 2023 the EU car market grew by 17.8%, with just over 1 million vehicles registered. In the first half of 2023, new EU car registrations were said to have increased significantly, up 17.9% and reaching a total of 5.4 million units.

The organisation attributed June’s growth to the region’s rebound from a comparatively low base in 2022, driven primarily by component shortages. All EU markets grew in the month, apart from Hungary (-1.4%), including the four largest ones of Germany (+24.8%), Spain (+13.3%), France (+11.5%), and Italy (+9.1%).

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Electric cars

In June, the ACEA announced that new registrations of battery-electric cars in the EU reached 158,252 units, with the market share rising from 10.7% to 15.1% and overtaking the diesel car registrations for the first time. Hybrid-electric cars remained the second-most popular choice among new car buyers, representing 24.3% of the market. However, petrol cars retained the largest share at 36.3%.

Most EU markets recorded double- and triple-digit percentage gains, the ACEA reported, with the largest gains in the Netherlands (+90.1%), Germany (+64.4%), and then France (+52.0%). This contributed to a year-to-date growth of 53.8%, with 703,586 units sold between January and June.

New hybrid-electric car registrations also rose by 32.4% in June, reaching 254,100 units. This growth was primarily driven by gains in the bloc’s largest markets: Germany (+59.1%), Italy (+29.9%), France (+27.9%), and Spain (+22.7%). Cumulatively, hybrid-electric car sales recorded a 27.9% increase from January to June, reaching nearly 1.4 million units and capturing 25% of the market.

In June, the EU market for new plug-in hybrid cars rebounded, with registrations increasing by 13.4%. Although there was a significant 39.2% sales decline in Germany, the largest market for this fuel type, the substantial increase in France (+49.9%) and Spain (+51.7%) largely offset this decline. The overall market share of plug-in hybrid cars decreased to 7.9% from 8.2% in June last year, despite June’s increase in registrations.

Petrol and diesel cars

In June, the EU petrol car market grew 11%, totalling 379,067 units. However, the market share decreased to 36.3% from 38.5% in June 2022. The growth was primarily driven by solid gains in the four largest EU markets, particularly Germany (+19.8%) and Spain (+11.9%). Over 2 million petrol cars were sold in the EU in the first half of the year, a 15.9% increase compared to 2022.

In contrast, the EU market for diesel cars continued to decline (-9.4%) last month, despite growth in Germany (+10.3%) and Central European markets, particularly Romania (+22.4%). Diesel cars now represent a market share of 13.4%, down from 17.4% in June last year.

First half 2023

The ACEA stated that the recent improvements indicate that the European automotive industry is recovering from supply disruptions caused by the pandemic. However, it added that cumulative volumes are 21% lower compared to 2019. Most of the region’s markets grew significantly in the first six months of 2023, including the four largest ones: Spain (+24.0%), Italy (+22.8%), France (+15.3%), and Germany (+12.8%).

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