Electric vehicles outsell diesel in Europe for first time

September 29, 2021

New car registrations by fuel type in August 2021, compared to August 2020 and 2019 (Courtesy JATO)

JATO, an automotive business intelligence agency based in Uxbridge, UK, reports that in August, electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids outsold their diesel counterparts for the first time ever. According to data from twenty-six European markets, EVs and hybrids outsold diesel vehicles by some 10,100 units in August, representing 21% of all cars sold in the month.

Demand was reported to be particularly strong for the electric versions of the Fiat 500, Peugeot 208, Hyundai Kona, Opel Corsa and Kia Niro, in addition to the outstanding results of the Volkswagen ID.3 – Europe’s top-selling EV during the month.

Even with an increase is sales of EV’s and hybrids, new car registrations overall reported a decline of 18% to 713,714 units, marking the lowest recorded volume in August since 2014. The decline did not however offset the growth registered during the second quarter of the year, with year-to-date volume remaining higher than last year.

Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics, stated, “The chip shortage has been a major setback for OEMs still grappling with the effects of the pandemic. Production issues and delays in the delivery of new cars have been damaging to sales, and the lack of availability at dealerships is forcing many consumers to either look for used cars or simply delay their purchase. In usual circumstances, consumers may expect to wait lots of months for a new Ferrari, but they are now experiencing the same delay for regular models.”

Despite these challenges, the performance of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid cars continues to grow. The 151,737 units registered in August 2021 marks a year-on-year increase of 61%, and takes total volume since January 2021 to 1.32 million units.

Munoz continued, “Although deals and incentives have played a significant part in boosting demand, we have seen a fundamental shift in buying habits as more appealing models have entered the market and consumers have become aware of the benefits attached to EVs.”

The Dacia Sandero secured the top spot in the general rankings as the most registered car in Europe. The Dacia outsold the Volkswagen Golf, in second position, which posted a year-on-year monthly decrease of 38%, but still leads the year-to-date rankings. Dacia’s Duster also entered the top five in fourth position, increasing its volume by 4%. Other notable achievements include the Fiat 500, which was boosted by the EV model, the Hyundai Tucson, and the BMW 3-Series which topped the premium rankings.

Among the latest launches, the much-anticipated Tesla Model Y entered the top 10 of the BEV rankings despite only hitting the market in August. Alongside this, the Ford Mustang Mach E also made the top ten; the Volkswagen ID.3 occupied the 15th position in the general rankings; Opel/Vauxhall registered 4,900 units of the new Mokka, and Volkswagen followed with 4,600 units of the ID.4. Citroen registered 4,600 units of the C4; the Cupra Formentor again performed well with more than 4,300 units, followed by the Renault Arkana which registered 4,341 units.


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