Electrified car sales overtake diesels in Europe for first time

by Lawrence Allan, Autocar UK 29 Oct 2020


Last month was the first time in history that registrations of electric, plug-in and hybrid cars overtook diesel cars across Europe, new figures reveal.

Data published by industry analysts JATO Dynamics showed that demand for petrol and diesel cars suffered double-digit percentage drops compared to September 2019, with diesel down to just under 25% of the European market. Petrol cars made up 47% of the market, compared to 59% in the same period last year.

Last month was the first time in history that registrations of electric, plug-in and hybrid cars overtook diesel cars across Europe, new figures reveal.

Data published by industry analysts JATO Dynamics showed that demand for petrol and diesel cars suffered double-digit percentage drops compared to September 2019, with diesel down to just under 25% of the European market. Petrol cars made up 47% of the market, compared to 59% in the same period last year.

By contrast, registrations of electric, plug-in hybrid and ‘traditional’ hybrid models rose to 25% last month - more than twice the percentage in September 2019. 327,800 units were registered across the month.

The overall market posted what JATO Dynamics describes as a “timid” recovery. 1.3 million cars were registered across all 27 nations last month, up just 1% over the same period last year. That’s of little consolation given registrations dropped by 29% during the first nine months of the year. 

JATO Dynamics’ global analyst, Felipe Munoz, says the shift to electrification is “finally taking place”. 

“Although this is largely down to government policies and incentives, consumers are now ready to adopt these new technologies” he continued.

While Toyota leads all other brands with the highest registrations of electrified cars (primarily hybrids), the Volkswagen Group is posting rapid growth. The maker registered 40,300 electrified models last month, putting it second behind the Japanese brand. 

SUVs continue to top the sales charts, grabbing 41.3% of the market, with the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 and Ford Puma leading the charge. Despite that, the most registered overall car in Europe was the VW Golf, closely followed by the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa.