Smart Transport

Hybrids and EVs outsell diesel for first time across Europe

Electrified cars, which includes mild-hybrid, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fully electric models, have overtaken diesel sales across Europe for the first time.

Demand for petrol and diesel cars showed double-digit drops year-on-year in September, while the volume of EVs increased by 139% to 327,800 units - a record in terms of both volume and market share.

This is the first time that EVs have broken the 300,000 units monthly mark, and only the second time that they have counted for more than 20% of registrations.

At the same time, the diesel market share posted a record low, of only 24.8% in September.

Exactly a decade ago, diesel cars comprised 50% of registrations, while the market share for EVs was below 1%.

Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said: “The shift from internal combustion engines (ICEs) to EVs is finally taking place.

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

This changing landscape is favouring some OEMs more than others.

For example, the Volkswagen Group has become a new protagonist in this chapter of vehicle electrification following on from its diesel-gate scandal in 2015.

Last month, the German car maker registered 40,300 electrified vehicles in Europe, becoming the second largest EV seller behind only Toyota – and its continued dominance from within the hybrid segment. 

“Like with its SUVs, Volkswagen Group arrived late to the EV boom, but its competitive products are catching up quickly, and it is now becoming a leader” Munoz said.

Last month, hybrids and mild hybrids represented 53% of total EV registrations, with their volume growing by 124%.

Toyota and Lexus dominated, as usual, with 32% market share – but further growth was driven by Ford, Suzuki, Fiat and BMW.

In addition to the strong results of numerous Toyota models, volume was also boosted by the popular Ford Puma (69% of its volume corresponded to the mild-hybrid versions), the Fiat 500 and the Fiat Panda (whose hybrid version counted for 59% and 41% respectively).

Pure electric car demand was led by Tesla, although its volume fell by 5%, while its closes rivals such as Volkswagen and Renault saw increases of 352% and 211% respectively. If we look across all car makers, then Volkswagen Group is now Europe’s top-selling BEV maker, ahead of Tesla.

In September, Mercedes-Benz was the leader in the plug-in hybrid segment with 22% market share, followed by Volvo and BMW.

Top 10 electrified best sellers across EU23 in September 2020:

Hybrid/Mild hybridPlug-in hybridElectric
1. Toyota Corolla 15,093Mercedes A-Class 15,093Tesla Model 3 15,702
2. Ford Puma 12,251Volvo XC40 4,036Renault Zoe 11,023
3. Toyota C-HR 11,991Audi Q5 2,998Volkswagen ID.3 7,897
4. Toyota Yaris 10,588VW Passat 2,421Hyundai Kona 6,055
5. Fiat 500 9,670Mitsubishi Outlander 2,395Kia Niro 4,911
6. Toyota RAV4 7,942Ford Kuga 2,158Nissan Leaf 3,211
7. Fiat Panda 6,948Mercedes GLC 2,151BMW i3 2,937
8. Suzuki Swift 6,947BMW 3 Series 1,855Peugeot 208 2,911
9. Suzuki Ignis 5,904Volvo XC60 1,849Vauxhall Corsa 2,694
10. Kia Niro 4,845Toyota RAV4 1,835VW Golf 2,562

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