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

Watch now: Connecting Policy To Solutions Virtual Conference 2021

Smart Transport Conference returned on June 8th & 9th, to facilitate pivotal discussions on the future of transport. 

The UK’s most senior public and private sector transport leaders discussed the impact of Covid-19, achieving the Government’s decarbonisation ambitions, the need for more efficient living and better health, and much more.

Keynote speakers included: 

Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), who spoke on BEIS's approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry

Keith Williams, co-author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, who spoke on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, who discussed the future of transport and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic.


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