Belgium rounds cape of 100.000 hybrid cars
According to the national statistic bureau Statbel, Belgium counted on August 1st 5.889.210 cars. Hybrids rounded for the first time the cape of 100.000 with 110.984 registered. Growth remains substantial (+27,6% between 2018 and 2019), but is slowing down in favor of full-electric cars that were growing with 65,9%, despite the meager offer of models today.
Although 100.000 may sound to be a lot, the hybrids (92% gasoline-electric) represent only 1,9% of the total car fleet in Belgium. And the figures of Statbel make no distinction between ‘classic’ mild hybrids where the electric motor is auxiliary and plug-in hybrids (PHEV). Full electric accounts for 15.338 cars, representing just 0,3% of all cars registered.
Low appetite for hybrids
If you compare with the CBS figures in the Netherlands, 45.903 full-electric cars are registered and 102.497 plug-in hybrids on a total car fleet of 9.353.259. But after the government scaled down the tax benefits for them, plug-in hybrids started declining with 3% on average too.
The lower ‘appetite’ for hybrids was already visible in January in Belgium, but it is something that is surfacing throughout the whole of Europe. Although the combination of a gasoline combustion engine and an electric motor looks like a dream combination on paper, this type of vehicle does not excite.
From January to July, nearly 93.000 units of plug-in hybrids were sold in Europe, down 16% compared to last year, for a market share of less than 1%. At the same time, sales of pure electricity rose by 90%.
Car fleet growth slowing down
In Belgium, the total car fleet grew with 0,6% but is clearly slowing down compared to the previous ten years when the fleet grew with 1,3% per year on average. Diesel cars are still in the majority with 3.005.928 but declined with 187.730 units (-5,9%) compared to the year before.
That decline was compensated by the gasoline cars, which grew with 190.662 (+7,6%) to 2.709.604. An evolution that is accelerating, as in 2018 already 321.886 new gasoline cars were registered, according to car federation Febiac, compared to 195.070 diesel cars.
Belgium still diesel country
The tipping point was somewhere in August 2017, though, as in 2016 there were still 279.425 new diesel cars registered against 239.319 gasoline. Compared to the Netherlands with 7.552.867 gasoline cars against 1.496.156 diesel cars on the total car fleet, Belgium clearly remains a ‘diesel country.’