Electrified and gasoline cars at the same level in Q1 sales

The European car manufacturers association ACEA just released the total European car sales figures for the first quarter of 2022. There’s a noticeable growth for alternatively fueled cars, especially electrified ones. Battery electric vehicles (BEV) now account for 10% of the market, hybrid electric vehicles (HEV and PHEV) for 25,1%.

Together, the electrified vehicles represent more than 35% of the new sales on the market, almost as much as the gasoline cars (36%). All-in-all, diesel- and gasoline-powered vehicles continued to lose market share. Nonetheless, registrations of traditional fossil-fuel cars still dominated the market, with a combined share of 52,8%.

Contracting market share for gasoline and diesel

From January to March 2022, registrations of diesel cars across the EU continued their downward trajectory, posting a sharp decline (-33,2%) and reaching 378 009 units in total. Consequently, the market share of diesel-fuelled cars shrank by 5,3% compared to Q1 last year. All EU markets recorded significant losses, including the four major ones: France (-44,1%), Italy (-39,2%), Spain (-30,8%), and Germany (-20,2%).
Likewise, the market share of gasoline cars contracted substantially during the same period: from 40,8% to 36,0%. However, despite this drop, gasoline cars remained the most popular in terms of absolute volumes (808 039 units).

BEVs on a growth path

During the first quarter of 2022, the sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the EU jumped by 53,4%, totaling 224 145 cars and a 10% overall market share. Many EU markets recorded triple-digit percentage gains, with Romania posting the most vigorous growth (+408,0%).

Of the four largest markets in the region, Spain saw the sharpest rise (+110,3%), followed by France (+42,7%), and Germany (+29,3%). Conversely, Italy was the only EU market to post declines in BEV sales (-14,9%).

Fewer PHEVs

The registrations of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) slipped by 5,3% across the European Union during the year’s first quarter. Despite this, PHEVs still expanded their overall market share (to 8,9%) due to the drop in gasoline and diesel car sales.

PHEVs’ performance varied across the region’s four key markets: Germany and France posted declines (-13,2% and -6,1%, respectively), whereas Spain and Italy recorded solid growth (+46,3% and +18,9%, respectively).

HEVs see a growing popularity

With 563 030 cars sold from January to March, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) were the most common fuel type after gasoline in terms of volume in the EU, with an increase of 5,3%. Except for Italy (-6.3%), all major markets contributed to the positive performance in the EU region.

The so-called self-charging hybrid cars, of which the world’s number one manufacturer, Toyota, is a strong advocate (and seller), seem to be the preferred alternative for people who are still afraid of going electric all the way.

Shift from CNG to LPG

EU sales of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) continued their downward trend, posting another significant double-digit fall (-56,0%), as many markets recorded declines. The surge of the CNG price in the latest months will undoubtedly have played a significant role here.

By contrast, LPG-fueled vehicles saw substantial growth (+48,6%), counting 67 717 units registered in the EU. This increase was mainly driven by double- and even triple-digit percentage gains in all four key markets: Germany (+287,7%), France (+76,6%), Spain (+41,5%), and Italy (+17,3).

 

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