Diesel car sales continue to plummet in Europe
PARIS - Diesel car sales have plummeted in Europe in the first quarter of the year, representing only 23.2 percent of sales as opposed to 30 percent during the same period last year, according to data released Friday by car manufacturers.
"Hybrid electric vehicles made up 18.4 percent of total passenger car sales in the EU, almost doubling their market share in a year," the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association said. "Demand for electrically-chargeable cars also increased during these three months: battery electric vehicles made up 5.7percent of all new cars, while plug-in hybrids accounted for 8.2 percent of EU registrations."
The group said that from January to March of this year, diesel volumes fell 20.1 percent compared to a year ago to reach 593 559 cars sold across the European Union. The volumes fell nearly 30 percent in Germany and Spain.
Similarly, demand for petrol cars continued its downward trend, with sales decreasing by 16.9 percent from 1.3 million units sold in in the first quarter of 2020 to 1.1 million so far this year, ACEA said.
It said the shy recovery of the auto market, which was hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, had especially benefitted hybrid electric vehicles which saw a significant rise in sales, notably in Italy, France, Germany, Spain and Poland.
"Registrations of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) jumped by 175.0%, totalling 208,389 units," ACEA said. "One of the drivers of this growth was Italy, where 16 103 plug-in cars were registered in the first quarter - a year-on-year increase of 445.7 percent."
Sweden, Germany and France also registered an increase in the sale of such vehicles.
Registrations for battery electric vehicles across the bloc also jumped by 59.1 percent to reach 146 185 cars, with demand still benefiting from government stimuli for zero-emission vehicles, ACEA said .
By contrast, demand for battery electric cars fell in Sweden, Spain and the Netherlands.