Sales of electric vehicles have doubled in the EU, and those of rechargeable hybrids tripled in 2020, according to figures published Thursday by the Association of European Manufacturers (ACEA).
Some 538,772 electric cars were sold last year, notably in Germany, France and the Netherlands, and 507,059 rechargeable hybrids, with a clear acceleration in the fourth quarter.
While the European market as a whole was slashed by a quarter of its sales by the health crisis, sales of hybrid and electric vehicles exceeded diesel sales in Europe for the first time in the fourth quarter, with more than 900,000 vehicles sold.
“Stimulus packages introduced by governments to boost demand, following the unprecedented impact of Covid-19 on car sales, sought to stimulate alternatively-powered vehicles in particular, further driving demand for low and zero-emission cars,” ACEA said.
Electric cars have also eaten into the market share of petrol-powered vehicles. In the fourth quarter, sales of petrol vehicles fell by 33.7% to 1.2 million units (40.6% market share) and those of diesel vehicles by 23% to 731,000 units (24.5%).
Electric cars increased by 216.9% to 248,000 units, rechargeable hybrids by 331% to 227,000 units, non-rechargeable hybrids by 104.7% to 435,000 units, and other energies (LPG, E85, natural gas), mainly sold in Italy, by 19.6% to 70,000 units.
Over the whole of 2020, petrol accounted for 47% of the sales of private cars, diesel 28%, hybrids 11.9%, electric and rechargeable hybrids 10.5% and other energies 2.1%.