Electrified cars overtake diesels in European car sales


Registrations of electrified cars overtook those of diesel in Europe for the first time ever in September, marking a significant milestone in diesel’s decline from its dominance of just a decade ago. Electrified cars made up slightly more than 25% of new registrations reported for the month, beating out diesels (24.8%) by the thinnest of margins, but surpassing them nonetheless.

New diesel registrations have been declining across Europe since 2012, when they represented more than 50% of the new-car market according to a study by JATO Dynamics, which has been tracking automotive sales trends for more than three decades. 

“The shift from 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,” said JATO analyst Felipe Munoz.

“Demand for gasoline and diesel cars shows double-digit drops compared to September 2019 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,” JATO’s report said.

While this is a win for electrification, the trends show that the clear post-Dieselgate winner is the old-fashioned gasoline engine, which still holds on to 47% of the European new-vehicle market, but even that is down from the approximately 60% share it held just a year ago. Sales of new vehicles were up 1 percent over 2019 in September as Europe, like others, continues to work its way out of its COVID recession. 

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