A total of 559,733 electric and plug-in hybrid cars were sold in 30 European countries in the first four months of this year, according to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA). A figure that surpasses the diesel model for the first time in this period.
The trend is quite positive and, for example, between January and April, sales of electrics in Europe increased by 37%, while the 550,391 units accumulated by diesel models represented a decline of 0.5% year-on-year.
This means pure electric cars (BEVs) have gained market share 12% While plug-in hybrid has been 7.2% getting between two technologies 19.2%, In this way, they manage to overcome some of the diesel for the first time which is left with 14.9%.
Of course, we see that both technologies must be combined, electric + plug-in hybrid, to overcome the diesel. But with 12% more recent price cuts across various brands, pure electric will surpass diesel in the coming months.
We can see this development in a more graphic way with data from recent years, where we see that 360,164 electric cars were registered in Europe in 2019, or one-tenth of total sales.
But the pandemic was a turning point and the gap between electric and diesel has come down to just 60,000 units in 2022. Last year, diesel car sales in Europe stood at 1,637,766, while electric plus plug-in hybrid cars sold 1,577,079 units.
Among the reasons, experts indicate that several factors have supported the change in trend and among them are Environmental protection standards of various governments Which, on the one hand, has set an end date for the sale of cars with combustion engines at 2035, while also allocating significant funds to aid the purchase of electric cars.
This is helping the unstoppable expansion of public charging networks, improvements in vehicle autonomy, and all in an environment where energy and vehicle prices are skyrocketing, putting the brakes on European growth that lags far behind other markets such as China.
But we are seeing a change in trend at the beginning of the year, where factors such as the sharp fall in the price of lithium, lower demand pressure expected for this year as well as the appearance of new applicants such as sodium batteries, the recovery of the semiconductor market where production already exceeds demand.
Something that should result in a drop in vehicle prices, in a scenario where Chinese groups are cracking down cautiously but relentlessly, exerting pressure on Western groups reluctant to reduce prices and margins.