Electric vehicle sales are rising in Europe as diesel vehicle sales continue a downward trend, according to data issued for the third quarter of 2019.
Nearly 200,000 all-electric vehicles were sold in European Union from January to the end of September 2019, with 73,000 of those sold in the third quarter compared to just 32,000 in the same period the previous year.
As Europe faces tighter restrictions on car emissions and heavily polluted cities such as Amsterdam and Madrid introduce bans on diesel vehicles in CBDs, diesel registrations declined by 14%, reducing the diesel market share to just 30%.
In contrast, sales of new electric vehicles including all-electric and plug-in hybrids jumped 51.8% to 110,630 in Q3 alone, with battery electric vehicles driving the majority of this growth according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) which published the data.
Battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales were up 126.3%, while plug-in hybrid (PHEV) demand saw a 7.6% decline.
Petrol car sales saw an minor 6% increase.
The increase in BEV registrations were most noticeable in Scandinavian countries such as Denmark, which saw a quadrupling of BEV sales, and Sweden and Finland – which saw a tripling – followed by Poland, Belgium and Greece.
Norway remained the leader by number of BEVs sold, with just shy of 50,000 registrations followed by Germany at 48,000 and Netherlands at just over 34,000 BEV registrations.
The increase in alternatively powered vehicle registrations overall (including PHEV and hybrids) for Q3 was led by Germany with a 71.4% gain – although this has been led by non-pluggable hybrid sales.
With the introduction of an increase in EV subsides by the German government announced on Sunday and the advent of Volkswagen’s ID3 production, it will be interesting to see how this will change in the coming 12 months.
The decline in Europe diesel sales and the jump in EV sales echoes the auto market in Australia, where diesel and petrol is now experiencing a 20 month lull while EV sales more than double, it is believed to be largely thanks to the introduction of the Tesla Model 3.
Australia’s electric vehicle market in comparison to Europe is but a fledgling chick – up until 2019 electric vehicles numbered in the low thousands.
The arrival of the Tesla Model 3, for which some customers were kept waiting three years after putting down reservation deposits, had an immediate impact on Australian EV sales as the Californian carmaker raced to deliver some 2,400 vehicles in the first month of deliveries alone.
But it is difficult to draw accurate figures on the impact of the Tesla Model 3 as electric vehicle sales figures are not as transparent in Australia as they are in Europe and Tesla does not report country by country figures.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.