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The Shifting Landscape of EU Car Sales

Published: 9.23.2023

Sales of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) within the European Union (EU) have experienced a surge, registering a 54.7% increase compared to figures from the year prior. The latest data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association underscores this remarkable growth, with cumulative year-to-date sales nearing the impressive milestone of 820,000 units.

This upswing in sales can be attributed to the resurgence in demand for EVs, alleviation of supply chain bottlenecks, and a deceleration in inflation rates observed across Europe.

Lingering shortages of semiconductors and other components, that plagued the global automotive industry during the pandemic, have also now started to subside. Consequently, this has facilitated an increased production rate, enabling an increased volume of vehicles to exit the assembly lines.

Within this evolving landscape, hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), encompassing both conventional and plug-in variants, collectively constituted slightly more than one-third of the overall EU car sales for the month of July. These sales witnessed a substantial 31.6% upswing across the EU bloc.

In contrast, fully electric vehicles accounted for 13.6% of the total sales, although this figure represents a notable uptick from its previous standing below the 10% mark. The market share of diesel models further dwindled, comprising a mere 12.5% of total sales. To put this into perspective, diesel vehicles constituted over 50% of new car sales as recently as 2015.

The European Union has set forth ambitious targets to curtail greenhouse gas emissions originating from the transportation sector and is on track to phase out the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered automobiles by the year 2035.

Multiple automakers are directing substantial investments into electric vehicles and regularly unveiling innovative models to secure their foothold in this evolving market. While Tesla retains its position as the dominant market leader in Europe, other prominent European automakers such as Volkswagen Group and Stellantis are making substantial strides to narrow the gap.

As an increasing number of consumers make the switch to electric vehicles, it is foreseeable that further reductions in emissions from the transportation sector will materialize.

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