Alternative fuel vehicle registrations: +35.1% in fourth quarter; +39.7% in 2017

Brussels, 1 February 2018 – In the fourth quarter of 2017, demand for alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) in the European Union continued to grow – EU results were 35.1% higher than in the same period in 2016. The 227,378 alternatively-powered cars registered during the last quarter of 2017 accounted for 6.7% of total passenger car sales, while electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECVs) made up for 1.9% of all cars sold across the European Union.

Registrations of battery electric (54.8%) and hybrid electric cars (43.3%) accounted for the strongest growth. Demand for plug-in hybrid cars continued to grow (+15.0%), albeit at a more moderate pace than in previous quarters. The EU market for LPG and NGV vehicles also ended the year strongly, with demand increasing by 27.3% in the last quarter of 2017.

Compared to one year ago AFV sales almost doubled in Spain (+90.8%), followed by Germany (+76.8%), the United Kingdom (+35.6%), France (+33.4%) and Italy (+30.7%) – the latter benefiting from recovering demand for LPG-fuelled cars, as in previous quarters.

Overall in 2017, 852,933 alternative fuel vehicles were registered in the European Union, up 39.7% compared to 2016. The uplift was mainly driven by the hybrid electric segment (+54.8%), followed electrically-chargeable vehicles (+39.0%) and other alternative fuels (+16.4%) that returned to growth after losing ground in 2016. When looking at their market share, alternative fuel vehicles still only play a minor role in the European Union. Alternatively‐powered cars accounted for 5.7% of the EU market in 2017, with electrically‐chargeable vehicles constituting 1.4% of total passenger car sales last year.


About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 16 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, DAF Trucks, Daimler Truck, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Iveco Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Mercedes-Benz, Renault Group, Stellantis, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
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About the EU automobile industry

  • 13 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 7% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.4 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles are responsible for €374.6 billion of tax revenue for governments across key European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €79.5 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents more than 8% of the EU’s GDP.
  • Investing €58.8 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 32% of total EU spending.
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