Fuel types of new cars: petrol +6.1%, diesel -14.1%, electric +51.8% in third quarter of 2019

Brussels, 7 November 2019 – In the third quarter of 2019, EU demand for passenger cars running on diesel continued its downward trend to reach a market share of 29.1%. By contrast, registrations of petrol cars further increased, now accounting for 59.5% of the EU market.

During the same period, electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECV) made up 3.1% of total new car sales across the region. All alternatively-powered vehicles (APV) combined had a market share of 11.3% last quarter.

Petrol and diesel cars

From July to September 2019, the number of diesel cars registered across the European Union declined by 14.1% to 1 million units. As a result, diesel’s market share fell below 30%. Four of the five largest EU markets recorded double-digit declines, with Spanish diesel sales dropping by 34.7%, Italian demand contracting 24.5%, UK sales down 20.8% and French demand falling 12.6%. Germany, however, recorded a modest increase of 4.7% last quarter.

Petrol car sales inevitably benefited from this decline in diesel demand, increasing by 6.1% (or 121,216 units) compared to one year ago. With the exception of Spain (-2.8%), all major EU markets – France, the United Kingdom, Germany and Italy – recorded growth in petrol sales. Italy posted the highest percentage gain (+35.6%). Looking at the entire region, petrol expanded its market share from 57.4% to 59.5% in the third quarter of 2019.

Alternatively-powered vehicles (APV)

During the third quarter, registrations of alternatively-powered cars in the European Union saw strong growth (+46.2%). Some 110,630 electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECV) were registered, up 51.8% compared to the same period last year. The battery electric vehicles (BEV) segment was the main driving force behind this growth – BEV sales more than doubled (+126.3%), while demand for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) declined by 7.6%.

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) posted a significant gain (+47.0%), with 223,868 cars registered from July to September. Other alternatively-powered vehicles (APV) – which include those running on ethanol (E85), liquid petroleum gas (LPG) and natural gas (NGV) – also noted strong results, registrations increased by 36.0%.

Looking at the EU’s five major car markets again, each of them saw a significant increase in total registrations of alternatively-powered vehicles during the third quarter of 2019. Germany posted the highest percentage gain (+71.4%), boosted by strong demand for battery and hybrid electric vehicles, followed by the UK (+46.5%), France (+35.7%), Spain (+31.9%) and Italy (+28.6%).


About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 15 major Europe-based car, van, truck and bus makers: BMW Group, CNH Industrial, DAF Trucks, Daimler, Ferrari, Ford of Europe, Honda Motor Europe, Hyundai Motor Europe, Jaguar Land Rover, Renault Group, Stellantis, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, Volvo Cars, and Volvo Group.
  • Visit www.acea.auto for more information about ACEA, and follow us on www.twitter.com/ACEA_auto or www.linkedin.com/company/ACEA/.
  • Contact: Francesca Piazza, Statistics Manager, fp@acea.auto.

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 14.6 million Europeans work in the auto industry (directly and indirectly), accounting for 6.7% of all EU jobs.
  • 11.5% of EU manufacturing jobs – some 3.7 million – are in the automotive sector.
  • Motor vehicles are responsible for €398.4 billion of tax revenue for governments across key European markets.
  • The automobile industry generates a trade surplus of €74 billion for the EU.
  • The turnover generated by the auto industry represents more than 8% of the EU’s GDP.
  • Investing €62 billion in R&D annually, the automotive sector is Europe’s largest private contributor to innovation, accounting for 33% of total EU spending.
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