Passenger car registrations: +11.3% in January 2023, battery electric 9.5% market share

In January 2023, the European Union passenger car market grew by 11.3% to 760,041 units, starting the new year on a positive note. However, this was largely due to an unusually modest base of comparison in 2022, when the lowest January volume on record was reached.

At a country level, the region’s positive performance was reflected in three of the four key markets. The strongest gains were seen in Spain (+51.4%) and Italy (+19.0%), followed by France, with a more modest but still solid growth (+8.8%). The exception to this trend was Germany, which recorded a 2.6% decline last month.

Fuel types of new cars

During the first month of 2023, battery electric and hybrid passenger car registrations in the EU continued to grow, accounting for 9.5% and 26.0% of the market respectively. Nonetheless, petrol remained the most popular fuel type for newly-registered cars in the EU, with a market share of 37.9%.

Electric cars

January registrations of new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) increased by 22.9%, reaching 71,984 cars registered across the EU and a market share of 9.5% (against 8.6% in January 2022). Most of the region’s markets contributed significantly to this growth, with double- and triple-digit percentage gains. However, there were a few exceptions in some of the EU’s biggest volume markets for this powertrain: Germany (-13.2%), Sweden (-18.5%) and Italy (‑8.7%).

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) also had a strong start of the year. Their volumes grew by 22.1% to 197,982 units, sustained by double-digit gains in the region’s four biggest markets: Spain (+59.3%), Italy (+24.7%), Germany (+19.0%), and France (+12.5%). This resulted in a market share of 26.0%, a 2.3 percentage-point improvement compared to January 2022.

On the other hand, EU plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) sales declined by 9.9% to 53,649 units in January, as registrations more than halved in Germany (-53.2%), which until last year was the largest market by volume for such cars. As a result, the market share for PHEVs contracted from 8.7% in January 2022 to 7.1% this year.  

Petrol and diesel cars

Registrations of new petrol cars in the EU recorded a 12.3% uplift in January, contributing to the expansion of their market share to 37.9% (against 37.6% in 2022). All the region’s major markets contributed to this growth: Spain (+59.4%), Italy (+15.5%), France (+11.9%) and Germany (+3.5%).

By contrast, the EU’s diesel car market continued to struggle – with a decline of 1.6% last month – despite a notable increase in Italian (+21.4%) and Spanish (+19.0%) registrations.  This resulted in a drop of 2.0 percentage points in market share, from 17.9% to 15.9%.

During the first month of 2023, battery electric and hybrid passenger car registrations in the EU continued to grow, accounting for 9.5% and 26.0% of the market respectively. Nonetheless, petrol remained the most popular fuel type for newly-registered cars in the EU, with a market share of 37.9%.

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About ACEA

  • The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) represents the 15 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, JLR, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Renault Group, Toyota Motor Europe, Volkswagen Group, 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, Senior Statistics Manager, fp@acea.auto

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About the EU automobile industry

  • 12.9 million Europeans work in the automotive sector
  • 8.3% of all manufacturing jobs in the EU
  • €392.2 billion in tax revenue for European governments
  • €101.9 billion trade surplus for the European Union
  • Over 7% of EU GDP generated by the auto industry
  • €59.1 billion in R&D spending annually, 31% of EU total
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