Sales of zero- and low-emission cars highly unbalanced across EU, alerts auto industry
Brussels, 29 October 2019 – Sales of alternatively-powered vehicles are following a highly uneven pattern across EU member states, according to new findings from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA).
Indeed, the consumer uptake of battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid electric passenger cars, as well as those fuelled by natural gas or hydrogen, differs strongly from country to country as a recent report points out.
“Although the average EU market share of alternatively-powered vehicles is going up, the huge discrepancies across Europe are extremely worrisome,” stated ACEA Director General, Eric-Mark Huitema. “As we push ahead in the transition to zero-emission mobility, we need to ensure that no countries and no citizens are left behind.”
For instance, the number of battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids (electrically-chargeable vehicles, or ECVs) sold last year ranged from just 93 cars in Latvia (0.6% market share) to 67,504 in Germany (2% market share), ACEA’s data shows.
This picture is very representative, as the consumer uptake of electrically-chargeable cars is particularly low in Central and Eastern Europe, with Poland for instance selling hardly any (0.2% of total passenger car sales). An ECV market share of more than 1.5% is something that is exclusive to Western European countries.
When it comes to electrically-chargeable vehicles, the ACEA report highlights not only an east-west divide, but also a marked north-south distinction. Indeed, electric cars represented less than 1% of total sales in Italy and Spain last year – the third and fourth largest EU economies respectively.
Clearly, the uptake of electrically-chargeable cars is correlated to a country’s standard of living, with half of all EU member states having a market share lower than 1%. In only four EU countries electrically-chargeable vehicles make up more than 2.5% of the car market.
Huitema: “Mobility must remain affordable for all layers of society. That is why we are calling on governments to put in place more meaningful and sustainable incentive schemes to stimulate sales EU-wide.”
ACEA’s report also shows that sales of cars running on natural gas are mainly concentrated in Italy and Germany (74% of the EU total), and that fuel-cell cars account for a negligible share of total EU passenger car sales for the time being.
If the extremely ambitious 2025 and 2030 CO2 targets set by the EU are to be achieved, sales of all types of alternatively-powered vehicles will have to pick up rapidly in all member states.
ELECTRICALLY-CHARGEABLE VEHICLES (ECVs)
Top 5: MOST ECVs sold (market share)
- Germany: 67,504 (2.0%)
- United Kingdom: 59,911 (2.5%)
- France: 45,587 (2.1%)
- Netherlands: 29,695 (6.7%)
- Sweden: 28,327 (8.0%)
Top 5: LEAST ECVs sold (market share)
- Latvia: 93 (0.6%)
- Estonia: 118 (0.5%)
- Lithuania: 143 (0.4%)
- Bulgaria: 220 (0.6%)
- Slovakia: 293 (0.3%)
HYBRID ELECTRIC VEHICLES (HEVs)
Top 5: MOST HEVs sold (market share)
- Germany: 98,816 (2.8%)
- France: 91,815 (4.6%)
- Italy: 81,892 (3.2%)
- United Kingdom: 81,323 (4.0%)
- Spain: 75,768 (6.2%)
Top 5: LEAST HEVs sold (market share)
- Latvia: 672 (5.5%)
- Slovenia: 1,459 (4.7%)
- Estonia: 1,566 (4.3%)
- Bulgaria: 1,600 (4.3%)
- Lithuania: 2,351 (4.1%)
FUEL CELL ELECTRIC VEHICLES (FCEVs)
Top 5: MOST FCEVs sold (market share)
- Germany: 154 (0%)
- United Kingdom: 36 (0%)
- France: 36 (0%)
- Netherlands: 13 (0%)
- Belgium: 8 (0%)
NATURAL GAS VEHICLES (NGVs)
Top 5: MOST NGVs sold (market share)
- Italy: 37,406 (2%)
- Germany: 10,804 (0.3%)
- Belgium: 3,987 (0.7%)
- Spain: 3,754 (0.3%)
- Sweden: 3,235 (0.9%)
Notes for editors
- ACEA’s 2019 progress report: ‘Making the Transition to Zero-Emission Mobility: Enabling factors for alternatively-powered cars in the EU’ can be found here: https://www.acea.auto/publications/making-the-transition-to-zero-emission-mobility-2019-progress-report/.
- Data for Croatia, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta is not available.
- 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: Cara McLaughlin, Communications Director, email@example.com, +32 485 88 66 47.
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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.