Making the transition to zero-emission mobility – 2020 progress report

The 2020 edition of ACEA’s ‘Making the Transition to Zero-Emission Mobility’ report tracks progress made on the key ‘enabling factors’ for a stronger market uptake of alternatively-powered cars and vans in the European Union.

In order to drive the shift to zero- and low-emission vehicles, governments across the EU need to ramp up investments in charging and refuelling infrastructure, and need to put in place meaningful and sustainable incentives to stimulate sales of alternatively-powered vehicles.

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) therefore publishes this progress report on an annual basis to monitor the availability of infrastructure and stimuli in the run-up to the mid-term review of Regulation (EU) 2019/631.

The 2020 update of the progress report looks at:

In addition, this report also contains a comprehensive glossary that explains the various types of alternatively-powered vehicles.

The 2020 report provides a factual, data-driven picture of progress, bringing together the latest available full-year data (ACEA, EAFO, EEA, Eurostat, IHS Markit).

Market uptake of alternatively-powered cars + vans

  • 3.0% of all cars sold in 2019 were electrically-chargeable (+2.4 % points since 2014).
  • 5.9% of new cars in the EU were hybrid electric last year (+4.5 % points over six years).
  • 0.5% of all cars sold in 2019 were natural gas-powered (-0.3 % points since 2014).
  • Fuel cell vehicles currently account for a small share (0.04%) of total EU car sales.
  • 2.8% of new van sales were alternatively-powered last year.
  • 1.2% of all vans sold in 2019 were electrically-chargeable (+0.7 % points over six years), and 0.2% were hybrid electric.

CO2 emissions of new passenger cars + vans

  • In 2017, petrol vehicles became the most sold passenger car type in the EU for the first time since 2009.
  • 2017 also marked the first rise (+0.3%) in new-car CO2 emissions since records began.
  • 2019 was the third consecutive year when CO2 from cars increased (+1.8%) to reach an EU-wide average of 123g CO2/km.
  • CO2 emissions from vans grew for the second consecutive year in 2019, going up by 0.4% to reach an EU-wide average of 158.5g CO2/km.


  • The market uptake of electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECVs) is directly correlated to a country’s GDP per capita, showing that affordability is a major barrier to consumers.
  • All countries with an ECV market share of less than 1% have a GDP below €30,000, including EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe, but also Italy and Greece.
  • 80% of all electric cars are sold in just 6 EU countries, with some of the highest GDPs.
  • 21 EU countries now offer bonus payments or premiums to buyers of ECVs. These purchase incentives, and especially their monetary value, differ greatly across the European Union.

Infrastructure availability

  • Although the deployment of ECV infrastructure has seen strong growth, the total number of charging points available across the EU (199,825) still falls far short of what is required.
  • Only 28,586 of those points are suitable for fast charging (capacity of ≥22kW), while ‘normal’ points account for the vast majority. Just 1 in 7 points in the EU is a fast charger today.
  • According to conservative estimates by the European Commission, at least 2.8 million ECV charging points will be needed by 2030. That means a 14-fold increase in the next 11 years.
  • Four countries covering 27% of the EU’s total surface area – the Netherlands, Germany, France and the UK – account for more than 75% of all ECV charging points in the EU.
  • There are 137 hydrogen filling stations across 12 EU member states, but 16 countries do not have any at all.
  • The EU counts more than 3,700 natural gas filling stations, up 30.8% since 2014. Two-thirds of these are concentrated in two countries alone (Italy and Germany).


Reproduction of the content of this document is not permitted without the prior written consent of ACEA. Whenever reproduction is permitted, ACEA shall be referred to as source of the information. Quoting or referring to this document is permitted provided ACEA is referred to as the source of the information. 

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