2020 (First Half): France was the largest battery-electric car market in Europe with Germany leading in plug-in and hybrid car sales.
In the first half of 2020, the registration of electrically chargeable passenger vehicles in the European Union (EU), UK, and EFTA countries increased by 62% to 399,421 cars. The sales of battery-electric cars grew by a slower 35% to 221,171 vehicles. These increases came despite the effect of the coronavirus from March onwards, which saw the total European new car market contract by contracted by 39.5% to 5,1010,669 cars during the first semester of 2020. France was the market leader for battery electric vehicles in Europe. Germany remained the largest market for plug-in hybrid, hybrid, petrol, and diesel vehicles in Europe.
European New Electric Car Market in 2020 (First Half)
During the first semester of 2020, the market for electrically chargeable vehicles (ECV) in the European Union expanded by 76.9% to 296,444. If EFTA (-0.1%) and the UK (+86.1%) are added, the expansion was 61.5% to 399,421 cars.
The market for electrically chargeable vehicles in the EU and EFTA grew by nearly 130,000 cars during the first half of 2020 to increase market share from 2.9% to 7.8%.
The expected strong growth in the sales of electric cars in Europe in 2020 seemed to have materialized during the first months of 2020. However, the closure of dealerships and registration offices in most countries due to the coronavirus clearly dampened sales from March onwards.
Huge incentives for electric cars in France and Germany should encourage the registration of more electric cars during the second half of 2020. However, almost all manufacturers were caught out by the demand and are mostly unable to deliver electric cars within less than three months and often require much longer lead periods.
European New Car Market by Fuel Types in 2020 (Half Year)
The new car market in the EU and EFTA during the first six months of 2020 was divided into the following fuel types according to the ACEA:
|Energy||Cars sold HY2020||Share|
Note: Terminology used in these ACEA statistics:
- Electrically chargeable vehicle (ECV) = battery electric vehicles (BEV) + extended-range electric vehicles (EREV) + fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV) + plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV).
- Hybrids include PHEV
- Alternatively Powered Vehicles (APV) include ECV, hybrids, natural gas, LPG, and ethanol (not included in the table above).
- Excludes some smaller markets where suitable data is not available.
Electric Car Sales Per European Union and EFTA Country in 2020 (Half Year)
New passenger vehicle registrations of electrically chargeable vehicles (ECV) in European Union, UK, and EFTA countries from January to June 2020 were as follows according to the ACEA:
|EU + EFTA + UK||399,421||247,278||61.5|
Battery Electric Vehicle Sales in Europe in 2020 (First Half)
Registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in various European Union and EFTA member countries during the period January to June 2020 were as follows according to ACEA statistics:
|EU + EFTA + UK||221,171||164,085||34.8|
Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Sales in Europe in 2020 (First Semester)
Registrations of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) in various European Union and EFTA member countries during the first semester of 2020 were as follows according to ACEA statistics:
|EU + EFTA + UK||178,250||83,193||114.3|
Electric Car Sales in Europe During 2020 (First Half)
The effect of the coronavirus hit different European countries at different times but generous government incentives in some may be the most important factor in electrified car sales in Europe during the second half of 2020. There is clear growth in electric car sales in all the larger markets with huge potential for further increases in sales and gains in market share once the European economies fully re-open later in 2020.
During the first half of 2020, Germany was the largest European market for electrically chargeable vehicles. While Norway moved down to fourth, France moved into second place ahead of the UK. France was quick to announce incentives for buying new cars while Germany shocked the car industry by only offering support for electrically chargeable vehicles. While orders for electrified cars increased dramatically, the producers were unable to deliver and in many cases will not be able to deliver electrified cars, and especially battery-electric versions, to customers before 2021.
Norway was the only significant market in Europe with lower electrified car sales at the start of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019. This was due to the existing popularity of electric cars in Norway — while electric car sales were down 7.7%, the total Norwegian new car market contracted by nearly a quarter during the first half of 2020. Electrified cars maintained a two-thirds market share in Norway.
France became the largest market in Europe for battery-electric vehicles with sales increasing by 114%. In Germany, battery-electric car registrations increased by 43% while in Britain sales increased by an even faster 160%. Norway slipped from first to fourth. Electric car sales were also weak in the Netherlands — the largest European electric car market in full-year 2019.
Germany was by far the largest market for plug-in hybrid cars in Europe in the first half of 2020 — sales increased by 200%. Sales of plug-in hybrids in the EU, UK, and EFTA in the first half of 2020 increased by 114%. This is largely due to the huge increases in plug-in hybrid sales in Germany, Sweden, and France, where PHEV cars received special tax treatments and are thus popular with premium manufacturers supplying business cars.
The image of PHEV took a bit of a bashing after reports in the UK that many were fleet vehicles that qualified for subsidies despite the charging cables never being used by drivers. The problem with company PHEV remains that the employer pays for fuel but not for electricity if the car is charged at home overnight.
Electric Car Sales in the European Union (EU) and EFTA Countries
Electric Car Sales per EU and EFTA Country:
- 2021: Q1
- 2020 (Full Year): Market by Fuel Type, Sales by Country
- 2020: Q3, (Half Year), (Q1)
- 2019: (Full Year), (Q1)
- 2018: (Full Year), (Q3), (Half Year), (Q1)
- 2017: (Full Year)
European New Car Market in 2020
Sales and Market Analysis: