2021 (Half Year) Europe: Battery Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Car Sales per EU, UK and EFTA Country

2021 (First Half): Germany was the largest battery-electric car market in Europe and also leading in plug-in hybrid car sales. The UK was the second-largest electric car market followed by France.

2021 (First Half): Germany was the largest battery-electric car market in Europe and also leading in plug-in hybrid car sales.
MINI Cooper SE Electric © BMW AG

In the first half of 2021, the registration of battery-electric passenger vehicles in the European Union (EU), UK, and EFTA countries more than doubled to almost half a million cars. Germany was the largest market for both battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Battery-electric cars took a record 7.5% market share of the new car sales in Europe during the first semester of 2021.

Latest European Car Market Statistics 2021: January, February, March, Q1, April, May, June, HY, July, August, September, Q3, October, November, December, Full Year — 2020: Q1, HY, Q3, Full Year

European New Electric Car Market in 2021 (First Half)

During the first semester of 2021, the market for battery electrically chargeable vehicles (BEV) in the European Union expanded by 129.6% to 356,469 cars. If EFTA (+75%) and the UK (+139%) are added, the expansion was 122.1% to 492,021 battery-electric-only cars. Total new passenger vehicle registrations in the European Union (EU), United Kingdom, and EFTA countries increased by 27.1% to 6,486,351 cars during the first half of 2021 but were still around 2 million cars less than in preceding years. 

Huge incentives for buying electric cars in especially Germany, as well as manufacturers requiring electric car sales to offset higher emission (and often more profitable) larger engine cars, encouraged electric car sales. The range of electric cars on the market also expanded vastly during the first half of 2021. Furthermore, delivery of electric cars improved although long waiting lists remained for many popular models. Like the rest of the market, electric car production also suffered from a shortage in semiconductors with the issue expecting to intensify for some brands during the third quarter and even extend into 2022. Covid restrictions continued to dampened the market to varying degrees in individual countries.

European New Car Market by Fuel Types in 2021 (Half Year)

The new car market in the EU, EFTA, and the UK during the first six months of 2021 was divided into the following main fuel types according to the ACEA:

FuelHY 2021HY2020% Change
Petrol2,753,7122,677,0352.4
Diesel1,282,0161,415,437-9.9
HEV1,285,641513,880149.6
BEV492,021221,1714.3
PHEV537,212178,250200.4
TOTAL 6,486,3515,101,73827.1

Note: Total also includes further alternatives, eg natural gas

Battery Electric Vehicle Sales in Europe in 2021 (First Half)

Registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in various European Union and EFTA member countries during the period January to June 2021 were as follows according to ACEA statistics:

European CountryHY2021HY2020% 21/20
Austria15,3514,812+219.0
Belgium9,1134,927+85.0
Bulgaria286249+14.9
Croatia38398+290.8
Cyprus4811+336.4
Czech Republic1,2621,254+0.6
Denmark7,4323,712+100.2
Estonia259106+144.3
Finland4,1341,499+175.8
France72,51945,017+61.1
Germany148,93644,439+235.1
Greece1,033135+665.2
Hungary1,2271,002+22.5
Ireland4,3321,889+129.3
Italy30,2499,949+204.0
Latvia206100+106.0
Lithuania310161+92.5
Luxembourg2,072701+195.6
Netherlands16,24514,497+12.1
Poland2,4861,128+120.4
Portugal4,6953,660+28.3
Romania874599+45.9
Slovakia433328+32.0
Slovenia708617+14.7
Spain9,2585,177+78.8
Sweden22,6189,209+145.6
EUROPEAN UNION356,469155,276+129.6
Iceland1,2391,069+15.9
Norway48,07028,505+68.6
Switzerland12,3505,707+116.4
EFTA61,65935,281+74.8
United Kingdom73,89330,957+138.7
EU + EFTA + UK492,021221,514+122.1

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Sales in Europe in 2021 (First Semester)

Registrations of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) in various European Union and EFTA member countries during the first semester of 2021 were as follows according to ACEA statistics:

European CountryHY2021HY2020% 21/20
Austria7,9402,575+208.3
Belgium26,0789,428+176.6
Bulgaria13565+107.7
Croatia17046+269.6
Cyprus5558-5.2
Czech Republic2,187745+193.6
Denmark18,4324,551+305.0
Estonia9433+184.8
Finland11,9765,850+104.7
France71,78520,197+255.4
Germany163,57149,541+230.2
Greece2,169232+834.9
Hungary2,044905+125.9
Ireland4,1641,166+257.1
Italy38,1335,802+557.2
Latvia5840+45.0
Lithuania
Luxembourg2,402801+199.9
Netherlands15,8865,614+183.0
Poland4,4791,373+226.2
Portugal7,8623,756+109.3
Romania
Slovakia559306+82.7
Slovenia623+1,966.7
Spain19,1275,565+243.7
Sweden46,53223,349+99.3
EUROPEAN UNION445,900142,001+214.0
Iceland1,441754+91.1
Norway21,30812,070+76.5
Switzerland10,3564,410+134.8
EFTA33,10517,234+92.1
United Kingdom58,20719,607+196.9
EU + EFTA + UK537,212178,842+200.4

Electric Car Sales in Europe During 2021 (First Half)

Battery-electric car sales in Europe more than doubled during the first half of 2021 compared to the first six months of 2020 to increase market share from 4.3% to 7.5%. Plug-in hybrid sales tripled in Europe to take an 8.3% share of the European new car market. Volume sales increased in all European markets, except Cyprus where plug-in hybrid sales were down by 3 sales.

Germany replaced France as the largest market for battery-electric cars as well as plug-in hybrid vehicles. Both battery and plug-in hybrids received huge government incentives in Germany despite continued doubts over the actual emission efficiency of plug-in hybrid cars. German carmakers played a major role in promoting plug-in hybrids as bridging technology, although Volkswagen’s push into battery-electric cars probably played an equally major role in forcing other brands to bring electric cars to market probably a bit earlier than originally intended.

Battery-electric car sales in Germany more than tripled during the first half of 2021 while sales in the UK more than doubled allowing both countries to move ahead of France that was leading in 2020. Norway remained the fourth largest market for electric cars overall in Europe with deep market penetration.

In Italy, battery electric car sales tripled with the market now bigger than Sweden where sales were also up a respectable 145%.

Germany also remained the largest market in Europe for plug-in hybrid vehicles — sales increased by 230% during the first half of 2021. In France, sales increased by an even faster 255% to move up one rank position. In the UK, plug-in hybrid sales also tripled to gain third place from Sweden where sales only doubled.

Of the larger markets, Italy gained the most with plug-in hybrid car sales up 557% thus far in 2021. Of the 20 largest car markets in Europe, Sweden and Norway improved the least, as both were early adopters of plug-in hybrid technology and gains were less dramatic due to existing high market shares.

Car Sales Statistics for Europe in 2021

→  Latest European Car Sales Statistics