2011 Full Year Car Sales by Fuel Type in European Countries

2011 saw for the first time the inclusion of separate electric and hybrid car sales figures for European new passenger vehicle registrations in many official statistics.

Nissan Leaf © Nissan Europe

Where fuel types in European car sales statistics traditionally compared petrol (benzine) and diesel engines, separate sales figures for hybrid and electric vehicles are increasingly available too. The Dutch seem keener on hybrid cars and alternative fuels than other European nations while the largest number of hybrid and electric passenger vehicles were registered in the United Kingdom.

Electric and Hybrid Car Sales in European Countries in 2011

Car sales statistics by fuel type in some European countries for the full year 2011 were as follows:

Petrol Diesel Gas Hybrid Electric Total
Austria 159,027 194,721 456 1,310 631 356,145
Belgium 134,558 431,060 290 6,039 263 572,211
Germany 1,651,637 1,495,966 11,156 12,622 2154 3,173,634
Ireland 23,944 63,985 1,350 552 46 89,878
Italy 685,209 965,772 93,000 5,244 290 1,749,515
Netherlands 374,992 156,738 7,619 14,874 862 555,920
Sweden 6,281 2,553 178 304,984
UK (rounded) 924,500 958,500 100 23,000 1,200 1,907,400


  • Figures for the UK are rounded to the closest 100.
  • All figures are based on official statistics – definitions of gas, hybrid, and electric vehicles vary between European countries.
  • “Others” are included in the totals.

Electric and Hybrid Car Sales in Europe in 2011

Car sales statistics for newly registered hybrid and electric vehicles in Europe are surprisingly hard to obtain. This should change with the growing importance of alternative fuels and the wider variety of electric and hybrid cars coming onto the market.

Different European countries also define hybrid, electric, and gas vehicles in different ways. For example, Germany considers any electric vehicle with a non-electric range extender engine to be a hybrid and not an electric vehicle.

A surprise in the statistics is the larger acceptance of electric and hybrid vehicles in The Netherland compared to much bigger markets. In addition to government incentives, very high fuel prices in the Netherland and the physical size of the country probably explain why electric cars find a receptive market here.

Although overall figures for electric and hybrid vehicle sales in Europe are still very small, the market is clearly growing at a very fast pace. However, Europe clearly lags behind other advanced markets such as Japan where hybrid cars have been best sellers for several years.

Other Electric Vehicle Sales Statics:

(Sorry, I do not have EV sales figures for other markets.)

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.