2020 (Q3) Europe: Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Car Sales per EU, UK and EFTA Country

2020 (Q3): electrically-chargeable car sales in Europe more than tripled with battery-electric vehicles taking a 10% share and plug-in hybrids 12%.

2020 (Q3): electrically-chargeable car sales in Europe more than tripled with battery-electric vehicles taking a 10% share and plug-in hybrids 12%.

In 2020, electrically-chargeable vehicle sales in Europe increased strongly with especially strong growth during the third quarter of the year. During 2020 (Q3), battery-electric car sales more than doubled in the European Union (+132%) to take a 10% share of the market. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) sales more than tripled with such cars taking a 12% share of the total European new car market, which contracted by 29% during the first nine months of 2020.

European Car Market Statistics 2020: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

European New Electric Car Market in 2020 (Q1-Q3)

During the first three quarters of 2020, the market for electrically chargeable vehicles (sometimes also termed electrified vehicles) increased by 102.7% to 768,914 cars in the European Union (EU), EFTA, and the UK. In the European Union, the increase was 122% to 570,278 cars, in the UK the increase was an even stronger 126.3% to 108,888 cars, and in the EFTA countries 20.6% to 89,748 cars. The increase was particularly strong during the third quarter of 2020 (July to September) when electrically chargeable car registrations in the EU increased by 211% to 273,809 cars.

The market for battery-electric vehicles (BEV) in Europe expanded by 65% thus far in 2020 with an increase in the third quarter of 2020 of 121%. The sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles in the EU more than doubled during the first three quarters of 2020 with sales increasing by 368% during the third quarter alone.

The electrified vehicle market in Europe was helped by generous government incentives in many countries including the important German and French markets. In Germany, plug-in hybrids, which are important to German luxury carmakers, received incentives in addition to even more generous grants for buying purely battery-electric cars.

As a result, although the European new car market during the first three quarters of 2020 contracted by 29%, electric car sales increased and gained market share. However, half of all new cars in Europe are still petrol (in addition to many plug-in hybrids that may often be run on petrol rather than electricity too).

European New Car Market by Fuel Types in 2020 (Q3)

The new car market in the EU, UK, and EFTA during the first nine months of 2020 was divided into the following fuel types according to the ACEA:

EnergyCars sold Q1-Q3/2020% Change% Share
Total Market8,532,338-29.2100
Petrol4,347,055-38.750.1
Diesel2,296,445-37.926.9
ECV768,914102.79.0
HEV981,29642.611.5
Alternatives138,628-29.41.6
BEV418,14264.74.9
PHEV350,772179.34.1

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 (Q1-Q3)

New passenger vehicle registrations of electrically chargeable vehicles (ECV) in European Union, UK, and EFTA countries from January to September 2020 were as follows according to the ACEA:

CountryQ1-Q3/2020Q1-Q3/2019% Change
AUSTRIA13,3788,66154.5
BELGIUM26,48012,383113.8
CYPRUS221822.2
CZECH REPUBLIC2,909842245.5
DENMARK18,4646,693175.9
ESTONIA25382208.5
FINLAND12,2155,135137.9
FRANCE110,87442,296162.1
GERMANY204,49274,542174.3
GREECE882342157.9
HUNGARY3,5112,04371.9
IRELAND5,9534,22141.0
ITALY29,95411,765154.6
LATVIA28767328.4
LITHUANIA328120173.3
LUXEMBOURG2,9901,324125.8
NETHERLANDS39,24033,74516.3
POLAND4,5671,953133.8
PORTUGAL12,1488,70839.5
ROMANIA1,39899939.9
SLOVAKIA1,108266316.5
SLOVENIA1,091394176.9
SPAIN21,17512,44770.1
SWEDEN56,55927,817103.3
EUROPEAN UNION570,278256,863122.0
ICELAND2,9871,65780.3
NORWAY67,53261,5479.7
SWITZERLAND19,22911,22571.3
EFTA89,74874,42920.6
UNITED KINGDOM108,88848,112126.3
EU + EFTA + UK768,914379,404102.7
Source: ACEA

Battery Electric Vehicle Sales in Europe in 2020 (Q3)

Registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in various European Union and EFTA member countries during the period January to September 2020 were as follows according to ACEA statistics:

Q1-Q3/2020Q1-Q3/2019% Change
AUSTRIA8,9497,39721.0
BELGIUM9,3116,73838.2
CYPRUS221822.2
CZECH REPUBLIC1,732586195.6
DENMARK7,5603,92392.7
ESTONIA21666227.3
FINLAND2,6181,57666.1
FRANCE70,58730,430132.0
GERMANY98,61048,055105.2
GREECE29215292.1
HUNGARY1,7721,35231.1
IRELAND3,6132,97421.5
ITALY17,5157,793124.8
LATVIA22962269.4
LITHUANIA328120173.3
LUXEMBOURG1,48177890.4
NETHERLANDS28,85229,914-3.6
POLAND2,1731,19082.6
PORTUGAL5,2665,422-2.9
ROMANIA1,39899939.9
SLOVAKIA578122373.8
SLOVENIA1,089390179.2
SPAIN9,9177,46032.9
SWEDEN16,29512,15234.1
EUROPEAN UNION290,403169,66971.2
ICELAND1,753723142.5
NORWAY48,17549,483-2.6
SWITZERLAND11,2008,85226.5
EFTA61,12859,0583.5
UNITED KINGDOM66,61125,097165.4
EU + EFTA + UK418,142253,82464.7
Source: ACEA

Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle Sales in Europe in 2020 (Q1-Q3)

Registrations of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) in various European Union and EFTA member countries during the first three quarters of 2020 were as follows according to ACEA statistics:

Q1-Q3/2020Q1-Q3/2019% Change
AUSTRIA4,4291,264250.4
BELGIUM17,1695,645204.1
CYPRUS
CZECH REPUBLIC1,177256359.8
DENMARK10,9042,770293.6
ESTONIA3716131.3
FINLAND9,5973,559169.7
FRANCE40,28711,866239.5
GERMANY105,88226,487299.8
GREECE590190210.5
HUNGARY1,739691151.7
IRELAND2,3401,24787.7
ITALY12,4393,972213.2
LATVIA5851,060.0
LITHUANIA
LUXEMBOURG1,509546176.4
NETHERLANDS10,3883,831171.2
POLAND2,394763213.8
PORTUGAL6,8823,286109.4
ROMANIA
SLOVAKIA530144268.1
SLOVENIA24-50.0
SPAIN11,2584,987125.7
SWEDEN40,26415,665157.0
EUROPEAN UNION279,87587,194221.0
ICELAND1,23493432.1
NORWAY19,35712,06460.5
SWITZERLAND8,0292,373238.3
EFTA28,62015,37186.2
UNITED KINGDOM42,27723,01583.7
EU + EFTA + UK350,772125,580179.3
Source: ACEA

Electric Car Sales in Europe During 2020 (Q3)

Thus far in 2020, electrified cars gained market share in Europe by increasing volume while petrol and diesel car numbers contracted sharply. The total European new car market during Q1-Q3/2020 contracted by 29%. Petrol and diesel car sales were down around 38% while electrified car sales more than doubled.

Electrified vehicles still only took 9% of the European new car market during the first nine months of 2020 while hybrid cars had an 11% share. However, during the third quarter of 2020, electrified cars increased market share to 10%, as carmakers rushed models to market in an attempt to avoid EU CO2 emission fines.

Germany increased its lead as the largest market for electrified cars in Europe with sales nearly double that of second-placed France. France passed the UK and both countries sold more electrified cars in 2020 than last year’s second-place country Norway. In Norway, electrified cars already have nearly two-thirds of the total market so these sales (+10%) moved more in line with the total new car market in Norway (-13%) than in most other European countries.

Germany finally became the largest market in Europe for battery-electric vehicles during 2020 with electric car sales more than doubling. Electric car registrations increased even faster in France and the United Kingdom. Norway, the leading electric car market in 2019, slipped to fourth with battery-electric car sales slightly down.

Germany remained the largest car market for plug-in hybrid cars in Europe and extended that lead by increasing registrations by nearly 300%. The UK remained the second-largest market in Europe for plug-in hybrid cars although the sales growth was only 84% while sales in France were up 240% and in Sweden 157%

Electric Car Sales in the European Union (EU) and EFTA Countries

Electric Car Sales per EU and EFTA Country:

European New Car Market in 2020

Sales and Market Analysis: