April 20, 2024

Electric Cars Surpass Diesel in Europe as Sales Rebound in 2023

New car sales in Europe experienced a significant rebound, increasing by 13.9 percent in 2023, with electric vehicles (EVs) surpassing diesel vehicles for the first time, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association. The sales of new EVs increased by 37 percent year-on-year and accounted for 14.6 percent of overall sales. Tesla, led by Elon Musk, witnessed a remarkable growth in sales in Europe, with nearly double the number of electric cars sold in the region, reaching 279,000 units. The Tesla Model Y, an SUV, became the best-selling vehicle in Europe.

This surge in sales marks a dramatic turnaround from the previous year, when new vehicle registrations hit their lowest level since 1993 due to component shortages that affected automakers worldwide. However, compared to pre-pandemic levels, sales in 2023 remained significantly lower.

Electric vehicles are gaining traction due to the European Union’s 2035 deadline for phasing out the sales of new combustion engine vehicles. Hybrid cars also experienced a surge in sales, increasing by nearly 30 percent. However, plug-in hybrid vehicle sales declined by seven percent for the first time, as several governments phased out state incentives.

While electric vehicles and hybrids showed promising growth, petrol cars remained a substantial portion of the new vehicle market, representing 35.3 percent of Europe-wide sales in 2023, equivalent to 3.7 million cars.

Volkswagen maintained its position as the leading car manufacturer in Europe, with the group selling 2.8 million new cars in 2023, showing an 18 percent increase compared to the previous year. French auto maker Renault also witnessed sales growth of 16.9 percent throughout the year. However, Stellantis, which includes vehicle brands such as Fiat and Jeep, only experienced a modest sales increase of 2.9 percent.

The rise in electric vehicle sales reflects the growing preference for sustainable transportation and the increasing support for green initiatives in Europe. As the demand for electric vehicles continues to rise, it is expected to drive further advancements in the EV market, including improvements in charging infrastructure and battery technology.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it