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Sales of New Electric Cars in Europe rose 229% in 4Q2020

Jiří Staník
April 22, 2021

Sales of electrically-chargeable vehicles amounted to 584 thousand in 4Q2020, 406 thousand more than the last year.

Electric cars represented 19.6% of all new cars sold in 4Q2020, up from 5.35% a year ago.

Most electric vehicles have been sold in Germany (190 thousand), while Slovenia registered the biggest increase in sales when compared to last year.

Electric Chargeable Cars

Sales of new electrically-chargeable passenger cars (battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) reached 584 thousand in the fourth quarter of 2020 in the enlarged Europe (EU plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland), according to ACEA. This is 229% more, or 178 thousand more than in the previous year.

Share of electric chargeable vehicles increased to 19.6% of all new passenger cars sold in 4Q2020, up from 5.35% seen in the fourth quarter of 2019. Most electric vehicles (190 thousand) were sold in Germany (up 455% yoy), followed by France (74.8 thousand, up 291%), the United Kingdom with 66.2 thousand thousand cars (up 168%), 49.9 thousand new vehicles were registered in Netherlands (up 51.8%) and 38.2 thousand in Norway (up 111%). The five largest countries accounted for 71.9% of total new vehicles registered in the fourth quarter of 2020:

As partly seen above, the sale of battery-electric (BEV) increased by 205% when compared to last year, while registration of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) rose by 262%.

In relative terms, Norway liked the electric chargeable vehicles the most in the fourth quarter of 2020 with 82.9% of all new passenger cars sold followed by Iceland (58.5%) and Netherlands (46.3%).

On the other end of the scale was Latvia with only 2.85%, Poland with 2.66% and Slovakia with just 1.82% of electric cars sold, as % of total:

Hybrid Electric and Other Alternatively-Powered Cars

When hybrid electric vehicles (cars that combine a conventional internal combustion engine system with an electric propulsion system) and other alternatively-powered cars (such as natural gas vehicles (NGV), LPG-fueled vehicles and ethanol (E85) vehicles) are included, total sales of alternatively-powered cars (other than using diesel or petrol) amounted to 1,056 thousand vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2020. This is 121% more, or 579 thousand more than in the previous year.

Together with electric chargeable vehicles, the share of total alternatively-powered vehicles increased to 35.3% of all new passenger cars sold in 4Q2020, up from 14.4% seen in the fourth quarter of 2019:

In relative terms, Norway liked the alternatively-powered vehicles the most in the fourth quarter of 2020 with 90.6% of all new passenger cars sold followed by Iceland (69.2%) and Netherlands (60.9%). On the other hand, alternatively-fuelled cars represented only 17.3% of all cars sold in Croatia, 11.9% in the Czech Republic and 11.0% in Slovenia, according to ACEA.

Petrol and Diesel-Powered Cars

Sales of traditionally-powered vehicles using petrol and diesel reached 1,931 thousand in the fourth quarter of 2020 in the enlarged Europe, according to ACEA. This is 32.1%, or 911 thousand fewer than in the previous year.

Some 1,210 thousand petrol-powered vehicles were sold, down 34.6% when compared to a year ago. The share decreased to 40.5% of all new passenger cars sold in 4Q2020, down from 55.7% seen in the fourth quarter of 2019. Share of diesel-powered cars fell to 24.1% (from 29.9% in 4Q2019) with 721 thousand cars sold in the fourth quarter of 2020.

As a result, share of traditionally-powered cars amounted to 64.7% of all new passenger cars sold in 4Q2020, down from 85.6% seen in the fourth quarter of 2019.

In relative terms, the Czech Republic liked the petrol-fuelled vehicles the most in the fourth quarter of 2020 with 58.6% of all new passenger cars sold followed by Slovakia (57.9%) and Poland (57.3%). On the other hand, diesel-powered cars were preferred most in Estonia (38.2% of all cars sold), followed by Croatia (with 34.9%) and Slovenia (33.8%).

Relative and Absolute Sales of Cars by Power

The following charts show where the most cars are sold absolutely and relatively in Europe and elsewhere in the world:

1. Electric Passenger Cars

2. Alternative Fuelled Passenger Cars (LPG, CNG)

3. Diesel Fuelled Passenger Cars

4. Petrol Fuelled Passenger Cars

Sales of Electric Chargeable Passenger Cars in Europe (thousands of vehicles)

Country 1Q2019 2Q2019 3Q2019 4Q2019 1Q2020 2Q2020 3Q2020 4Q2020
Austria 3.03 2.78 2.85 2.75 3.62 3.76 5.99 10.2
Belgium 4.20 4.12 4.06 5.35 7.69 6.36 12.4 19.9
Bulgaria 0.112 0.055 0.053 0.017 ... ... ... ...
Croatia ... ... ... 0.084 ... ... ... 0.330
Cyprus 0.005 0.007 0.006 0.005 0.004 0.007 0.011 0.020
Czechia 0.197 0.292 0.353 0.387 1.32 0.681 0.908 2.33
Denmark 2.23 2.12 2.34 2.72 4.16 4.11 10.2 14.1
Estonia 0.021 0.033 0.028 0.015 0.065 0.070 0.118 0.172
Finland 1.81 1.59 1.74 2.73 4.56 2.73 4.93 5.20
France 14.5 14.4 13.4 19.1 35.4 29.8 45.7 74.8
Germany 23.3 24.4 26.9 34.3 52.4 41.5 111 190
Greece 0.097 0.143 0.102 0.138 0.159 0.208 0.515 1.25
Hungary 0.613 0.633 0.797 0.896 1.00 0.903 1.60 2.53
Iceland 0.515 0.587 0.555 0.481 1.17 0.651 1.16 1.23
Ireland 2.05 0.736 1.43 0.569 2.69 0.373 2.90 0.553
Italy 2.27 5.28 4.22 5.41 8.35 7.39 14.2 29.9
Latvia 0.025 0.025 0.017 0.031 0.066 0.074 0.147 0.104
Lithuania 0.044 0.031 0.046 0.042 0.087 0.074 0.167 0.125
Luxembourg ... ... ... 0.575 0.790 0.712 1.49 2.17
Netherlands 10.3 9.75 13.7 32.9 12.0 8.14 19.1 49.9
Norway 23.4 20.6 17.6 18.1 22.6 18.0 27.0 38.2
Poland 0.634 0.754 0.547 0.763 1.28 1.22 2.06 3.54
Portugal 3.05 2.94 2.72 3.97 4.78 2.64 4.73 7.55
Romania 0.213 0.243 0.543 0.507 0.271 0.328 0.807 1.44
Slovakia 0.106 0.083 0.077 0.101 0.324 0.310 0.474 0.376
Slovenia 0.197 0.159 0.038 0.050 0.387 0.323 0.402 0.664
Spain 4.48 4.47 3.49 5.03 7.25 3.49 10.4 20.1
Sweden 9.84 9.38 8.61 12.6 18.5 14.1 24.0 37.5
Switzerland 3.80 3.67 3.75 6.23 5.42 4.70 9.11 14.7
UK 14.6 12.5 21.0 24.7 31.9 18.5 58.4 66.2
EU 124 119 128 178 223 167 363 584
Source: ACEA, Helgi Library

Sales of Hybrid Passenger Cars in Europe (thousands of vehicles)

Country 1Q2019 2Q2019 3Q2019 4Q2019 1Q2020 2Q2020 3Q2020 4Q2020
Austria 2.26 3.73 3.81 4.55 4.41 5.11 7.21 9.29
Belgium 5.41 4.35 4.09 3.39 6.00 2.93 3.88 3.03
Bulgaria 0.372 0.520 0.478 0.605 ... ... ... ...
Croatia ... ... ... 0.351 ... ... ... 0.721
Cyprus 0.197 0.325 0.283 0.247 0.178 0.046 0.031 0.013
Czechia 1.36 2.22 1.92 2.37 2.11 2.01 3.02 3.56
Denmark 3.06 2.21 2.04 2.55 2.32 1.69 2.60 3.05
Estonia 0.521 0.783 0.672 0.717 0.795 0.488 0.692 0.763
Finland 3.79 4.25 4.29 3.24 5.09 3.13 5.19 5.32
France 23.0 27.0 25.5 31.4 30.1 30.4 49.3 59.1
Germany 40.7 45.8 50.4 57.0 63.1 46.5 96.4 121
Greece 1.16 1.68 1.90 1.87 2.59 2.12 3.25 3.79
Hungary 1.71 2.11 2.35 3.00 5.68 5.18 9.14 11.8
Iceland 0.164 0.367 0.283 0.231 0.298 0.249 0.404 0.223
Ireland 4.93 1.86 3.18 0.215 6.34 0.276 4.07 0.308
Italy 27.3 28.3 22.8 31.5 34.7 27.6 62.8 96.7
Latvia 0.279 0.482 0.384 0.334 0.396 ... 0.396 0.531
Lithuania 0.528 0.926 0.772 1.11 1.08 0.825 4.20 2.18
Luxembourg ... ... ... 0.594 0.853 0.698 1.10 1.37
Netherlands 6.36 7.95 7.36 7.17 11.5 6.86 13.3 14.9
Norway 3.66 5.60 4.30 3.99 3.22 2.57 2.89 3.55
Poland 6.79 10.7 10.8 13.5 13.5 9.11 16.1 22.9
Portugal 1.93 2.74 2.05 2.70 2.83 1.50 2.94 4.64
Romania 1.45 1.46 2.41 2.15 2.25 2.27 4.08 5.67
Slovakia 0.587 1.04 1.07 1.61 1.33 1.26 2.00 2.94
Slovenia 0.427 0.774 0.606 0.585 0.461 0.312 0.415 0.416
Spain 22.4 27.9 25.4 33.0 29.4 16.7 40.3 51.0
Sweden 4.15 6.96 6.65 7.45 5.44 4.89 8.74 9.88
Switzerland 3.46 5.26 5.44 7.85 6.05 5.75 7.89 12.5
UK 40.7 39.5 51.0 42.8 68.2 23.3 114 13.9
EU 194 215 220 242 283 182 426 414
Source: ACEA, Helgi Library

Sales of Alternatively-Powered Passenger Cars Other Than Electric in Europe (thousands of vehicles)

Country 1Q2019 2Q2019 3Q2019 4Q2019 1Q2020 2Q2020 3Q2020 4Q2020
Austria 0.061 0.185 0.139 0.195 0.102 0.122 0.111 0.072
Belgium 0.601 1.45 0.888 0.680 0.821 0.852 1.27 0.923
Bulgaria 0.174 0.803 0.823 0.419 ... ... ... ...
Croatia ... ... ... 0.048 ... ... ... 0.324
Czechia 0.363 0.725 0.674 0.435 0.476 0.446 0.735 0.916
Denmark 0.001 ... ... 0.005 ... ... ... ...
Estonia 0.012 0.216 0.307 0.173 0.276 0.149 0.198 0.185
Finland 0.072 0.555 0.737 0.778 0.735 0.400 0.487 0.218
France 1.01 0.796 2.89 4.01 0.584 3.54 6.89 5.95
Germany 3.41 4.65 4.13 2.69 2.31 2.15 4.57 4.68
Greece 0.314 0.623 0.800 0.596 0.376 0.272 0.542 0.590
Hungary 0.006 0.007 ... ... 0.002 0.013 0.168 0.128
Iceland 0.003 0.021 0.017 0.013 0.015 0.006 0.013 0.001
Italy 41.5 47.1 43.6 41.9 29.4 21.4 36.3 38.0
Latvia 0.035 0.042 0.010 0.020 0.020 0.020 0.027 0.073
Lithuania ... ... 0.002 ... ... ... 0.022 0.051
Luxembourg ... ... ... 0.001 0.003 ... ... ...
Netherlands 0.243 0.301 0.104 0.167 0.114 0.344 0.783 0.854
Norway 0.007 0.003 0.003 0.003 0.001 0.001 0.002 0.001
Poland 2.06 2.85 2.90 0.344 0.602 1.18 2.69 4.70
Portugal 0.563 0.731 0.646 0.212 0.106 0.349 0.475 0.915
Romania 0.304 0.295 0.742 0.074 0.093 1.07 2.87 5.25
Slovakia 0.156 0.088 0.065 0.083 0.112 0.218 0.275 0.339
Slovenia 0.030 0.039 0.029 0.017 0.005 0.046 0.058 0.076
Spain 5.65 8.09 7.51 3.94 2.34 1.56 4.44 4.75
Sweden 0.424 1.32 2.33 2.04 1.10 0.542 0.998 0.864
Switzerland 0.091 0.424 0.378 0.360 0.259 0.115 0.111 0.081
EU 53.9 66.3 64.2 57.6 38.2 31.6 57.0 57.9
Source: ACEA, Helgi Library

Sales of Diesel-fuelled Passenger Cars in Europe (thousands of vehicles)

Country 1Q2019 2Q2019 3Q2019 4Q2019 1Q2020 2Q2020 3Q2020 4Q2020
Austria 31.5 36.2 23.9 27.9 21.3 21.6 18.3 22.5
Belgium 46.1 49.6 41.1 35.8 40.5 29.0 39.4 33.1
Bulgaria 3.94 3.99 4.03 3.75 ... ... ... ...
Croatia ... ... ... 4.19 ... ... ... 2.77
Cyprus 0.992 1.25 1.11 0.911 0.901 0.610 0.761 0.619
Czechia 16.7 18.2 16.7 17.6 14.7 12.1 16.6 16.9
Denmark 17.3 14.8 13.5 14.5 13.0 9.13 10.4 12.6
Estonia 3.21 3.25 2.70 2.16 2.51 1.55 2.23 2.12
Finland 6.56 5.75 4.53 4.04 3.95 2.95 3.21 2.68
France 191 209 160 196 121 102 139 142
Germany 291 318 277 267 224 159 227 210
Greece 7.83 8.66 8.21 5.65 5.79 4.31 5.78 6.37
Hungary 7.45 8.44 6.67 8.50 6.95 4.83 7.67 8.17
Iceland 0.877 1.46 0.685 0.490 0.452 0.364 0.687 0.300
Ireland 30.8 7.52 14.7 1.48 21.9 1.49 13.0 1.86
Italy 236 225 143 159 118 84.4 132 117
Latvia 1.80 1.78 1.59 1.60 1.48 0.891 1.24 1.18
Lithuania 2.10 2.04 2.24 1.91 1.49 0.946 1.77 2.75
Luxembourg ... ... ... 4.85 4.60 3.34 4.80 3.89
Netherlands 10.6 8.63 7.31 6.18 5.47 2.65 3.18 1.71
Norway 5.35 6.39 5.40 5.69 3.49 3.21 3.09 2.37
Poland 29.6 27.2 25.5 28.4 19.7 13.2 22.3 25.7
Portugal 24.4 26.5 18.5 20.1 15.7 6.33 13.6 12.2
Romania 10.9 9.79 12.1 10.5 8.30 6.19 8.39 11.0
Slovakia 6.44 6.73 5.89 6.44 4.99 3.55 5.49 5.06
Slovenia 6.24 6.60 4.65 4.82 5.48 4.51 4.97 3.54
Spain 90.1 102 73.7 85.0 59.7 36.2 70.0 70.0
Sweden 27.0 33.4 23.8 34.7 16.4 15.6 15.4 15.3
Switzerland 20.3 22.5 16.8 19.8 13.6 10.3 13.7 14.2
UK 188 152 139 104 91.4 27.5 90.1 52.7
EU 1,225 1,226 970 992 781 520 802 721
Source: ACEA, Helgi Library

Sales of Petrol-fuelled Passenger Cars in Europe (thousands of vehicles)

Country 1Q2019 2Q2019 3Q2019 4Q2019 1Q2020 2Q2020 3Q2020 4Q2020
Austria 44.0 52.1 44.8 35.7 25.2 27.5 29.0 26.0
Belgium 99.5 95.1 78.6 65.6 72.4 50.1 60.1 41.0
Bulgaria 5.23 6.02 4.73 5.25 ... ... ... ...
Croatia ... ... ... 7.04 ... ... ... 3.79
Cyprus 1.57 2.19 1.53 1.52 1.62 1.04 1.59 1.43
Czechia 41.7 48.7 43.8 39.7 33.0 30.6 34.0 33.5
Denmark 43.7 36.9 33.6 32.2 29.3 25.0 30.6 26.3
Estonia 4.43 5.55 4.57 4.03 3.46 2.11 3.16 2.31
Finland 16.9 19.0 16.4 15.5 13.9 9.85 12.2 9.60
France 324 362 274 322 178 185 210 201
Germany 522 576 533 506 359 260 393 350
Greece 16.9 28.2 16.2 13.1 12.5 8.27 13.4 8.93
Hungary 24.6 29.0 30.7 30.4 19.0 12.1 15.8 15.3
Iceland 1.16 2.14 1.00 0.675 0.543 0.442 0.807 0.348
Ireland 26.3 6.51 13.8 0.898 19.1 0.953 11.7 1.09
Italy 231 239 172 211 156 95.9 137 133
Latvia 2.60 3.05 2.47 2.47 2.29 1.71 2.03 1.77
Lithuania 7.53 10.3 8.10 8.60 8.07 4.24 5.28 6.87
Luxembourg ... ... ... 5.93 5.67 4.13 5.86 3.94
Netherlands 87.9 83.7 76.5 68.1 74.1 37.1 54.0 40.5
Norway 6.06 7.17 5.14 3.99 3.08 3.09 3.18 1.96
Poland 101 96.9 92.7 102 72.5 47.4 72.1 76.3
Portugal 29.5 36.3 21.5 22.8 21.9 8.75 19.1 14.5
Romania 22.9 24.0 36.6 24.3 17.1 11.8 18.8 18.4
Slovakia 16.6 20.2 17.2 16.9 12.2 9.71 13.4 12.0
Slovenia 13.4 13.4 11.0 10.3 9.87 8.31 9.39 5.77
Spain 194 233 163 166 120 63.2 130 110
Sweden 32.5 43.0 38.5 51.5 24.7 24.4 27.8 25.9
Switzerland 44.4 53.2 42.8 51.0 30.1 26.9 29.6 31.8
UK 458 365 382 278 292 101 327 184
EU 2,178 2,239 1,912 1,850 1,438 931 1,495 1,210
Source: ACEA, Helgi Library
Jiří Staník
Jiří Staník
CEO & Founder
He spent nearly two decades analysing companies in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, primarily in the area of financial services. Jiri built and headed Equity Research at Wood & Company, a Central European brokerage firm, and got several awards (such as The Best Equity Research or The Best Analyst by Euromoney).

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