EU’s EV market surges in 2023 despite december slump

The European Union's electric vehicle (EV) market saw a remarkable year in 2023, with battery-electric cars establishing a significant presence despite a downturn in December. The EU car market experienced a 3.3% decline in December 2023, recording 867,052 units in sales. This drop is seen as a result of the high baseline in December 2022, ending a 16-month streak of consecutive growth. Notably, France and Spain showed impressive increases, while the German market faced a sharp 23% decline.
Overall, 2023 was a year of robust expansion for the EU car market, growing by 13.9% from 2022 and reaching a volume of 10.5 million units. Remarkably, all EU markets grew last year, with the exception of Hungary.

In the realm of power sources, battery-electric cars rose to prominence, becoming the third-most-popular choice among buyers. Their market share in December soared to 18.5%, contributing to a significant 14.6% share for the full year, surpassing diesel’s steady 13.6%. Petrol cars, however, retained their lead with a 35.3% market share, while hybrid-electric vehicles claimed the second spot at 25.8%.

Despite the overall growth, December 2023 marked the first decline in new battery-electric car sales since April 2020, dropping by 16.9% to 160,700 units. This decrease was mainly due to a strong performance in the previous December and a substantial downturn in Germany, the largest market for EVs. Yet, the total volume for 2023 exceeded 1.5 million units, a staggering 37% increase from 2022, highlighting the growing preference for electric mobility in Europe.

Hybrid-electric cars also saw a surge in December, with a 26% increase driven by significant gains in Germany, France, and Spain. This growth contributed to a 29.5% increase for the year, with over 2.7 million units sold in 2023, representing a quarter of the EU market share.

Contrastingly, the plug-in hybrid electric car segment witnessed a downturn, with a 40.2% decline in December 2023. Despite increases in Belgium and France, a severe drop in Germany led to a 7% decrease in the EU market for 2023, now holding a 7.7% market share.

The petrol car market in the EU saw a 5.1% growth in December, led by Italy and Germany, reaching a total of 3.7 million units for the year. However, the market share for petrol cars slightly declined from 36.4% in 2022 to 35.3% in 2023.

Meanwhile, diesel cars continued their downward trajectory, contracting by 9.1% in December. Despite this, Germany bucked the trend with a 10.3% growth. Overall, diesel car sales in 2023 reached 1.4 million units, accounting for 13.6% of the market, down from 16.4% in 2022.

Source: ACEA

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