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Electric vehicle sales in Europe in the first quarter of 2023

We analyse registrations by energy source in eight European countries in the first quarter of 2023. Which country has made the best progress towards e-mobility? Find out.

María Rodríguez
Apr 14, 2023
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Last updated in 22/05/2024

To find the latest informations about the electric car sales in europe and the most sold car types, you can read our updated article about Passenger car registration in Europe, Q1 2024

If you own an electric car and have driven around Europe in it, it is very likely that you have noticed quite a few differences between countries in terms of charging infrastructure or the number of electric vehicles on the road. We have been looking at the speed of implementation of electric mobility for some time now and, in fact, earlier this year we looked at EV registrations in eight European countries in 2022 as well as the best-selling electric cars of the year.

The Electromaps charging stations map also shows this evolution, adding hundreds of charging points and contributions from the app's users every day in these European markets.

We look again at the registrations by energy source in the first quarter of the year in Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Don't miss it.

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Pure electrics in Norway reach 84.5% market share

passenger car registrations by energy source in Norway, Q1 2023

Since 1st January this year, there are no longer any incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles in Norway. This precipitated registrations before that date, and in the first three months of the year total sales are down 11.4% compared to the same period in 2022. However, electric vehicles continue to be the main option for new passenger car registrations, with a share of 84.5% compared to 82.9% last year.

Plug-in hybrids fell from 7.2% to 5.4% in the first quarter of the year, while hybrids increased their market share by 2.8 percentage points.

Petrol and diesel passenger cars remain in the minority, dropping from 3.1% each to 1.7% and 1.9% respectively in Q1 2023 versus the previous year.

EVs rise by 16.2% in Sweden despite a 9.3% drop in registrations

passenger car registrations by energy source in Sweden, Q1 2023

The drop in overall passenger car registrations by 6,469 units in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year in Sweden (-9.3%) does not slow down the rise of electric cars, which increased by 3,190 units, or 16.2%, from January to March 2023. BEVs now account for 36.2% of the Swedish market.

PHEVs, meanwhile, are down 27.5% in units, leaving them with 20.2% market share. Petrol is now the second preferred energy source for Swedes, behind BEVs and ahead of PHEVs, with 22.1% share, down 1.4 percentage points from the first three months of 2022.

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Portugal, an example of electric mobility in Europe

passenger car registrations by energy source in Portugal, Q1 2023

The Portuguese market experienced a 49.6% growth in the number of registrations last quarter compared to the same period last year. 

BEVs obtained a 16.1% share, with 8,399 units, a growth of 25.2%. The progressive penetration of electric vehicles in Portugal is already in third place in our short list of these eight countries, behind Norway and Sweden, and ahead of France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

PHEVs, with 5,483 registrations, were preferred by 10.5% of the market. Thus, PEVs achieved 27.6% market share in Portugal in the first quarter of the year.

EVs grow by 21.2% in France

passenger car registrations by energy source in France, Q1 2023

Registrations in France increased by 12.1% in the first quarter of the year, with zero-emission vehicles accounting for 21.2% growth compared to the same period in 2022. Pure electric vehicles accounted for 15.4% of new registrations

Plug-in hybrids also grew by 24.6%, reaching a market share of 8.7%. PEVs now account for 24.1% of total registrations, 22.4% more than in the previous year.

Petrol cars also increased by 1.2 percentage points in the first quarter, accounting for 38.5% of the market. Diesel cars, however, fell by 21.7%, getting 11.2% of the market share.

UK stagnates in electric mobility

passenger car registrations by energy source in UK, Q1 2023

Overall registrations increased by 18.4% in the UK during this first quarter of the year, however, the weight of BEVs remains the same (15.4%) as in the same period of 2022.

PHEVs are down by just over two thousand units, a fall of 6.3% and a market share of 6.4%. HEVs rose by 27.7%, achieving a market share of 31.6%. 

Registrations of petrol cars remained unchanged from the previous year, with 42.6% market share, while diesel cars fell from 5.7% to 4.0% of the market.

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Germany cuts subsidies and plug-in hybrids suffer

passenger car registrations by energy source in Germany, Q1 2023

Last quarter, passenger car registrations increased by 6.5% compared to the previous year at the same time in Germany, however, we can see some differences regarding the energy source of the vehicles. 

BEVs are up by 13.2%, reaching a share of 14.2%. However, PHEVs suffer their worst drop, -44.6%, from a share of 10.8% to 5.6%. It seems that the decrease in incentives to buy EVs in Germany, in force since January this year, is helping to change the consumer's purchase decision. 

Thus, we can see how HEVs and petrol have increased by 28.5% and 12.5% respectively.

Electric cars are up 47.3% in Spain, but it is not enough

passenger car registrations by energy source in Spain, Q1 2023

In the last quarter in Spain, overall registrations of passenger cars increased by 44.6% compared to the previous year. The performance by energy source is quite similar in terms of PEVs, keeping 10.8% share. BEVs, with 10,680 new registrations, rose by 47.3% and obtained a share of 4.5%.

Petrol vehicles gained strength from January to March, with an increase of 51.8% and 43.1% market share, compared to 41% in the previous year. 

Diesel, however, continues its downward trend, dropping from 18.0% share in Q1 2022 to 16.6% this year.

HEVs also increased their registrations, rising two percentage points in market share to 30.4%.

Italy makes progress on zero emissions with 44.9% increase

passenger car registrations by energy source in Italy, Q1 2023

Last quarter, almost 90,000 more new vehicles were registered in Italy than in the same period in 2022, a 26.1% registrations' growth. 

BEVs increased by 44.9% to 16,451 units, and up half a point in market share to 3.8%. PHEVs, on the other hand, did not grow at the same speed as other registrations and lost market share from 5% to 4.4%.  

HEVs benefit, reaching 35.8% of the market and a growth of 33.3%.

Diesel declines 1.2 points in market share, while petrol practically maintains its market share, with 27.1% of the market.

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María Rodríguez
Apr 14, 2023
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