In the height of summer and with hundreds of millions of road trips, we look at car registrations categorised by energy sources in eight European countries: These countries are Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Portugal, Italy and Spain.
The efforts of each country and the European Union to regulate charging infrastructure and facilitate electric mobility on major roads, are fundamental to the penetration of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. This includes fast charging points every 60 kilometres on major roads and low-emission zones in cities.
The Electromaps map shows a clear increase in charging stations, and the number of app users has grown exponentially, which exceeded 500,000 at the end of April and already exceeded 650,000 at the end of July.
A few months ago, we highlighted the evolution of Portugal, which exceeded 16% of pure electric registrations in the first quarter of the year.
Looking at the registrations for the first half of the year, we observe that the UK, Germany, France, and Portugal have a similar market share of zero-emission cars.
Now, let's check the figures for each of these countries during the first six months of this year.
Norway remains leader with 83.1% of electric car registrations
In the first half of this year, 1,100 more electric cars were registered in Norway than at the same time last year, despite a 2.9% drop in the total number of passenger cars registered. BEV now account for 83.1% of the market, four points more than in the previous year, with a total of 59,965 units from January to June.
PHEV lost some ground, dropping from 9.3% to 7% in the first half of the year. Plug-in vehicles therefore account for 90.1% of registrations in Norway.
Combustion cars are still in free fall in Norway, dropping from 6.7% to 3.7% of the market: 1.5% petrol and 2.2% diesel respectively.
Plug-in cars now account for 58% of the market in Sweden
BEVs now account for 37.3% of the Swedish passenger car market, with 52,445 units registered in the first half of the year, compared to 39,755 last year, which accounted for 27.6%.
Plug-in cars are 58% of the market, although plug-in hybrids fell by 17% from 24.3% to 20.7% of the market, with almost 6,000 fewer units.
Petrol and diesel cars continue to decline, accounting for 31.2% of passenger car sales, compared to 37.9% in 2022. Diesel tends to disappear with only 12,706 units and a market share of 9.0%.
BEV increases 32.7% in the UK
The first half of the year saw an 18.4% increase in UK registrations, with 949,720 passenger cars. Electric vehicles achieved a 16.1% market share, with 152,965 units, a growth of 32.7% over 2022.
Sales of PHEV remained fairly stable in the year-to-date, with 6.5% of the market. Meanwhile, plug-in cars as a whole increased by 29.2%, with 215,120 new registrations from January to June.
The petrol passenger car continues to dominate (41.9%), although losing almost two percentage points, followed by the hybrid with almost 300,000 units registered (31.5%).
Diesel cars account for only 3.9% of new passenger car registrations.
43.1% drop of plug-in hybrids in Germany
Passenger car registrations in Germany rose by 12.8% in the first half of 2023, reaching a total of 1,396,717 units. BEV had a significant growth of 31.6% representing 220,224 new registrations and 15.8% of the overall market.
As a result of the decline in incentives for electric cars, the sector observed a significant increase of over 90,000 units (39.2%) in combustion hybrids, while plug-in hybrids decreased by 43.1%, representing only 79,065 units, or 5.7% of the market during the first half of the year.
Petrol and diesel-fueled cars continue to have a significant presence in the German market, with 36.7% and 18.1% shares, respectively.
Steady step towards electric mobility in France, with 24.3% plug-in cars
In France, the number of cars registered for personal use rose by 13.8% during the first six months of the year, with a total of 215,908 vehicles recorded. Out of these cars registered, 137,917 (equivalent to 15.5%) are fully electric, which shows an increase of 33.5% and 2.3 percentage points over the same period in 2022.
Plug-in vehicles made up 24.3% of the total registration, marking an increase of 29.9% compared to the previous year. However, PHEVs show a slower growth rate, going from 8% to 8.8% of the market.
Petrol-fueled cars are still dominating the market in France, showing a growth of 16.7%. On the other hand, diesel-fueled vehicles continue to follow the trend seen in other countries, witnessing a decline of 27.8% and losing their market share by 6 points, to 10.6%.
The electric car passengers registrations rises by 50.4% in Portugal
As we mentioned a few months ago, BEV registrations were spectacular in the first quarter of the year in Portugal, achieving a 16.1% share. The second quarter of this year was not bad either, with a 46.6% year-on-year increase. In total, 17,050 electric cars were registered from January to June, 50.4% more than in the same period of 2022, rising from 10.3% to 15.5% market share.
The growth in registrations of plug-in hybrid cars has been somewhat less significant than in the case of fully electric cars in this semester (6.3%), and they account for 11.1% of the total. General plug-in cars increased their market share from 20.8% to 26.6%.
Diesel cars continue to lose attractiveness for the Portuguese drivers, with a drop of 4 percentage points in the market, to 13%. Petrol is also down by 5.5%, although it remains the preferred choice of the Portuguese, with 40.6% of registrations.
Spain is not making progress towards electric mobility
Electric cars have shown a 67.6% growth rate compared to the same period in the previous year, and the total number of registrations has increased by 24%. The percentage of BEV in the market has increased from 3.5% to 4.7%. However, this is not enough. The example of Portugal and France illustrates how far ahead they are in transitioning to electric mobility, although they still have a long way to go.
PHEVs are becoming more popular, and now make up 6.3% of the market. During the first half of the year, plug-in cars made up 11% of total registrations in Spain.
The preference for hybrids (30%) and petrol cars (43.3%) has remained almost constant over the past year in the Iberian country.
Diesel cars registrations in the total market have declined from 17.7% to 13.3%.
Italy remains focused on combustion cars
We still cannot see a clear evolution towards zero-emission mobility in Italy, a country that has increased its registrations by 22.9% in the first half of the year, but the growth of plug-in cars was only 16.2%, losing half a percentage point in the market.
The BEV market has barely grown in percentage terms, only 3 tenths of a percentage point, making up 3.9% of registrations from January to June. This is a worrying stagnation - as in Spain - which threatens the achievement of the European Commission's 2030 targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Combustion cars are maintaining their weight and account for 47.3% of registrations (27.9% petrol and 19.4% diesel).
The fact that an EV, the Tesla Model Y, is the best-selling car in Europe in the first half of the year seems to be an indicator of the way forward in terms of sustainable travel. Even so, as we see in our analysis, some countries, such as Spain and Italy, need to improve (a lot!) to reduce emissions by the deadlines set by the European Union.