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Sales of electric vehicles in Europe in the first quarter of 2024

Vehicle registrations in Norway, Sweden, the UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain: Discover the trends at the start of the year!

Benjamin Vindry
May 7, 2024
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Let's find out car registrations by energy source, focusing on eight European countries: Norway, Sweden, the UK, Germany, France, Portugal, Italy and Spain :


The evolution of the European automotive market in the first quarter of 2024 shows a progression in favor of cleaner technologies, this is also felt on the Electromaps side with a steady increase in the number of charging stations on our interactive map as well as contributions from our users.

Indeed, 2024 began under the banner of innovation and commitment to sustainable development. With increasingly stringent environmental regulations and tax breaks for low-emission vehicles, more and more European consumers are opting for electric vehicles. However, adoption varies considerably from country to country due to economic factors, charging infrastructure and public awareness.

Let's take a look at the data for each of these countries over the first three months of the year.

Norway, the undisputed leader

Norway continues to dominate the European EV market. In the first quarter of 2024, passenger car sales in Norway showed apositive trend, particularly for electric vehicles. In January 2024, 4,717 electric cars were registered, accounting for around 90.1% of all new car registrations that month. In March, this figure rose to 16,811 new electric cars, bringing the total for the first quarter to around 48,691 units

By comparison, the first quarter of 2023 saw a total of 24,231 new electric vehicle registrations. Demonstrating a significant year-on-year increase in sales.

This increase is mainly due to the growing popularity of electric vehicles, which now account for a large majority of new cars sold in Norway, with the government estimating that by 2025, Norway will be the first country to have more electric vehicles on the road than combustion vehicles. The Tesla Model Y continues to dominate the market, being the best-selling model during these periods.

In Sweden, EV sales stable despite a slowing market

In the first quarter of 2024, passenger car sales in Sweden reached 59,822 units, marking a drop of 5.5% compared to the same period last year. This decline is more pronounced compared with the average for the last five years, with a fall of 18%. The share of electric cars in new registrations remained stable at 31% for the quarter.

This downward trend could be influenced by several factors, including the expiry of tax incentives in the form of climate bonuses, which were previously offered for the purchase of low-emission vehicles​ 

United Kingdom, growing market, electric vehicles slightly stagnant

In the first quarter of 2024, UK passenger car sales reached 545,548 units, marking a 10.38% increase on the same quarter in 2023, which recorded 494,260 units. This growth is notable against a backdrop where the automotive industry has faced challenges such as high interest rates and inflation, but has benefited from an improvement in vehicle supply that has stimulated a recovery in volumes

Brands that saw the biggest increases in sales included BYD with a spectacular rise of 3,658.82%, reflecting a growing adoption of electric vehicles in the UK market. Other brands such as Volvo and Vauxhall also saw significant increases of 32.90% and 28.63% respectively. However, some brands suffered declines, such as Tesla, which saw sales fall by 33.34% year-on-year. Tesla's sharp decline is reflected in the global sales of electric vehicles, which rose by just 0.1% compared with the first quarter of 2023, to 15.5%.

This performance indicates a recovering market and a continued shift towards electric vehicles, despite persistent economic challenges.

Favorable outlook in Germany

In the first quarter of 2024, the German automotive market recorded an increase in new car registrations of 4.2% compared with the same period in 2023. This first quarter saw a total of almost 2.8 million cars registered in the European Union, with Germany making a significant contribution to this growth. Nevertheless, in March 2024, there was a slight drop in sales of 5.2% due to seasonal factors such as the Easter vacations, which affected most European markets, including Germany.

In terms of vehicle types, battery-electric car registrations fell slightly from 13.9% market share in March 2023 to 13% in March 2024, reflecting a general decline in the market. However, hybrid electric cars saw their share increase from 24.4% to 29%, reflecting growing interest in greener alternatives.

In France, all indicators are positive!

In the first quarter of 2024, the French automotive market saw an overall increase in new car registrations of 5.7%, with a total of 444,903 units registered. This represents a marked improvement on the previous year, showing a gradual recovery in the market after the difficult periods associated with the pandemic and supply chain disruptions. However, March 2024 saw a 1.5% drop on March 2023, with 180,024 new registrations.

Concerning sales of electric vehicles the figures are positive, indeed, the latter represent 18.9% of total new registrations this quarter, which is 11% more than in Q1 2023, so the all-electric market is continuing to grow steadily!

Compared with the European Union as a whole, where new car registrations fell by 12% in Q1, France performed better than several other European markets. This resilience can be attributed to a stronger economic recovery and continued incentives for electric and hybrid vehicles, which are gaining in popularity.

Spain stagnates on the road to electric mobility

In the first quarter of 2024, sales of passenger cars in Spain showed a notable decrease. Compared with the first quarter of 2023, the market recorded an overall drop of 17%, with a total of 183,500 vehicles sold in the first quarter of 2024. This decline was observed despite a 6% increase in March 2024 sales compared with February of the same year, indicating some recovery towards the end of the quarter.

As far as electric vehicles are concerned, the Spanish market unfortunately saw little change. In the first quarter of 2024, 36,000 electric vehicles were sold, representing a 1% increase over the same period in 2023, when 32,000 electric vehicles were sold, so the share of electric vehicles sold rose from 10% in 2023 to 11% at the end of this quarter. Fortunately, the share of hybrid vehicles has increased by 6.3%.

These trends reflect the challenges facing the Spanish automotive market as it makes the transition to green mobility. But the growing interest in hybrid vehicles is encouraging!

In Italy, the electric vehicle market is wrecked

Passenger Car Sales - Italy - Q1 2024

Zero-emission mobility doesn't have a bright future ahead of it in Italy,

In March 2024, the Italian automotive market recorded a decline of 3.7%, totaling 162,083 registered vehicles, but posted an increase of 5.7% in the first quarter with 451,261 units sold.The overall figures are therefore rather good, with a growing market despite a difficult March. However, a closer look reveals that in terms of electric mobility, this first quarter was catastrophic: Electric vehicle sales plunged by 34.5%, accounting for just 3.3% of the market.Hybrid vehicles held up better with an 8.9% increase, capturing 39% of the market.

Sales of petrol and diesel vehicles evolved divergently, with petrol increasing by 6.4% and diesel falling by 28%.

We can thus feel that Italy still gives a great deal of space to thermal vehicles and has a much harder time with all-electric, the hope of a transition is nonetheless quite present when we note the growing interest of the population in hybrid vehicles.

Benjamin Vindry
May 7, 2024
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