30 Aug 23

EU Car Market Sees Strong Recovery and EV Surge in July 2023

EU Car Market Sees Strong Recovery and EV Surge in July 2023

According to research by ACEA (European Automobile Manufacturers' Association), in July 2023, the EU car market continued its growth streak by 15.2% – the twelfth consecutive month. New car registrations hit 851,156 units as the bloc rebounded from last year's component shortages.

Most markets, including France (+19.9%), Germany (+18.1%), Spain (+10.7%), and Italy (+8.7%), posted solid growth. From January to July 2023, new EU car registrations grew significantly (+17.6%), totalling 6.3 million units. Despite signs of recovery from pandemic-related disruptions, year-to-date volumes are still 22% lower than in 2019. Double-digit gains were evident in most markets during this seven-month period, including Spain (+21.9%), Italy (+20.9%), France (+15.8%), and Germany (+13.6%).

Fuel Types of New Cars: Electrification Dominates the Landscape

In July, battery-electric cars' market share rose to 13.6% (up from 9.8% the prior year), while hybrid-electric cars maintained their position as the second choice, capturing over a quarter of the market. However, internal combustion engine (ICE) cars, including petrol and diesel models, retained a combined market share of half of new car sales.

Electric Cars: Surge in Battery-Electric Registrations

In July, new EU battery-electric car registrations surged by 60.6%, reaching 115,971 units and constituting 13.6% of the market. Most EU markets achieved significant double- and triple-digit gains, including Germany (+68.9%) and France (+32.4%). Belgium reported the highest BEV sales, with a remarkable 235.9% growth. Cumulatively, battery-electric car sales grew by 54.7% from January to July, with 819,725 units registered. New hybrid-electric car registrations also grew by 31.6% in July, propelled by solid growth in major markets like Germany (+46.6%), France (+32.8%), Spain (+30.8%), and Italy (+16.7%). This resulted in a compound 28.5% increase, with almost 1.6 million units sold between January and July, equating to one-quarter of the market share. In the same month, new EU plug-in hybrid car registrations increased by 14.5%, reaching 67,060 units. Strong performance in markets like the Netherlands (+107.6%), France (+80%), and Spain (+42.7%) offset a decline in Germany (-39.5%), the largest market for this fuel type. Despite growth, the market share of plug-in hybrid cars remained stable at 7.9% in July.

Petrol and Diesel Cars: Mixed Performance

The EU petrol car market grew by 5% in July, hitting 304,903 units. However, the market share dropped from 39.3% to 35.8% compared to last July. This growth was primarily driven by notable performances in major markets, especially France (+16.4%) and Germany (+12.5%). Over 2.3 million petrol cars were sold in the first seven months of this year, marking a substantial 14.3% increase compared to 2022. In contrast, the EU's diesel car market continued to decline (-9.1% in July) despite growth in Germany (+2.7%) and Central and Eastern European markets, notably Slovakia (+36.1%) and Romania (+19.8%). Diesel cars now account for a market share of 14.1%, down from 17.9% in July last year.

Image: Shutterstock 1040943397 - Virrage Images

Authored by: Alison Pittaway