11 Feb 19

Diesel continues its downfall in EU, electricity reaches new highs

In 2018, diesel continued its downfall in fleet, petrol increased its market share once more and electrically charged vehicles grew by 1/3 although the latter’s total market share remains small.

According to numbers published by ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, more than half of all new passenger cars registered in the EU now run on petrol. Data excludes Croation, Cyprus, Luxembourg and Malta.

  2017 2018
Diesel 44.0% ▼ 35.9%
Petrol 50.3% ▲ 56.7%
Electrically-chargeable 1.5% ▲ 2.0%
Hybrid electric 2.8% ▲ 3.8%
Alternative other than electric 1.4% ▲ 1.5%

In the last quarter of 2018 in particular, demand for diesels suffered strongly. The number of diesel units fell by 23.6% during the last three months of the year. All passenger car markets in the regions posted strong declines.

Despite overall car registrations falling by almost 8% (-272,798 units) during the fourth quarter, the number of petrol cars still grew by 0.8% compared to the previous year. Registrations for petrol cars increased in each of the five big EU markets except for Germany where they decreased by 9.9%.

Alternatively-powered vehicles

The share of alternatively-powered vehicles grew in all segments. Electrically-chargeable cars gained 33.1% in the last quarter, in large part attributable to battery-electric cars. Plug-in hybrids saw there first drop since 2016 (-7.9%).

Hybrid electric vehicles also did very well (+31.1%) during the last quarter of 2018. In contrast, demand for LPG and NGV cars fell by 13.8% in the last three months.

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck