EV Sales in Europe Surged 29% in January, Auto Association Reveals

Data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) has revealed that drivers in the European Union registered 92,741 battery electric vehicles (BEVs)  last month. The share of BEVs in Europe increased from 9.5% in January 2023 to 10.9% last January, representing a year-over-year increase of 28.9%.

However, an influx of cheaper electric cars into the EU has caused consumer interest in EVs to spike in recent months. Belgium was the largest market for battery-electric vehicles followed by the Netherlands, France and Germany. These four markets cumulatively accounted for 66% of electric vehicle sales in the European Union.

The United Kingdom and EFTA nations (Norway, Switzerland and Iceland) saw their electric vehicle sales increase by 29.3% year-over-year and cumulatively sold 102,926 BEV units. BEV sales in EFTA nations alone increased from 4,273 units last January to 7,250 units last month (69.7% year-over-year increase). ACEA data also shows that plug-in hybrids and hybrids were popular as well.

Hybrids ranked as the second-most preferred vehicle choice among car buyers in the European Union, with 245,068 registrations in January. Automakers sold 21.4% more hybrids and 24.4% more plug-in hybrids last month compared to January 2023. However, hybrid EV sales in BAFTA nations went down by 4.4% in January 2023 compared to last January while plug-in hybrid sales in the UK increased by 14.7%.

Despite increased consumer interest in BEVs, hybrids and plug-in hybrids, internal combustion engines (ICE) still hold the lion’s share of the vehicle market. Petrol and diesel-powered vehicles accounted for 35.2% and 13.4% of total vehicle sales, followed by hybrids at 28.8%, battery electric vehicles at 10.9% and plug-in hybrids at 7.8%.

As a testament to the EU’s progress in electric vehicle adoption, 8.7% of all the vehicles sold in January had some kind of plug. Most European nations have pledged to incorporate battery electric vehicles into their transportation sectors to help combat climate change.

Transport is currently one of the largest polluters on the planet and accounts for at least one-third of global greenhouse-gas emissions. Replacing internal combustion engines with electric powertrains and eliminating fossil fuel use in vehicular transportation can help cut tailpipe emissions to zero.

Although the modern electric vehicle industry is more than a decade old, EV adoption has been slow for most of the industry’s existence due to high prices. Falling production costs and advancements in EV battery technology are now contributing to lower EV prices and helping to alleviate range anxiety.

This growth in EV sales in Europe is likely to have boosted the sales of brands such as Tesla Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) that have made a mark internationally.

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