In Europe, electric vehicles are slipping and hybrids are a hit

The European automobile market shows growth of 10.1% compared to 2023, with a volume of 883,608 units sold in February 2024. The market share of electric cars, for its part, stagnates at 12%, unlike vehicles hybrids which increased by 24.7% over one year.

Electric vehicles saw their market share stagnate at 12% in February 2024, compared to 14.6% for the whole of 2023. ©AdobeStock-ake1150

The automobile sector recovered in February 2024. At the same time, it is not difficult when we compare the situation to February 2023, a year when semiconductor shortages were still weighing down the market. Thus, registrations of electric cars in the European Union increased in volume in February 2024 (106,187 units, +9% year-on-year) like the entire market (883,608 units, +10.1%), according to figures from the European Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

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But after two years of strong growth, electrics saw their market share stagnate at 12% in February, compared to 14.6% for the whole of 2023. This is notably the effect of a sharp decline in sales in Germany (-15.4%), the main European market, where purchasing aid was suddenly removed at the end of 2023. Electrics remained just as weak in other major markets such as Spain or Italy, but they continued to progress in France (thanks to the social leasing system), in Belgium and in the Netherlands.

Strongly growing hybrids

More dynamic than electric cars, hybrid cars accounted for the bulk of sales growth in most countries with 255,511 units put on the road (+24.7% over one year). Hybrids now represent 28.9% of the market and are increasingly trailing gasoline cars with their 35.5% market share (313,821 units, +6.1%).

While the sale of thermal engine cars will be banned in Europe in 2035, all manufacturers have increased their offering of hybrid and electric cars. But hybrids remain for the moment more accessible than electric ones, and more versatile. Diesel cars continue to decline (113,891 units, -5.1%), despite a slight rebound in Germany. They represent 12.9% of the market.

New cars on the rise

All engines combined, the new car market grew by 5.4% in Germany, 13% in France, 12.8% in Italy and 9.9% in Spain. The Stellantis group primarily benefits from this increase with 172,268 cars sold (+12% and 19.5% market share), in particular thanks to a rebound in its Citroën brand.

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European leader Volkswagen also shows progress compared to the low comparison base of February 2023, with 25.9% market share (228,886 units, +9.8%). The Renault group saw its market share decline to 10.4% (91,722 units, +5.8%). The Toyota group, for its part, shows clear progress (+16.8%) and is tied with Hyundai-Kia (+2.3%), at 7.8% market share. (With AFP)

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