In 2020, one in ten individual vehicles sold was an electric or plug-in hybrid car. A trend that accelerated at the end of the year, as the automotive industry seeks to renew itself in the midst of a health crisis.
The year 2020 will be remembered for car manufacturers and the entire industry: they have indeed suffered a significant drop in their sales by a quarter, due to the consequences of the health crisis on their activity. But there is still a ray of sunshine: electric vehicles and rechargeable / non-rechargeable hybrids have seen a great improvement. Better still: for the first time in Europe, sales of this type of car exceeded those of diesel in the last quarter of 2020, with more than 900,000 vehicles sold! Over the year as a whole, 538,772 electric cars were sold, as well as 507,059 plug-in hybrid vehicles, according to the Association of European Manufacturers (ACEA).
Electric and hybrid cars: the push for soft energies
Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy have been particularly fond of these alternative engines, thanks to the premiums and other ecological bonuses offered by governments to support the activity of the sector. The last three months have been particularly active: while sales of gasoline vehicles have slumped by 33.7% to 1.2 million units, those of diesel vehicles have fallen by 23% (731,000 units). We had to look for progress in electrics (+ 217% to 248,000 units), rechargeable hybrids (+331%, 227,000 units), non-rechargeable hybrids (+ 104.7%, 435,000 units) and other energies such as LPG, E85 and natural gas (+ 19.6%, 70,000 copies).
A ray of sunshine thanks to the increase in electric sales
Over the year as a whole, hybrid cars represented 11.9% of the European market, electric and plug-in hybrids 10.5%, and other energies 2.1%. We are still quite far from the gasoline models which constitute the bulk of the market (47%), but diesel is threatened: it weighs only 28%. We understand better in the light of these figures why manufacturers are increasing the number of new electric and hybrid models. There is no question of missing a wave strongly favored by governments.