Figures published by ACEA show that petrol and diesel continue to lose ground in Europe. During the first half of 2022, only 38.3% of the European car market consisted of sales of gasoline-powered cars, i.e. 2,144,530 units (-22.1%). For diesel it is even worse as the market share fell to 15.5% against 16.8% in the first quarter with 866,098 registrations (- 32.1%). The non-rechargeable hybrid, for its part, continues – slightly – its progression with 1,323,679 units (+ 2.2%), allowing it to achieve 23.6% of the market.
While LPG and E85 are also on the rise (+25.7%), the rechargeable hybrid, whose ecological benefits are being called into question, on the other hand appears to be in decline (-12%). Similarly, NGV collapsed, whose demand is mainly driven by the Italian market (-59.3%). In this context, it is first of all the increase in the electricity output (+ 31.6% with 647,479 units, i.e. a market share of 11.6%), which is particularly scrutinized, at a time when the EU The European Union is obliged to to ban the sale of thermal motor cars by 2035. But an in-depth analysis of the data shows that there is a real geographical and economic gap in the European electric car market.
Car sales by energy in Europe (6 months 2022)
Petrol: 2,144,530 units (-22.1%), market share 38.3%
Hybrid: 1,323,679 units (+2.2%), market share 23.6%
Diesel: 866,098 units (-32.1%), market share 15.5%
Electric: 647,479 units (+31.6%), PDM 11.6%
Plug-in hybrid: 472,722 units (-12%), PDM 8.4%
LPG + E85: 132,611 units (+25.7%), market share 2.4%
CNG: 11,324 units (-59.3%), PDM 0.2%
Total: 5,597,656 units (-13.7%)
READ. The car market in Europe. A first half of 2022 in the red
Divide between north and west on one side, south and east on the other
Germany, which is the leading car country in Europe, thus has the highest sales of electric cars with 167,503 units sold (+ 12.5%) in the first half of 2022, i.e. 13.5% of the total volume. But it is neither the most dynamic market nor the one with the highest electricity mix. In terms of electric sales volumes, two other major car countries are in the top 5, namely the UK (115,249 units, +56%) and France (93,344 units, +28.7%), as well as two Scandinavian countries known for their proactive policies in this area, namely Norway (54,177 units, +12.7%) and Sweden (39,722 units, +75.7%).
Regardless of whether it applies to electric mix or volume, the observation is however identical: the penetration of electric cars is much greater in countries located in western and northern Europe than in southern and eastern countries, which shows much lower economic health and purchasing power per inhabitant.
The 5 main markets in Europe for electric cars (6 months 2022)
- Germany: 167,503 units (+12.5%), PDM 13.5%
- UK: 115,249 units (+56%), market share 14.4%
- France: 93,344 units (+28.7%), PDM 12.1%
- Norway: 54,177 units (+12.7%), PDM 79.1%
- Sweden: 39,722 units (+ 75.7%), PDM 27.5%
READ. French car market. Sales by energy in June 2022
An electricity mix of over 20% in just three countries
In detail, fourteen European countries now have an electricity mix above 10%, including Germany, France and the United Kingdom, but only three are above 20%: Norway (79.1%), Sweden (27.5%) and Iceland (26 %). To notice it several modest or medium-sized European car markets are among the best, such as the Netherlands (19.3%), Denmark (16.6%), Switzerland (16.5%) or Luxembourg (14.7%).
Conversely, sixteen countries included in the area counted by ACEA* have a (very) low electricity penetration rate. With the exception of Belgium (8.8%), Romania (7.6%) and even Latvia (5%), EV sales remain anecdotal there, representing less than 5% of the mix. Slovakia, which claims to be “the world’s largest car manufacturer in relation to the number of inhabitants”, with especially Stellantis or Volkswagen factories on its land, thus appears to be the furthest behind with only 1.7% of electric cars, or 665 units in a half-yearly market of 39,953 units. Although there are also several “small” car markets, we should note the presence of two major European players in the sector: Italy (3.6%) and Spain (3.5%).
So that the ban on the sale of thermoelectric cars in the EU from 2035 does not turn into a failure for the automotive industry on the old continent, significant accompanying measures therefore seem necessary at this stage. Unless the review clause planned for 2026 results in a relaxation of the schedule.
The 10 European car markets with the highest electric mix (6 months 2022)
- Norway: 79.1%
- Sweden: 27.5%
- Iceland: 26%
- Netherlands: 19.3%
- Denmark: 16.6%
- Switzerland: 16.5%
- Luxembourg: 14.7%
- UK: 14.4%
- Finland: 13.7%
- Germany: 13.5%
The 10 European car markets with the lowest electric mix (6 months 2022)
- Slovakia: 1.7%
- Czech Republic: 2%
- Croatia: 2%
- Greece: 2.3%
- Poland: 2.3%
- Cyprus: 2.9%
- Estonia: 3.3%
- Bulgaria: 3.3%
- Spain: 3.5%
- Italy: 3.6%
*Figures including EU countries, Great Britain, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. Development in relation to 2021.