Electric cars sales jumped in Europe, ACEA data show

Photo: EPA Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis (C) and Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess (C-R) during a delivery ceremony of Volkswagen ID.4 electric cars and chargers to the Greek police on the island of Astypalea, 2 June 2021.

Electric cars, key to reducing emissions and meeting climate change goals, have boosted their market share in Europe, data showed on Friday, as the region prepares to abandon petrol and diesel, dpa reported. Battery electric vehicles more than doubled their share of new car sales in Europe in the second quarter, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA) which groups together major car firms.

All-electric vehicles accounted for 7.5% of new car sales in Europe in the three months from April through June, against 3.5% during that period last year. In absolute terms, sales of battery electric vehicles more than tripled across Europe to reach 210,298 cars.

The ACEA said there were substantial gains in the region's top four markets, led by sales more than quadrupling in Spain and Germany.

The publication of the data comes a week after the European Commission unveiled plans for what amounts to an effective ban on sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2035. It believes such a move is necessary for Europe to meet its goal of becoming carbon neutral by mid-century and meet its goals under the 2015 Paris accord that aims to limit the global rise in temperatures.

The ACEA also found sales jumped of different types of hybrid vehicles, which are seen by some as a transitional technology as they can reduce emissions from standard petrol or diesel vehicles.

Meanwhile, registrations of new petrol and diesel vehicles increased given the low number of vehicles sold in the second quarter last year, when many European countries had severe restrictions on businesses due to the pandemic. But in terms of market share, which shows the relative weight of the current choices being made by consumers, both petrol and diesel saw huge drops.

The data also comes as a growing number of automakers are unveiling their plans to shift to all-electric vehicles as policymakers indicate the days of internal combustion engines are numbered. Daimler was the latest, announcing Thursday that from 2025 it would introduce only electric new car platforms as it prepares to be ready to make a complete shift by 2030.

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