People Are Buying More Electric Cars Than Diesels In Europe For The First Time

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The notorious scandal at the VW Group sparked the beginning of the end for diesel engines in Europe. Not only that, but increasingly stringent emissions regulations make oil burners even more vulnerable to extinction, which is why many automakers have stopped offering diesel engines in smaller cars. The June sales figures released by the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers don’t lie – demand for diesel cars is on a downward trend.

In European Union countries, the diesel engine market share shrank to just 13.4 percent last month, significantly lower than the 17.4 percent achieved in June 2022. Weaker demand allowed pure electric vehicles to outpace diesel engines for the first time. Indeed, zero-emission cars accounted for 15.1 percent of the total share, or up from 10.7 percent in June 2022. Self-charging hybrids are also more popular than diesels thanks to a 24.3 percent market share while PHEVs represent 7.9 percent of total demand, or down from 8.2 percent in June 2022.

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The ACEA study shows that gasoline remains king for now, with just over a third of all sales, at 36.3 percent. That translates to 379,067 cars, or 11 percent more than in June 2022. Despite the upturn in sales figures, market share actually fell from 38.5 percent to 36.3 percent due to the rise in EVs.

Although diesel engines have gradually fallen out of favor in the European Union, ACEA recorded a significant sales increase of 10.3 percent in Germany as well as in the Central European market. Romania had the largest growth (by percentage) in June 2023 compared to the same month last year, with sales of new diesel cars increasing by 22.4 percent.

Overall, sales of new cars (all powertrain types) jumped in the EU during the first six months of 2023 by 17.9 percent to 5.4 million vehicles, but that was still 21 percent lower than in the first half of 2019, before the pandemic. ACEA points out that supply chain bottlenecks are increasingly becoming a problem, even though people still have a long wait for some models.

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With Euro 7 regulations slated to come into effect in 2025, we hope automakers can accelerate the transition to EVs. In other words, there will be fewer pure ICE cars for sale. The VW Group has warned that B-segment cars are in danger because changing their engines to comply with stricter laws could make these models too expensive.

From 2035, automakers active in the EU will not be able to sell new cars that produce harmful emissions.