EV sales in Europe grows to 125,400

The European car market registered its seventh consecutive month of decline in March 2019. Ongoing political and economic uncertainty, including lack of clarity around Brexit, alongside consumer preoccupation with diesel bans in cities, meant that overall demand continued to decline.

Last month, 19 of the 27 markets included in this release posted negative results – including the top 10 largest markets in Europe. The figures for Q1 provide a broader snapshot into the downward trend, with only six countries recording growth.

While overall demand may be on the decline, the good news is that the electrification shift continues at pace, with a significant result in March. It was the first time that registrations of electrified cars (BEV, PHEV, HEV) exceeded the 100,000 units mark, with a total of 125,400. Demand was up by 31% – mostly driven by German, Norwegian, Spanish and Dutch registrations. Electric and plug-in hybrids counted for almost half of that total, but the real driver of growth was the BEV, whose registrations increased by 85%.

Felipe Munoz, JATO’s global analyst, commented, ‘It was always going to be a challenge to maintain the growth rate we’ve seen in recent years thanks to recent events such as WLTP and legislation around diesel, as well as the impending CO2 targets. Despite the negative trend we’ve been seeing since September last year, the market is still strong in terms of volume and offer. In fact, a slow-down after many years of growth is not bad at all.’

The rapid volume growth of pure electric cars was mainly due to the results of Tesla. Thanks to strong demand for the Model 3 the brand entered the top 25 best-selling brands in Europe. Registrations of the Model 3 jumped from 3,747 units in February (revised) to 15,755 units in March – meaning it was Europe’s top selling electric car.