Fuel types of new cars: diesel -23.6%, electric +33.1% in fourth quarter of 2018

Brussels, 7 February 2019 – In the fourth quarter of 2018, diesel’s share of the market fell from 41.2% to 34.1%, while petrol continued to further expand its share of new car registrations (from 52.3% to 57.2%).

Electrically-chargeable vehicles accounted for 2.7% of new cars registered across the EU during the last quarter of 2018, while all alternatively-powered vehicles (APV) combined made up 8.6% of the market.

Overall in 2018, more than half of all new passenger cars registered in the EU ran on petrol (56.7%, compared to 50.3% in 2017), while diesel accounted for 35.9% and only 2.0% of new cars were electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECVs).

Petrol and diesel cars

Demand for diesel cars in the EU decreased during the fourth quarter of 2018. Amid a contracting car market, the number of diesel units fell by 23.6% during the last three months of the year. All passenger car markets in the region posted strong declines, including the EU’s five biggest markets.

Despite overall car registrations falling by 272,798 units (or -7.9%) during the last quarter of 2018, the number of new petrol cars still grew by 0.8% when compared to 2017, which translates into petrol further expanding its share of the EU market by 5 percentage points. Registrations of petrol cars increased in each of the five big EU markets, except for Germany (-9.9%).

Alternatively-powered vehicles (APV)

In the fourth quarter of 2018, registrations of alternatively-powered cars across the European Union grew significantly (+21.1%). ECVs lead this growth with the highest percentage gain (+33.1%), notably driven by an uplift of the battery-electric segment (+88.7%), but registrations of plug-in hybrids saw their first drop since 2016 (-7.9%).

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) also performed very well (+31.1%) during the last quarter of the year, accounting for more than half of all APV registrations. By contrast, demand for LPG and NGV vehicles fell by 13.8% in the fourth quarter – recording a sharp decline in registrations of natural gas cars.