EU electric vehicle sales jump 71% helped by subsidies

Source: By Madeline Chambers and Nick Carey, Reuters • Posted: Thursday, June 22, 2023

Vehicles are parked at a cargo terminal at Piraeus port, near Athens
Vehicles are parked at a cargo terminal at Piraeus port, near Athens May 20, 2015. April registrations in Greece rose to 7,801, a 43 percent leap from a year ago and a 19 percent rise from the 6,529 cars sold in March, ACEA figures show. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/FILE PHOTO

BERLIN, June 21 (Reuters) – Electric vehicle (EV) sales in the European Union jumped 71% in May while new car registrations grew for the tenth consecutive month, rising 18.5%, data released by the region’s carmaker association showed on Wednesday.

Sales of EVs and hybrid cars – which have both a battery and combustion engine – have soared in the bloc in the last three years, boosted by government subsidies and corporate fleets looking for low- or zero-emission vehicle options.

The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said that EVs accounted for 13.8% of all car sales in May, up from under 10% a year earlier.

While petrol cars were still the biggest sellers in May, accounting for 36.5% of the market, together with diesel cars pure fossil-fuel models accounted for under 51% of sales.

As recently as 2015, diesel cars alone accounted for more than 50% of all car sales in Europe.

Sales at Europe’s top-selling carmaker Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) rose 19.5% in May, while Renault (RENA.PA) and BMW (BMWG.DE) recorded sales increases of 35.9% and 34.3% respectively.

But Stellantis (STLAM.MI), which has been struggling with logistical problems in delivering cars, saw sales fall 0.2%.

The number of new vehicles registered in May in the EU, Britain and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) grew by 18.2% to 1.12 million units year on year.

Reporting by Madeline Chambers and Nick Carey, Editing by Friederike Heine and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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