Nearly half of new passenger cars in EU electrified -ACEA

FILE PHOTO: Car traffic makes its way on a road in front of Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

By Alessandro Parodi and Greta Rosen Fondahn

(Reuters) - Sales of electric cars in the European Union were almost half of all new passenger car registrations in the EU between January and November 2023 and already crossed the halfway mark in the month of November alone, data showed on Wednesday.

Electrified vehicles - either fully electric models, plug-in hybrids or full hybrids - accounted for over 47.6% of all new passenger car registrations in the EU as of November, up from 43% in the same period last year, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said.

New-car registrations in the EU increased 6.7% in November, the 16th consecutive month of growth, with a year-on-year rise of 13.3% in the registration of electric vehicles. Petrol car registrations grew by 4.2%, while diesel dropped by 10.3%, the data showed.

Registrations of fully electric cars rose 16.4% from a year earlier, to 144,378 vehicles, even as registrations in Germany, the biggest EV market in Europe, fell by 22.5% to 44,942 vehicles.

In the electrified market, consumers continued to prefer hybrid-electric vehicles, with a year-on-year surge of 28.7%, while demand for plug-in hybrids declined by 22.1%.

Registrations of hybrid-electric cars in Germany, France and Italy were over 1.5 million vehicles year-to-date out of almost 2.5 million total vehicles in the EU.

Despite the rise of electric vehicles, the ACEA said earlier in December that in Europe the EV sector risks falling behind other regions' EV sectors without a robust EU industrial strategy, amid China's dominance of the supply chain and U.S. incentives for its automakers.

Some car makers and analysts have also cited a plateau in demand for electric vehicles over the past months. Europe's largest car maker, Volkswagen, said in October that demand for EVs was not developing as expected, while luxury vehicle maker Mercedes-Benz warned of a "brutal" EV market of heavy price cuts and supply-chain issues.

Registrations at Volkswagen and Renault rose by 11.4% and 6.1%, respectively, in November, while registrations dropped by 7.3% for Stellantis, the ACEA said.

Elon Musk's electric car company, Tesla, recorded a jump of almost 45% in the same month, making up nearly 22% of fully electric car registrations in the EU.

The number of new vehicles registered in November in the EU, Britain and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) grew by 6% to 1.08 million vehicles, the ACEA said.

(Reporting by Alessandro Parodi and Greta Rosen Fondahn in Gdansk; Additional reporting by Victoria Waldersee in Berlin; Editing by Matthew Lewis)