Sales of all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in Europe surpassed diesel vehicles for the first time ever in August 2021, according to data from JATO Dynamics.
EVs and plug-in hybrids took a 21% market share with 151,737 vehicles sold in total, while diesels had a 20% share with 141,635 units. Petrol-powered vehicles, however, still took the top spot with a 56% market share.
Although this is the first time EVs and PHEVs have overtaken diesels in terms of units sold, in absolute numbers, it is not their best month, but their second-best month in history.
To put this level of demand for electric vehicles into perspective, from January to August 2021, 1.32m BEVs and PHEVs were sold in total, compared to just 158,300 units from the same period in 2020.
Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said: “Although deals and incentives have played a significant part in boosting demand, we have seen a fundamental shift in buying habits as more appealing models have entered the market and consumers have become aware of the benefits attached to EVs.”
Despite demand for EVs and PHEVs continuing to grow, the number of new car registrations slowed in the month of August.
At 713,714 units, this is 18% lower than in 2020, and the lowest since 2014.
Felipe Munoz said: “The chip shortage has been a major setback for OEMs still grappling with the effects of the pandemic. Production issues and delays in the delivery of new cars have been damaging to sales, and the lack of availability at dealerships is forcing many consumers to either look for used cars or simply delay their purchase.”
Last month’s decline however did not affect the overall growth registered during the second quarter of the year. The total market volume from January to August 2021 in Europe was 8,095,419 registered vehicles, which is higher than the 7,192,839 units registered last year.