So far this year, electric vehicle (EV) sales in the European market have shown an increase compared to 2022 figures, according to the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT).
With just over 2.5 million, registrations of new zero-emission cars in the region increased by 14% in the third quarter compared to the same period last year.
However, in this sector, local automakers lost their popularity within the total market share.
Specifically, three foreign brands (outside the European Union) showed a 50% growth in registrations in the regional market compared to their performance in 2022.
This trio is made up of the American Tesla, the Japanese Honda, and the English Jaguar Land Rover.
Another standout brand is Volvo, which boasts a 33% increase. Although the brand was founded in Sweden, it was acquired by the Chinese investors Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in a transaction during 2010.
The fourth position is occupied by the German company BMW, with a 20% increase. Thus, the European leader.
It is worth mentioning that the average market share of battery electric vehicles (BEV) from January to September was approximately 15%, with a market share of 17% in the third quarter.
As for models, the triumph is also foreign, as the best-selling model in the region is the Tesla Model Y.
During the first half of the year, the Model Y became the favorite of European users, with 136,564 units sold and a growth of 204%.
On the other hand, it is noteworthy that there is a decline in the demand for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV).
In the third quarter of the year, the average share of PHEVs remained below 2022 levels by approximately two percentage points.
Nordic Countries Lead BEV and PHEV Market Sales
Between January and September 2023, the market share of BEVs and PHEVs averaged 23% in Europe.
While several countries showed notable numbers, the Nordic countries lead the ranking.
The industries that exceed 50% of green fleets within all sales are Norway with 90%, Sweden with 59%, Iceland with 54%, and Finland with 53%.
Other examples that surpass the European average are the Netherlands and Denmark with 43%, Belgium with 38%, and Luxembourg with 31%.
Belgium, specifically, shows the highest increase in BEV sales compared to 2022, with a rise of 12 percentage points.
It is worth noting that in Germany, new sales of this type of cars also reached 23% in the third quarter.
This six-percentage-point increase in the Bavarian country compared to the same period in 2022 can be largely attributed to the rush to buy electrified cars before the elimination of subsidies.
Defending the Territory: China vs. EU
Given the notable presence of foreign firms in the EU, authorities of the European Commission decided to take action.
It turns out that while Western car manufacturers increased the cost of electric vehicles, Chinese groups halved the average price between 2015 and the first half of 2022.
The brands from the Asian country account for 8.4% of the European EV’s market.
This figure is rather high considering that in 2019, the percentage was almost zero.
This situation occurs mainly because imports of new EVs from China are being subsidized.
Consequently, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced on September 13 the start of an investigation into the matter, as the incentives provided by the Chinese government lead to “artificially low” prices for their cars.
The inquiry is currently ongoing with a view to having answers by 2024.