Self-charging hybrid cars, which run on both an internal combustion engine and a battery, overtook diesel car sales in Europe for the first time in 2021, albeit by just 48 vehicles, according to published data. Wednesday.
According to data from the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers, one in 11 cars sold was battery-electric, totaling just under 880,000 vehicles.
Self-charging hybrid cars contain a battery charged by an internal combustion engine and can usually only travel a limited distance on electricity.
Plug-in hybrids are powered primarily by an externally charged battery and therefore considered more environmentally friendly, but are backed by an internal combustion engine, while battery electric cars run solely on battery power.
A total of 1,901,239 million self-charging hybrid cars were registered in the European Union throughout the year, a significant jump from the 1.1 million recorded in 2020.
Diesel registrations, which have plummeted since the Dieselgate scandal in 2015, fell by a third from last year’s 2.77 million to 1,901,191.
New government subsidies for low- or zero-emission vehicles that have come into effect as part of pandemic stimulus programs have tripled sales of plug-in hybrid and battery-electric vehicles in 2020 to more than one million, with a roughly equal distribution between the two types.
Plug-in hybrids are seen by automakers as a transition technology to fully electric cars, but their green credentials have come under fire from environmental groups as studies have shown drivers rely on the internal combustion engine more than expected. on the battery, pushing up vehicle emissions.
In 2021, battery electric vehicle sales rose 63.1% to nearly 878,500 cars, the data showed, while plug-in hybrid sales rose 70.7% to nearly 867,100. .
Petrol remained the most common type of fuel, but with a lower margin than last year, constituting 40% of new registrations, compared to 48% in 2020.
© Thomson Reuters 2022