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Electric Powertrains Overtake Diesel in Europe

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More electric-powered vehicles were registered in Europe than diesel-powered models this September – a first.

This would have been unthinkable a few years ago, especially before the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. However, a little more than five years after that scandal broke, the transformation has been remarkable, with more new electric-powered models being registered in Europe than diesel-engine ones this past September.

Ten years ago, diesel was, if not king, extremely common on the Old Continent and electric vehicles were still a thing of the future. But last month, electrified models accounted for a little over 25 percent of new registrations, just outpacing diesel-powered products (24.8 percent).

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The trend for new diesel-vehicle registrations has been on a downward slope since 2012, it should be noted. At that time, they accounted for 50 percent of the new car market.

“The shift from ICEs to EVs is finally taking place. Although this is largely down to government policies and incentives, consumers are also now ready to adopt these new technologies,” said Felipe Munoz, an analyst with JATO, a firm that analyzes market trends.

A report produced by the JATO firm notes that “demand for gasoline and diesel cars shows double-digit drops compared to September 2019 while the volume of EVs increased by 139% to 327,800 units — a record in terms of both volume and market share. This is the first time that EVs have broken the 300,000 units monthly mark, and only the second time that they have counted for more than 20% of registrations.”

Of course, the gasoline engine is still king with a 47 percent share of the European new-vehicle market, but that proportion was 60 percent just a year ago. No doubt the trend will continue and before too long we can expect electric-powered models to overtake ICE vehicles as well.  

And all of this will be accelerated the day when the acquisition costs will be the same between the two types of vehicles.