insufficient progress in Europe

Electric car charging station Auto

Electric car charging station

Each year, the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) publishes its report on the progress in Europe of vehicles that are electrified or run on CNG, LPG and ethanol. All-electric models and hybrids have largely established themselves in 2019.

Wind in the sails for hybrids

It’s no surprise that hybrid passenger cars accounted for the bulk of sales of electrified models: 66.1%. The ACEA here combines the Full Hybrid architectures revealed with the Toyota Prius and the light hybridizations (Mild Hybrid) that equip, for example, the Fiat 500, Hyundai i20, Suzuki Swift, Volvo XC60, Land Rover Evoque, and Audi A4.

They make it possible to reduce CO2 emissions by 20-40 and 10-20% respectively compared to their thermal equivalents. While sales of diesel models fell almost 14% between 2018 and 2019, hybrids grew by 50% last year.

The rechargeable versions have traced their path more discreetly: + 13.75%. They represented 12.8% of sales of electrified models.

insufficient progress in Europe

Gearbox for electric cars

ACEA is delighted to see a significant 94% increase in battery-powered electric cars between 2018 and 2019 in Europe. The percentage was slightly over 50% in the previous 2 years.

This technology now accounts for 21% of sales of electrified passenger cars. This is the first time that these machines have been used on all cars running on bioethanol or LPG: 284,812 units compared to 187,378. In 2018, electrics only represented 147,428 sales compared to 164,270 GPL + E85. And in 2014: 37,517 against 141,452.

Even if their share has doubled, hydrogen fuel cell electrics remain few in number: 535 sales in 2019 (0.04% of electrified passenger car sales) for the Europe of the 28, then including the United Kingdom.

10.6% of alternative energy cars

With an increase of just over 5%, CNG cars sold more for the second year in a row, after several years of decline. ACEA counts 68,581 acquisitions for them in 2019 in the EU28. Which is still far from their 2015 level: 78,511 units.

Sales of alternative energy vehicles represented 10.6%, in a market still very largely dominated by diesel (30.5%) and especially gasoline engines, which have been growing steadily for at least 5 years. The share is lower with light commercial vehicles: 2.8% (VUE = 1.2%; CNG = 0.7%; LPG + E85 = 0.6%) compared to 92.8% of diesel.

Between 2014 and 2019, only hybrid and 100% electric cars in this mix experienced significant progress with respectively 4.5 and 1.6 additional points in their percentage of representation.

Insufficient progress to meet European requirements in terms of reducing CO2 emissions. Especially when the average per kilometer remains on the rise.

insufficient progress in Europe

CO2 emissions

After ten years of decline, average CO2 emissions were on the rise in 2019 for the third time in a row in Europe for passenger car sales: + 1.8%. This is due to a larger share of heavy models. The highest figures were noticed in Bulgaria (137.6 grams of CO2 per km), Slovakia (133.4 g), Luxembourg (133 g), Poland and Lithuania (132 g). The 5 best students are the Netherlands (98.4 g), Malta (105.3 g), Portugal (109.4 g), Denmark (111.9 g) and France (113.7 g) .

Upward trend also (+ 0.4%) for light commercial vehicles. Here, the countries credited with the heaviest averages are Slovakia (174.3 grams of CO2 per km), Lithuania (172.7 g), Germany (172 g), the Czech Republic (171.8 g) and Austria (170.8 g). On the other hand, the most virtuous: Cyprus (131.9 g), Portugal (138.1 g), Malta (140.7 g), Croatia (144.6 g) and Bulgaria (145.1 g) . France is between the two blocks, with an emission average calculated in 2019 for its light commercial vehicles of 151.1 grams.


The most plug-in cars (EV + PHEV = 108,629 units), hybrids (Full + Mild = 193,902) and H2 battery-powered EVs (210 units) were sold in Germany in 2019. Italy stands out for its preference for NGV architectures (38,615 VP), the Netherlands for its 15% EV in its car sales in 2019, and Spain for the 8.6% of hybrids in its mix .

Leaving the United Kingdom (72,766 units) and the Netherlands (66,801) ahead of it, France ranks 4th in the EU-28 for electric car sales. Ditto for EVs with PAC H2 (63 sales recorded in 2019, compared to 156 for the Netherlands and 68 in the United Kingdom). It is 5th for hybrids (106,781 copies), after the United Kingdom (156,178), Italy (109,789) and Spain (108,684). However, it is in France that the largest number of light commercial vehicles (8,087 units) and hybrids (1,861) have been acquired.

Overall, the Eastern countries find themselves in the red lanterns of alternative energy mobility. Be careful, however, with only 2,693 and 3,355 sales in their territories, Estonia and Lithuania respectively reached 8.1 and 7.3% of hybrids in passenger car sales last year.

insufficient progress in Europe

Aid for the purchase of electric cars

For several years, ACEA has been warning about the development of electric vehicles that primarily benefit the inhabitants of the richest countries. She is campaigning for purchasing incentives to be generalized in Europe.

Last year, bonuses were still non-existent in Belgium, Bulgaria, Latvia, Denmark, Cyprus and Malta. The 10 most generous governments in this area are located in Romania (up to 11,500 euros in grants), Croatia (9,200 euros), Germany (9,000 euros), Poland (8,350 euros), Slovakia (8,000 euros), Slovenia (7,500 euros), Hungary (7,350 euros), France (7,000 euros), Greece (6,500 euros) and Italy (6,000 euros).

Tax advantages supplement the purchasing aid. So all the countries of the EU in one way or another offer facilities for driving an electric car.

Energy supply

By the end of 2019, ACEA reports a European fleet of almost 200,000 charging points (+ 480% since 2014). In 4 countries, more than 10,000 of these PDCs are scattered: the Netherlands (50,824 PDC of which 1,304 for fast charging, i.e. 25.4% of the European fleet), Germany (40,517 / 6,314; 20.3%), France (30,367 /2.706; 15.2%) and United Kingdom (28.538 / 6.179; 14.3%). By themselves, they account for 75% of the charging points.

When it comes to density, good students are not necessarily the same. On 100 kilometers of road there are 36.4 PDCs in the Netherlands, 31.6 in Luxembourg, 17.6 in Germany and 12.5 in Portugal. The number is less than 10 for all other countries. In particular for France, tied for 12th with Finland, which has only 2.8.

However, the situation with traction battery electrics is much better than that of hydrogen cell EVs. For the latter, only 137 refueling stations in Europe in 2019 (compared to 47 in 2018), including 76 in Germany, 14 in the United Kingdom, 12 in France and 10 in Denmark.

Concerning NGV mobility, there are 1,377 stations in Italy which has always supported this sector, 852 in Germany, 208 in the Czech Republic and Sweden, 201 in the Netherlands, 154 in Austria, and 135 in France. For a total in Europe of 3,743 establishments capable of distributing natural gas for mobility.

insufficient progress in Europe

Download the ACEA report


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