European EV market rises
The European car market registered its sixth consecutive month of decline in February 2019, as 1.14 million vehicles were registered – although the sales of pure electric vehicles rose by 92%.
This was largely because February marked a month of uncertainty for many of the bigger European markets, such as Spain, where registrations fell by 10%, and the Netherlands, where a change in tax on pure electric vehicles contributed to the 15% drop in overall registrations.
The Swedish and Finnish markets also saw declines of 15% and 11%, respectively, as the two countries continued to struggle to come to grips with the introduction of WLTP.
Conversely, registrations were up by a huge 36% in Romania. Denmark also recorded a strong result in February, with volume up by eight per cent due to an increase in its EV and PHEV registrations. This was mirrored in Norway, where nearly twice as many zero-emission cars were sold than in February 2018, and the Tesla Model 3 and VW e-Golf were the two best-selling cars.
The most notable result from February was the strong performance of pure electric vehicles (BEVs). Although their market share remained marginal at 1.9%, their volume increased by a huge 92% to 20,000 registrations. BEVs continued to gain traction in markets like Norway, where they counted for 40% of overall registrations, and the Netherlands, where they counted for seven per cent. Demand also increased by 81% in Germany, which was the largest market for BEVs in February.
Meanwhile, diesel registrations fell once again in February, although their market share did stabilise at 34%. This was due to an eight per cent increase in registrations in Germany, which helped to offset double-digit falls in Italy, France, Spain and the UK.
SUVs, vans and sports cars were the only segments to grow during the month, as compact and midsize cars, and MPVs recorded large drops. Registrations of SUVs were up by 10% to 421,500 units, as they posted a market share of almost 37%. Small SUVs recorded 167,000 registrations, as demand increased by 13%, while compact SUVs saw 178,000 registrations and a 10% increase in demand.