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Highlights

Hybrid car sales overtake diesel for market share

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European sales of conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles by market share slumped sharply in the second quarter of 2021 as a growing appetite for battery-powered mobility continued to support sales of electric and hybrid cars, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

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Despite a rebound in vehicle sales volumes in the wake of the 2020 pandemic, the combined market share of gasoline and diesel cars in Q2 contracted by 19 percentage points compared with the same quarter last year to make up 61% of new cars sold, ACEA said.

Related infographic: Global fuel revival edges nearer to full health

Q2 registrations of hybrid electric vehicles jumped by 240% from the year-ago quarter to 20% of total car sales, while plug-in hybrid EV registrations more than tripled to double their market share in a year to 8% of total passenger car sales, the data shows.

As a result, diesel now holds a market share of 18.4%, down from 28% in the second quarter of 2020. The market share of gasoline-powered cars contracted by 10 percentage points to 42%.

Registrations of fully electric vehicles (BEVs) jumped by 219%, reaching 210,298 cars or 8.5% of total sales, according to ACEA, with the biggest gains in Spain and Germany.

Europe superseded China as the global driver of electric car sales in 2020 for the first time in five years, after new EV models, incentives by green recovery funds, and CO2 reduction mandates spurred buying interest in electric cars.

The EU earlier this month proposed a de facto ban on sales of gasoline and diesel cars by 2035 as part of a major policy package to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. The UK has already banned sales of new conventional cars from 2030.

S&P Global Platts Analytics forecasts that plug-in electric car sales in Western Europe will make up 37% of the global total by 2025, when plug-in EVs on the road in the region will displace around 173,000 b/d of the region's gasoline and diesel demand.

In October, the International Energy Agency left its annual estimate for the number of electric cars on the roads in 2040 little changed at 330 million vehicles, citing expected continued robust policy support but with the potential for lower long-term oil prices extending the payback time for EVs.

Under its base-case scenario, the global EV fleet will displace around 2.5 million b/d of oil products by 2030, according to the IEA.