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Highlights

Gasoline, diesel cars slip to 55% of total car sales in Q3

Hybrids gain lead as Europe's number two powertrain

Fully electric cars sales jump by 57% on year

Surging sales of hybrid and fully electric vehicles in Europe remained strong in the third quarter of 2021, helping to shrink the market share of conventional gasoline and diesel cars to 55% of the regional market, according to new data.

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The combined market share of gasoline and diesel cars in Q3 contracted by 6 percentage points compared with the previous quarter to make up 55% of new cars sold, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, or ACEA.

As a growing appetite for battery-powered mobility continues to support sales of electric cars, the data shows that both battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrids nearly doubled their share on the year during the three-month period – accounting for 11.5% and 9%, respectively, of the market.

Registrations of new hybrid-electric passenger cars accounted for 22% of the total European market during the third quarter, consolidating their lead over diesel's 15.4% share as the second most popular powertrain option in Europe for a second month, the ACEA data shows. The market share of gasoline-powered cars contracted further to 39.5% in the period.

During the third quarter, demand for full battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) in the region jumped the most, by 56.8% on the year, despite an overall decline in registrations of new cars over the three-month period.

Oil demand impact

Europe superseded China as the global driver of electric car sales in 2020 for the first time in five years, after new EV models, incentives by green recovery funds, and CO2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

In July, the EU 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 alone 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.

Gasoline and middle distillate demand in Western Europe will likely fully recover to pre-pandemic levels of 1.8 million b/d and 5.6 million b/d by the end of 2021, Platts Analytics estimates. However, regional demand for the fuels -- which peaked in 1992 and 2006 respectively -- is seen falling to 1.26 million b/d and 4.7 million b/d by 2030, under a "most likely" scenario.