The European automobile market continued its electrification at full speed in the first quarter if we are to believe the figures published by the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA). New electrified cars thus represented 44% of sales compared to 35% a year earlier. On the contrary, internal combustion engines continue to decline: petrol cars go from 41% to 36% of sales, while diesel engines only represent 17% of new cars (22% a year ago). In volumes, diesels fell by a third in the first quarter.
Stable plug-in hybrids
On the other hand, plug-in hybrids (PHEV) remain stable, around 9%. However, this technology is less and less favored by public subsidy schemes, while more and more environmental associations are contesting its ecological efficiency. Moreover, in volume, they fell drastically (-5.3%).
In France, they benefit from a bonus reduced to 1,000 euros only, for models of less than 50,000 euros. In other words, all premium cars that reached extremely high PHEV mixes (up to 80% of sales on the Volvo XC60 for example) are excluded from the system. In addition, this bonus is far from offsetting the additional cost of hybridization even for mid-range products. Thus, it is necessary to pay nearly 9,000 additional euros to acquire a Citroën C5 Aircross equipped with rechargeable hybridization.
The end of PHEV scheduled?
Moreover, several manufacturers now prefer to focus on normal hybridization which saves fuel in all situations (the PHEV is only effective if the batteries have been recharged). “In several markets, we see that hybrids are selling better than PHEVs,” explains a Renault executive who markets its E-Tech technology. “It’s our new diesel,” he says, speaking of a technology much cheaper than PHEV. It is only in Germany that plug-in hybrids continue to be sold, thanks to still generous subsidies.
The 100% electric remain dynamic
For now, electric cars remain the most dynamic segment, heavily subsidized (up to 10,000 euros in some countries), favored by tax incentives, but also by increasingly restrictive regulations, whether on the objectives of CO2 than city center accesses. Public orders also support the movement. Even the police forces are getting 100% electric cars.
The semiconductor crisis is also influencing the supply allocations of manufacturers who are trying to favor the most profitable vehicles, or those most in line with regulatory objectives.
Result: 100% electric cars double their market share in Europe from 5 to 10% of sales in the first quarter. Pure hybrids have begun a slight decline but still represent 21% of new registrations.
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