The demand for diesel engines continues to decline across Europe, according to figures produced by European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
In the fourth quarter of 2018, diesel’s share of the market fell from 41.2 per cent to 34.1 per cent, while petrol continued to further expand its share of new car registrations – from 52.3 per cent to 57.2 percent.
Electric accounted for 2.7 per cent of new cars registered across the EU during the last quarter of 2018, while all alternatively-powered vehicles combined made up 8.6 per cent of the market.
Overall in 2018, more than half of all new passenger cars registered in the EU ran on petrol (56.7 per cent, compared to 50.3 per cent in 2017), while diesel accounted for 35.9 per cent and only 2.0 per cent of new cars were electrically-chargeable vehicles (ECVs).
Demand for diesel cars in the EU decreased during the fourth quarter of 2018. Amid a contracting car market, the number of diesel units fell by 23.6 per cent during the last three months of the year. All passenger car markets in the region posted strong declines, including the EU’s five biggest markets.
Despite overall car registrations falling by 272,798 units (or -7.9 per cent) during the last quarter of 2018, the number of new petrol cars still grew by 0.8 per cent when compared to 2017, which translates into petrol further expanding its share of the EU market by 5 percentage points. Registrations of petrol cars increased in each of the five big EU markets, except for Germany (-9.9 per cent).
In the fourth quarter of 2018, registrations of alternatively-powered cars across the European Union grew significantly (+21.1 per cent). ECVs lead this growth with the highest percentage gain (+33.1 per cent), notably driven by an uplift of the battery-electric segment (+88.7 per cent), but registrations of plug-in hybrids saw their first drop since 2016 (-7.9 per cent).
Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) also performed very well (+31.1 per cent) during the last quarter of the year, accounting for more than half of all APV registrations. By contrast, demand for LPG and NGV vehicles fell by 13.8 per cent in the fourth quarter – recording a sharp decline in registrations of natural gas cars.