New EU car registrations: -3% in May 2024; battery electric 12.5% market share

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In May 2024, car registrations in the European Union decreased by 3%, with declines observed in three out of the region’s four major markets: Italy (-6.6%), Germany (-4.3%), and France (-2.9%). Spain, on the other hand, achieved a modest growth of 3.4% last month.

 

Despite the downturn in May, year-to-date car registrations over the first five months of 2024 increased by 4.6% to 4.6 million units. The bloc’s largest markets all showed a similar performance, with Spain (+6.8%), Germany (+5.2%), France (+4.9%), and Italy (+3.4%) recording growth so far this year.

New EU car registrations by power source

In May, battery-electric cars accounted for 12.5% of the EU car market, a decrease from 13.8% the previous year. Meanwhile, hybrid-electrics continued to expand their presence, growing from 25% to nearly 30% of the market. The combined share of petrol and diesel cars fell to 48.5%, down from 52.1%, now representing less than half of the market.

Electric cars

In May 2024, registrations of battery-electric (BEV) cars declined by 12% to 114,308 units, with their total market share dropping to 12.5%. Belgium – now the third-largest market by volume for BEVs – and France were the only key markets to record growth, at 44.8% and 5.4%, respectively. In contrast, Germany (-30.6%) and the Netherlands (-11.7%) experienced significant declines last month. From January to May, a total of 556,276 new battery-electric cars were registered, marking a 2% increase from the same period the previous year.
Plug-in hybrid car registrations also saw a decline of 14.7% last month, with significant decreases in two of the largest markets: Belgium (-36.6%) and France (-19.4%). Germany managed a modest increase of 1.7%, but this was not enough to offset the overall negative trend. In May, plug-in hybrids accounted for 6.5% of the total car market, with 59,333 units sold.
Despite the overall market decline, hybrid-electric was the only segment to post growth, with car registrations increasing by 16.2% in May to over 272,568 units. Three of the four largest markets for this segment – France (+38.3%), Spain (+25.4%), and Italy (+7.4%) – recorded solid gains, while Germany experienced a slight decline of 0.7%. This growth pushed the hybrid-electric market share to nearly 30%, up from 25% in May 2023.

Petrol and diesel cars

In May 2024, petrol car sales decreased by 5.6% to 323,551 units, with notable declines in key markets such as France (-20.3%) and Spain (-1.8%). On the other hand, Italy and Germany posted modest growth rates of 4.1% and 2.1%, respectively. As a result, the petrol market share declined from 36.5% to 35.5% compared to May of the previous year.
The diesel car market saw an even steeper decline of 11.4% to 118,733 units, accounting for 13% of the market. Significant decreases were observed in major markets like Italy (-30.5%), France (-24.8%), and Spain (-15.4%). Germany experienced a modest increase of 3.2%.