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Electric dreams: Which cars are consumers buying in the EU?

Electric vehicle.
Electric vehicle. Copyright Canva.
Copyright Canva.
By Eleanor Butler
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Car registrations in the European Union grew by almost 14% year-on-year this April, with petrol vehicles losing market share.

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The number of new cars registered in the EU amounted to 913,995 units last month, an annual jump of 13.7%, according to newly released data by the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association (ACEA).

Dramatic growth was seen in countries including Romania, (+34.6), Denmark (+27.1), Poland (+25.1), and Spain (+23.1%), with Cyprus leading the pack (+105.4).

Manufacturers recording large registration increases included Honda (+155.4), Volvo (+63.5) and Toyota (+47.3).

In terms of numbers, the Volkswagen Group dominated, with 254,019 units, an annual jump of 15.5%.

The Volkswagen Group includes brands including Skoda, Audi, and Porsche.

Leading the charge

Concerning the power source of vehicles, battery-electric car registrations rose by 14.8% to 108,552 units in April, with their market share holding steady year-on-year at around 12%.

Cyprus saw a significant annual jump (+381.3), as did Malta (+103.6), Denmark (+89.8) and Hungary (+78.9).

Germany saw the highest number of battery-electric cars registered (29,740), an annual fall of 0.2%.

Electric registrations dropped in Croatia (-70.3) and Ireland (-41.6).

The general increase in electric registrations comes as some experts warn of a slowdown in EV demand.

Certain players point not only to insufficient charging infrastructure but also the fact that electric vehicles are still too expensive for many consumers.

This is an issue that won't be helped by an EU pushback against cheaper Chinese models, as policymakers argue that the subsidised goods create an uneven playing field for European manufacturers.

Due to underwhelming demand, Ford Europe has notably pushed back a target to sell only electric cars in Europe by 2030.

Manager Martin Sander said the target was 'irrelevant' because sales came in "below expectations".

"We can't push EVs into the market against demand. We're not going to pay penalties. We are not going to sell EVs at huge losses just to buy compliance," he explained at the FT's Future of Car Summit this month.

To cut emissions, the European Union adopted a law last year to make all new cars and vans sold in Europe zero-emission from 2035.

Companies that don't comply will face heavy fines.

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