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2023 witnessed just under 2 million new pure electric passenger cars registered across Western Europe, or 16.9% of the total

European electric car market sales trend 2017 to 2023


PREVIEW Full Year 2023 Market

A new record 1.96 million (+28% y-o-y) BEV pure electric passenger cars entered the West European* region during 2023, accounting for just under 17% of the total new car market last year. However, the 12-month rolling trend severely dipped in the closing month, according to the European Electric Car Study, published by Schmidt Automotive Research each month. December volumes fell by over 25 per cent over the final month of 2022, according to the same data, while the final quarter of the year saw a fall of 5 per cent over the same period last year.

Various factors, such as low incoming orders, especially from the private market, in the final quarter, were unable to replace the high volume of out-going deliveries, which derived mainly from orders placed in 2022 from markets that saw various purchase subsidies and lower tax incentives being stripped away and helped give the image of a healthy market in the opening three quarters of the year. 

This resulted in the regional new BEV registrations in the final quarter of the year falling by 5.1% y-o-y, while the final month of the year saw the market produce its worst year-on-year comparison delivery month since 2016 if the first month of the Covid shut-down period is taken out of the equation.

The complete study explains this in more detail with a more granular insight.

Protectionism/discounting to play a key role in 2024 in a flashback to the 1980s

Auto executives will need to wrap up and buckle up as the market begins to see a chill easterly wind arrive, with discounting expected to be the keyword of the year, accompanied by protectionism to defend against an increasingly aggressive attack from Chinese manufacturers, as states hope to buy some time for key regional employers giving them space to restructure their business and become more competitive in the new e-mobility age.  

More granular details are published in the full study each month...  The European Electric Car Study published by Schmidt Automotive Research each month and is available to purchase as a single edition or an annual subscription.

The study now also features a double page in-depth look at the Chinese OEMs as their European expansion slowly begins. Are Chinese OEMs really a threat to the established European OEMs and what does the outlook look like?


*Western Europe 18 Markets: EU Member States prior to the 2004 enlargement plus EFTA markets Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, plus UK


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