top of page

Over 10 million new plug-in passenger cars have now entered West European roads

European BEV electric car sales trend to October 2023



Between 2012 and October 2023, over 10 million plug-in passenger cars entered the West European passenger car market, according to Schmidt Automotive Research's monthly European Electric Car Study. While it took over six years to reach the first million cumulative plug-in passenger cars sum, the past ten months alone added a further 2.37 million plug-in hybrids or pure electric BEVs between January and October.

Six million of the combined plug-in total were attributed to BEVs best associated with models from Tesla or Volkswagen's ID.3 model.

Tesla accounted for one million units across the 18 market West European region up to the end of October, according to Schmidt Automotive Research data, while VW Group combined zero-emission models delivered over 1.2 million units during the same period across the region

According to the same market research, the monthly study expects 41.4 million pure electric BEV models to be on the 18 market West European region's roads (Parc) by January 1, 2031, or a further 35 million models within the next seven years, with the vast majority of those coming at the end of the decade as various pieces of legislation across the heterogeneous region guides more models onto the roads.

The private market is set to take a more significant proportion of volumes as more affordable models are offered by manufacturers aiming to meet various mandates and compliance targets only from the second part of the decade, following a lacklustre penetration during the first part of the decade in most major European markets.

The latest SMMT supplied data from the UK shows that 3-in-4 BEVs registered there after ten months this year, were corporate drivers that benefit from a lower benefit-in-kind tax rate for the pleasure of driving a fully electric model.

The UK's private market witnessed the last remaining purchase subsidies for these types of cars, which come with a price premium due predominantly to the high proportion the battery adds, which can accommodate between 25% to 40% of the total cost of the vehicle, stripped away last year.

As manufacturers are forced to bring more affordable models to market to meet tightening EU CO2 legislation or the UK's ZEV mandate requirements, more scaling benefits will arrive in parallel to traditional manufacturers getting over the initial electrified speed bumps and giving them time to restructure workforces and complete ICE investment product cycles. More factors at play are discussed each month in more detail in the monthly 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 an 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


bottom of page