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Pure electric cars now account for every tenth new model entering West European roads


Key points:

  • 10.3% of all new West European passenger car registrations were pure electric BEV on a 12-month annualised basis

  • During the opening 10-months of 2021 BEV registrations also achieved a 10% share

  • PHEVs show signs of stalling at 1 million annual units as BEVs walk on by to 1.1M


Schmidt Automotive Research logo

The monthly share of new zero-emission BEV (battery electric vehicle) passenger car registrations on a 12-month annualised basis has surpassed the 10 per cent milestone, latest European Electric Car Report data reveals. During the 12 months between November 2020 and October 2021, 1.134 million new pure electric passenger cars were added to Western Europe's 18 markets monitored by the report each month.

As plug-in hybrids begin to show signs of plateauing – recording a year-on-year monthly growth rate of just 3 per cent in October over the same time last year – the German PHEV market witnessed its first year-on-year fall of plug-in hybrid passenger cars new volumes for the first time in 26 months.

It will be crucial to monitor if this PHEV impact is solely the result of the semi-conductor crisis or if a more underlying trend and a shift away from PHEVs towards BEVs occurs.

In October, new BEV volumes rose by 43 per cent compared to the same month last year, in a total passenger car market that shrunk by 30 per cent. The 886,000 new BEVs recorded in the opening 10-months of this year already outnumbers the 728,000 new zero emission passenger cars recorded during the whole of last year (2020).

The 10 per cent BEV mix penetration level recorded during the opening 10-months of the year (Jan-Oct 2020: 5.1%) was likely achieved prematurely, again due to the semiconductor crisis continuing to depress the total market.



Manufacturers are steering their focus on lower volume, more profitable and more often than not, higher emitting models, which plug-in electric models must consequently offset to achieve CO2 compliance levels.

With the total market barely expected to move over last year pandemic levels, which included months of production and delivery disruptions, the 2021 total 18 market passenger car market is only expected to reach a level of 11 million units compared to 10.8 million in 2020.

BEVs are expected to account for just over 10 per cent of that total.

Normal levels for the region are over 14 million annual levels.

Quotable: “Western Europe's fragile passenger car market sees the physiological new car 10% BEV penetration level cracked, with the semiconductor crisis attributing positively to that.”

More in-depth analysis and trend-analysis is published each month in the full-report More in the next report published next week.

The European Electric Car Flash Report which is published on a monthly basis covers the entire West European region in a detailed data-driven manner.


May also interest you: Future outlook: Semiconductor crisis accelerates the EV transition... BEVs are now expected to soak up 10.2% (1.132M units) of the total market while with PHEVs added to the equation – a route mostly exploited by premium OEMs click here for the story


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


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