Sales of electric cars in Western Europe surpassed those of diesel units for the first time in December 2021, according to preliminary data, with drivers continuing to choose subsidized green cars to the detriment of those who depend on the fuel that caused the 2015 emissions scandal, shows an analysis by the Financial Times (FT).
More than a fifth of new cars sold in 18 European markets, including the UK, were powered exclusively by batteries, while diesel cars, including hybrid diesel, accounted for less than 19% of sales, says independent car analyst Matthias Schmidt.
Thanks to generous subsidies from Germany and other countries, as well as strict regulations introduced in 2020, which force EU carmakers to sell more low-emission vehicles, sales of electric cars are steadily growing.
The trend accelerated in the fourth quarter of 2021, when Tesla proved that it has adapted better than its rivals to the global semiconductor shortage, delivering a record number of electric cars – 309,000.
European carmakers also boosted sales of electric vehicles in December to reduce the fleet of polluting cars and avoid fines in Brussels, after prioritizing the production of the most profitable models, especially mass-polluting SUVs, in during the crisis caused by supply chain disruptions, according to Agerpres.
As a result, 176,000 all-electric vehicles were sold in Western Europe last month, a record high, and more than six times more than in December 2020. By December 2021, almost 160,000 diesel models had been sold.