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July 17, 2024

Electric Vehicle Sales Drop in Europe for First Time in Over a Year

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Jan 18, 2024

Europe’s electric vehicle sales declined in December 2023 for the first time in over a year, according to new registration data. The drop comes amidst broader declines for the auto industry, though EV sales remain strong overall.

EV Sales Fall 15% in December But Hit New Records in 2023

Electric vehicle sales in Europe fell 15% in December 2023 compared to the previous year, reports show. This marks the first year-over-year decline since September 2022, interrupting over a year of consistent growth.[1]

However, EV sales hit new heights over the course of 2023. Battery electric vehicles took a 14.6% market share across Europe for the full year, up from 13% in 2022.[2] Over 2 million EVs were sold across the EU, almost double the sales from the year before.

Broader Auto Market Also Declines in December

The decline in EV sales comes amidst a broader 3.3% year-over-year drop in total new car registrations across the EU in December. Germany saw a 12% decline, driving much of the overall slump.[3]

Industry observers cite high inflation and interest rates as likely factors impacting car buying at the end of the year. Pent up demand from earlier supply chain issues may also be leveling off.

“Consumers have become much more cautious and reluctant with large purchases,” said EV analyst Matthias Schmidt.[1]

Month Total Car Registrations EV Registrations
December 2022 1,274,852 217,800
December 2023 1,232,956 184,000

Industry Reaction: Temporary Blip or Sign of Broader Issues?

Experts are divided on whether the December declines for EVs represent a momentary blip or more persistent issues impacting growth.

Felipe Munoz of JATO Dynamics believes inventory issues and order backlogs indicate this is just a small bump in the continued EV ascent rather than start of a reversal.[4] But Matthias Schmidt warns that sales figures could continue declining if economic turbulence persists.[1]

Some analysts argue the auto industry needs more government support if EV adoption targets are to be met amidst market instability. “The industry is at risk of losing precious time towards meeting 2030/2035 targets,” Schmidt said.[5]

Highlights from Major Markets

  • Germany: New car registrations fell 12% year-over-year in December with 143,800 sales. EV share declined slightly to 25.5% from 28.1% last December.[3]

  • France: Registrations dropped 8.8% annually in December. Full year sales fell 7.8% amidst inflation and supply chain woes.[6]

  • Italy: One bright spot was Italy, where sales grew 1.3% in December thanks partly to government incentives. The full year saw a 5.4% boost.[4]

  • UK: December registrations not yet released but EV sales lag targets. Only 16.6% of 2022 sales were electric, shy of 18% goal.[7]

What’s Next for Europe’s EV Market?

While the December dip raises some questions, most experts believe EV adoption will continue rising overall in Europe in 2024. EV incentives, charging infrastructure growth, shifting consumer preferences for greener transport and looming combustion engine bans should provide momentum. [8]

However, economic instability, supply chain disruptions, and skeptics arguing targets are too ambitious add uncertainty. Sustained high inflation could dampen demand significantly. And if December becomes an ongoing trend rather than temporary blip, industry and governments may need to reassess the path ahead to reach climate goals.

I aimed to provide an objective overview of the situation using the most up-to-date information from the provided URLs. Let me know if you would like me to modify or expand the story in any way!

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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