In the first quarter of 2017, demand for alternative fuel vehicles (AFV) in the EU grew significantly (+37.6%) to 212,945 units, following a moderate increase at the end of 2016.
Sales of electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell cars showed double-digit gains (+29.9%), which were supported by growth in demand for both battery (+49.0%) and plug-in electric cars (+13.0%). Total electrified vehicle registrations rose from 36,322 units in Q1 2016 to 47,196 units in Q1 2017.
Demand for new hybrid vehicles also grew considerably (+61.2%), counting 111,006 units in the first three months of the year. After performing poorly in 2016, registrations of new cars powered by propane or natural gas started 2017 with a boost (+10.4%), totaling 54,743 units.
All the major EU markets made a significant contribution to Europe’s positive results. Spain saw the largest increase in AFV registrations over the last quarter (+87.4%), followed by Germany (+67.5%), the United Kingdom (+29.9%), France (+24.8%) and Italy (+17.2%).
Growth in most of these countries was fully driven by the electric and hybrid-electric segments; especially in the UK, Germany and France, which accounted for the largest numbers of new electrically chargeable cars. The Italian market’s positive performance, on the other hand, was mainly the result of recovering demand for LPG-fuelled cars, which still represent more than half of total AFV registrations in Italy.