According to figures from JATO Dynamics, the European new car market saw 1,029,008 new vehicles registered during April 2021. This is an increase of 261 percent compared to the same month last year. This is a huge increase from last year but is far from reaching pre-pandemic levels.
The one area of the car market that has bucked this trend is low and zero-emissions vehicles. Here these plug-in vehicles posted record results in April 2021. Registrations accounted for 15 percent of the market, compared to just 11 percent a year ago.
Demand for zero-emissions electric vehicles (EVs) increased by a staggering 338 percent to 71,500 units. Plug-in hybrids registrations recorded a volume growth of 507 percent to 81,000 units. It shows the appetite for cleaner driving is continuing to pick up momentum.
Volkswagen’s recently launched ID.4 topped the sales chart in the battery electric vehicle (BEV) rankings in April 2021. This was ahead of the hugely popular VW ID.3 in second place, while the Renault ZOE was the third best selling EV in Europe during the month. This is the first time since the introduction of pure electric vehicles that an electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) has led the BEV rankings.
Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics: “As anticipated, the next phase of growth for EVs is going to come from SUVs. The Volkswagen ID.4 taking the lead is just the beginning of the electric SUV trend, and we expect new models to enter the market as consumer demand increases.”
The contribution of the ID.4, in addition to strong results from other BEVs, helped Volkswagen Group gain 34 percent of the European BEV market in April. As a result, the German OEM performed better in the BEV market than it did in the overall market. Here its market share was only 27 percent showing how important electric cars are now for the big brand carmakers.