Sales of petrol-powered cars have surpassed diesel vehicle sales in Europe for the first time in almost a decade.
The European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) reports that petrol car sales have increased by almost 10 per cent in the first half of this year compared to the same time period in 2016. Consequently, petrol car sales now account for 48.5 per cent of all passenger car sales, 2.7 per cent more than in 2016 and greater than diesels for the first time since 2009.
At the same time that petrol sales increased, demand for diesel vehicles fell. In 2016, diesels accounted for 50.2 per cent of passenger car sales but that figure has now slipped to 46.3 per cent. In the first six months of 2017, there have been 152,323 fewer diesel vehicles sold in Europe than in Jan-Jun 2016.
Alongside the decreased demand for diesels, sales of hybrid, electric, LPG and natural gas-powered vehicles have increased by over 35 per cent to now represent 5.2 per cent of the total car market.
Discussing the sales figures, ACEA secretary general Erik Jonnaert said diesel and petrol vehicles will continue to play a role in the transition to low-carbon vehicles.
“Alternative powertrains will undoubtedly play an increasing role in the transport mix, and all European manufacturers are investing heavily in them. To this end, more needs to be done to encourage consumers to buy alternatively-powered vehicles, for instance by putting in place the right incentives and deploying recharging infrastructure across the EU,” he said.