Car sales rev up in February as hybrids steer into Europe’s top slot. Euronews

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Hybrid-electric car sales grew the most in the EU last month but petrol-fuelled cars are still in high demand.

Leading with France and Italy, new car registrations within the EU rose by 10.1% in February compared with the same month last year, and hybrid-electric vehicles saw the biggest jump across the bloc.

Registrations rose by 13% in France, 12.8% in Italy, 9.9% in Spain and 5.4% in Germany,

While new electric car sales jumped the most in January, hybrid-electric cars took the lead last month, with a surge of 24.2% across the 27 countries, the UK and the EFTA member states, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).

The number of new plug-in hybrid cars also climbed by 12% compared with the previous year in the same market.

The number of new petrol cars was up by 5.9%, with the category still taking up the biggest share, more than one-third of the overall market.

As the most popular category, petrol cars are reluctant to give up their share to electric and hybrid vehicles. The market share of petrol cars has dropped only slightly since February 2023, from 36.9% to 35.5% this year.

New diesel car registrations fell by 5.1% across Europe, although the category still holds a market share of 12%. The new sales fell in several markets in February, including three of the largest: France (-30.5%), Spain (-17.4%), and Italy (-11.8%). Germany, on the other hand, saw diesel sales growing by 9.7%.

Battery-electric car sales grew by a modest 10.3% across the EU, UK and EFTA countries in February, maintaining a stable market share of 13.2%. 

Sales in Belgium saw a leap of 66.9% and France contributed with an increase of 31.8%.  Conversely, registrations in Germany fell by 15.4% and Ireland, Finland, Sweden, and Iceland, among others, also saw the new EV numbers falling.

However, hybrid-electric cars, as a compromise, keep growing in popularity across the European markets, driven by substantial growth in the four largest markets: France (+41.5%), Spain (+26.5%), Germany (+16.4%), and Italy (+16.1%).

Registrations of plug-in hybrid electric cars also increased by 12%, seeing solid growth in key markets like Germany, Belgium, and France.

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