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Considerable progress in the uptake of electric cars and vans in the EU was made in 2022, with 21.6% of new car registrations being electric vehicles. Totalling close to two million electric car registrations in one year, up from 1,74 million in 2021. The number of electric vans on European roads also continued to grow, reaching a share of 5.5% of new registrations in 2022. In the last year, the number of newly registered battery electric vehicles increased by 25% while the number of plug-in hybrid cars remained stable. Battery electric vehicles accounted for the vast majority of electric vans registrations in 2022.
The transport sector is among the largest contributors to EU greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore, reducing transport emissions vital to meeting the EU’s climate neutrality objectives.
From 2025 onwards, Regulation (EU) 2019/631 sets stricter EU-wide CO2 fleet targets: a 15% reduction by 2025 for both cars and vans and, from 2030, a 50% reduction target for vans and a 55% reduction target for cars, all relative to a 2021 baseline. It also sets a zero-CO2 emission target for new cars and vans from 2035 onwards. A significant increase in the uptake of electric vehicles will be needed to achieve these goals.
Electric cars, which include battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), are gradually penetrating the EU market. There has been a steady increase in the number of new electric car registrations from 600 in 2010, to about 1,74 million in 2021, accounting for 18% of new registrations. These figures continued to grow in 2022, when almost 22% of newly registered passenger cars were electric. BEVs accounted for 12.2% of total new car registrations in 2022, while PHEVs represented 9.4%.
The average mass of BEVs is 1,800kg, while PHEVs are slightly heavier, with an average mass of around 1,900kg. According to provisional 2022 data, these vehicles’ average energy consumption was roughly 166 and 177Wh/km, respectively. BEVs registered in 2022 had an average electric range (measured at type-approval) of 393 km, while PHEVs, in electric mode, had an average range of 61km.
In 2022, around 56,500 electric vans were sold in the EU-27, representing 5.5% of the market share and an increase of around 2.0 percentage points from 2020. The majority of electric vans sold were BEVs.
However, despite huge growth in recent years, BEVs represents only 1.2% of the European cars fleet. Further growth in Europe’s electric vehicle fleet is required to help the EU meet emissions reduction targets and ensure progress towards its 2050 objective of being climate neutral.
In 2022, the share of electric vehicles in new car registrations increased in almost all countries (EU-27, Iceland, Norway) compared with 2021. The highest shares were found in Norway (89%), Sweden (58%) and Iceland (56%).
Germany, France and Norway together accounted for about 64% of all new BEV registrations among the EU-27 and non-EU EEA countries. Norway had the highest number of new BEVs registered in 2022, accounting for 79% of new car sales. PHEV percentage sales were highest in Iceland, Sweden (both 23%) and Finland (20%).
In four European countries, the percentage of EV registrations remained lower than 5% of the total fleet (Cyprus, Poland, Czechia and Slovakia).
To support electric mobility, several measures have been deployed across Europe. These include financial support to the electric vehicle industry; public investments in charging infrastructure or subsidies for home chargers; public procurement of electric vehicles (e.g., for municipal vehicle fleets); indirect consumer incentives such as preferential access to bus lanes; free or preferential parking; access to low-emission zones; free charging at public stations; and road toll exemptions.