After a large increase in European registrations in December 2019, volumes for January have decreased, marking another month of transition for the complex new car market. A total of 1,138,057 new passenger cars were registered in January 2020, representing a decline of 7.6% from January 2019. This steep reduction was in large part caused by the last-minute purchases made in December, due to the impending introduction of the new CO2 emissions regulation.
Despite the decrease from December, registration levels were actually the fourth highest in January, for any year in the past decade, according to research from JATON. Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics explained, “The European market is still showing signs of strength despite a tough environment. We believe that the market is capable of adapting to meet new regulations and impending challenges. This is exemplified by the increase of EV registrations, which was a lifeline for many OEMs in January. Only two years ago not many in the industry would have predicted such high levels of demand for EVs.”
In fact, electrified vehicles provided the only driver of growth for the market in January. They posted a record in volume and market share due to increasing incentives for consumers, greater awareness about the benefits of electrified vehicles, and the growing concern about diesel and petrol cars. During the first month of 2020, total EV registrations increased by a huge 72%, jumping from 87,100 units posted in January 2019 to 150,100 units in the same month of 2020. This is a market share of 13.3% compared to just 7.1% in the year prior.
According to JATO, all EV types contributed to growth as Hybrids (HEV) increased their volume by 36%, pure electric (BEV) by 91% and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) by 173%. For the first time, the hybrids counted for less than half of total EV registrations. Munoz said, “Europe demonstrated that the widespread adoption of EVs is increasingly feasible, and will become a likely reality once the cars become more affordable.”