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European diesel sales fall below petrol for first time since 2009

on 03 October 2017

Diesel-engined cars now account for less than half of all new car sales across Europe, according to figures released by Acea, the European carmaker trade association. 

Diesel’s market share across the EU-15 countries fell year-on-year in the first half of 2017 from 50.2% to 46.3% of new car registrations. This is the first time petrol-engined cars have outsold diesel since 2009.

Acea’s figures show 152,323 fewer diesel cars were sold year on year although it said the drop was offset by an increase in the sale of petrol vehicles. However, it highlighted the shift to petrol engines, with higher CO2 emissions, will pose “additional challenges” to meeting future CO2 reduction targets.

Petrol vehicles accounted for 48.5% of new car registrations, up from 45.8% a year ago, which translated into 328,615 extra petrol cars sold year-on-year.

Electrically-chargeable vehicles accounted for 1.3% of total car sales, the same market share for the same period in 2016, hybrids for 2.6%, and cars powered by propane or natural gas for 1.3%.

“Alternative powertrains will undoubtedly play an increasing role in the transport mix, and all European manufacturers are investing heavily in them,” said ACEA secretary general Erik Jonnaert.

“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.”

“In the meantime, however, as diesel cars emit significantly less CO2 than equivalent petrol-powered vehicles, they will have to be part of the gradual transition to low-carbon vehicles, acting as a ‘bridge’ technology.

“Policymakers need to be aware that a sudden shift from diesel technology to petrol will lead to an increase in CO2 emissions, given that the market penetration of alternative powertrains remains low.”

Credit: Motor Trader 

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