In the fourth quarter of 2015, the total alternative fuel vehicle registrations in the EU continued the upward trend, while the full-year figures showed a 20.0 percent spike.
While the “green” cars are not yet at the desirable sales levels targeted by European governments, the total alternative fuel vehicle registrations in the region continued to be on a positive trend last year, marking a 21.1 percent increase in the fourth year of existence, totaling 164,718 units, according to data gathered by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. Out of these, electric vehicle registrations showed an impressive 160.5 percent boost, more than doubling. EV sale rose from 22,531 units in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 58,689 units in the same period of last year. Demand for new hybrid cars also grew significantly, by 28.8 percent, reaching 60,911 units. By contrast, new registrations of cars powered by propane or natural gas showed a double-digit dip of 31.8 percent similarly to the previous quarter, accounting for 45,118 units, more than 20,000 less than in Q4 2014.
Among the EU’s major markets, the Netherlands saw the largest increase of alternative fuel powered cars registered over the last quarter (+258.1%), followed by France (+43.7%), Germany (+27.8%) and the UK (+17.4%). As for the full-year figures, more than half a million AFVs were sold in Europe in 2015, up 20 percent compared to a year earlier, accounting for 4.2 percent of total passenger car registrations. The uplift was fully sustained by the electric (+108.8%) and hybrid electric (+23.1%) markets, while the other alternative fuels declined (-8.4%).