Alternative fuel vehicles such as hybrids and electric are increasing sales in the European market but as sales continue to grow—even as fuel prices decrease—they still represent a low percentage of overall vehicle sales in the market, according to a recent report by PwC.
“The internal combustion engine is expected to be the predominant powertrain in the near term, but increased acceptance of AFV technology, particularly pure electrification, should not be ignored,” says Rick Hanna, Global Automotive Leader, PwC.
Hanna says PwC estimates pure electric, plug-in mild, and full hybrids to grow 433 percent to 2.2 million units sold by 2021. Sales of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles grew 82.2 percent from Sept. 2014-Sept. 2015, while mild and full hybrids increased 22 percent during the same period. Consumer desire for more emission-friendly vehicles, positive perception among consumers, and continued government incentives are attributed with the electric vehicle growth, according to the PwC.
Norway is the leading country in alternative fuel vehicle sales, accounting for 24,855 registrations, followed by the United Kingdoms at 20,966 registrations, while Germany, the largest vehicle market in the European Union, increased its registrations by nearly 15,000.
Mild and full hybrids represent the largest share of Europe’s alternative fuel vehicle market, but growth has slowed in comparison to pure electric sales as a result of more accessible technology improvements for hybrid plug-ins, says the PwC.
PwC forecasts a reduction in plug-in hybrid sales in Europe since many of the current government subsidies are being eliminated.