LONDON -- Sales of full-electric and plug-in hybrid cars in Europe almost trebled to over 1 million vehicles last year, accounting for 11 percent of overall sales, according to data from industry association ACEA.
The jump in sales shows electrified vehicles are becoming more mainstream products after years of being a niche market and it came at a time when overall car sales in the region plunged nearly 24 percent to 9.9 million because of COVID-19 lockdowns.
The data showed sales of full-electric and plug-in hybrids surged to 1.046 million vehicles from 387,808 in 2019.
Sales of full-electric vehicles more than doubled to 538,772 from 247,854 a year earlier, while plug-in hybrid demand jumped 262 percent to 507,059.
Sales of full-hybrid cars climbed 59 percent to 1.18 million last year while gasoline and diesel vehicle sales fell 37 percent and 32 percent respectively, the data showed.
Gasoline cars remained the biggest seller, however, accounting for 48 percent of all EU sales.
As well as having to meet stringent new EU carbon emissions targets, automakers benefited from government subsidies for electric vehicles as part of pandemic recovery programs, especially in France and Germany.