The shift to electric cars in Europe is proving to have staying power.
Full-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounted for about 15 percent of new-car sales in the first quarter, the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association said Friday.
While that is slightly less than during the three months through December, when stricter emissions rules led to a late surge in shipments, it's still almost double than the year-earlier period.
Europe overtook China as the biggest market for battery-powered cars in 2020, a lead the region is expected to defend this year amid generous subsidies in Germany, France and Italy and a slew of new offerings from automakers including Volkswagen Group and Stellantis.
The latest numbers should help allay concerns about the electric shift's sustainability -- raised when automakers pushed EVs into the market late last year to avoid fines for overshooting emissions limits.