Full-electric vehicles surpassed diesels in monthly sales in December in western Europe after a big push for year-end registrations, the first time that has happened, according to new data.
Battery-electric cars had a market share of 21 percent for the month, the highest ever, while diesels stood at 19 percent, data on 18 western European countries compiled by Berlin-based auto analyst Matthias Schmidt showed.
Sales of diesels had been falling throughout the year but were still running above electric vehicles through the first three quarters, according to data from the European automotive lobby group ACEA.
There were 2.3 million diesels registered through the end of September, a decline of 26 percent over 2020. There were 801,025 EVs registered in the same period, an increase of 91 percent, ACEA data for the European Union, UK and EFTA countries showed.
Diesel share has declined rapidly since the 2015 Volkswagen diesel cheating scandal. Diesels accounted for about half of all sales at the time compared with one-fifth in December, with 160,000 sales versus 176,000 for pure EVs, data from Schmidt showed.
Schmidt said his data was "99 percent confirmed."