With Sharp Decline in Demand in Germany, Electric Car Sales Drop Across Europe


Electric vehicle (EV) sales across Europe took a sharp downturn last month, primarily driven by a significant decline in demand in Germany. Official statistics indicate a 30% decrease in new EV sales in Germany alone, contributing to an overall 12.5% drop across the continent.

This decline follows Brussels’ recent crackdown on the influx of inexpensive EV imports from China, which the European Commission claims have benefited from unfair state subsidies. In response, the EU has introduced new trade tariffs ranging up to 48% on EVs, including models from MG, Volvo, and BYD, all of which are Chinese-owned. However, these measures risk raising EV prices for consumers within the bloc and potentially escalating tensions with Beijing, which has threatened retaliatory tariffs.

Scheduled to take effect from July 5 unless a resolution is reached with China, these tariffs coincide with new data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, revealing a decrease in the year-on-year market share of fully electric cars from 13.8% to 12.5% in May.

In addition to the downturn in Germany, the Netherlands reported a 12.5% decrease in new EV sales last month. Despite this trend, Belgium and France saw increases in EV sales, with growth rates of 44.8% and 5.4%, respectively. Meanwhile, hybrid EVs saw their market share rise from 25% to 29.9%.

Transport & Environment, an environmental campaign group based in Brussels, attributes the sales slump partly to carmakers prioritizing combustion-engine cars and luxury EVs. They suggest that manufacturers are withholding more affordable EV models in anticipation of stricter EU carbon emission regulations set to take effect next year.

Lucien Mathieu, cars director at Transport & Environment, emphasized that “Europe’s clean car rules are the Continent’s strongest driver of EV sales and more affordable vehicles.”

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