Fewer and fewer Europeans are choosing a fossil fuel-powered car when buying a car.
In the first three months of this year, more than a third of all new cars sold were electric or hybrid, according to the European automotive industry association ACEA.
As a result, the share of this type of cars in the European vehicle fleet is increasing.
Sales were mainly boosted by government subsidies for electric cars.
The ordinary hybrid car had the largest share with more than 18 percent.
This concerns 469,784 cars sold.
Then comes the plug-in hybrid, or a car with a plug whose batteries can recharge themselves.
Sales of this type of car grew strongly.
It concerned 208,389 cars and a share of more than 8 percent.
Sales of these two types of car increased in all Member States, but especially in Italy, France, Germany and Spain.
Nearly 6 percent of the electric cars were cars with only a battery.
In the first months of the year, sales grew by almost a third to 146,185 cars.
In Germany and Italy in particular, sales increased sharply, while in Spain it decreased.
The number of cars powered by natural gas also fell by 10 percent to 14,300 cars, while sales of cars powered by LPG almost doubled due to increased demand in France and Italy.
Although the number of fossil fuel cars continues to decline in Europe, more than two-thirds of all new passenger cars sold still have a gasoline or diesel engine, according to ACEA. Diesel cars were the least popular: between January and April that number fell by a fifth to 593,559 cars compared to a year ago. As a result, at the end of March only 23 percent of the European vehicle fleet was diesel, last year that share was almost 30 percent.
Petrol cars can also count on less enthusiasm from European drivers. Its sales fell by nearly 17 percent to 1.1 million. With the exception of France, where more than 8 percent more new petrol cars were sold, sales fell in all other European countries. The decrease was mainly seen in Germany, Spain and Italy.