In Europe, a lot more models with (partly) electric powertrain were registered in the third quarter.
The number of registrations increased by 211.6 percent to 273,809 units.
Plug-in cars thus had a share of 9.9 percent in total sales, the umbrella trade association ACEA reports Thursday.
The plug-in hybrid powertrain models were particularly popular.
Many of these have come onto the market in recent months, because manufacturers can use such vehicles to reduce the average CO2 emissions of the fleet in a relatively simple way.
The number of registrations increased by 368.1 percent to 138,348 copies.
In addition, 135,461 fully electric cars were used in the third quarter, an increase of 132.3 percent compared to the same quarter a year earlier.
Demand for the regular hybrid rose in the past quarter by 88.8 percent to 341,092 units.
The demand for cars with some form of electric drive was at the expense of models with a traditional combustion engine.
The share of petrol and diesel engines fell from 88.6 percent to 75.4 percent.
The share of petrol cars fell below 50 percent for the first time in six years in the third quarter of this year.
Ultimately, 1.3 million copies were registered, accounting for a share of 47.5 percent.
Diesel cars were stuck at a share of 27.8 percent.