Subscribe to industry newsletters

Electric vehicles outsell diesel cars for the first time

The demand for electric vehicles (EVs) in Europe has risen sharply in recent months and for the first time ever, EVs have outsold diesel cars. The shift towards electric mobility is gaining momentum, rapidly. Indeed, South Africa still has a long way to go before the mass adoption of electric vehicles becomes a reality. Nonetheless, in other regions of the world, the demand for EVs and plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) cars are skyrocketing.
Source: Unsplash

In 2020, and despite the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, markets in Europe registered EV (including PHEVs) volume increases of 147% compared to 2019, going from 575,000 units to 1.42 million units. A total of 12% of all new passenger cars registered in Europe in 2020 were EVs.

More recently though, in August 2021, EVs and PHEVs secured record market share in Europe while the overall new car market declined by as much as 18%, the worst decline since 2014.

The ongoing chip shortage is a key contributor to a drop in sales. However, the sales performance of EVs and PHEVs is booming in Europe, achieving the second-highest market share at 21% for August 2021.

August EV volumes in Europe at 151,737 represented a year-on-year increase of 61% with a total of 2021 volumes at 1.32 million units.

For the first time ever, EVs have outsold diesel cars on the old continent. In August 2020, diesel registrations exceeded EV registrations by 158,300 units. A year later, EVs outsold diesel cars by 10,100 units.

Popular EV models in Europe contributing to this success include the electric Fiat 500, Peugeot 208, Hyundai Kona, Opel Corsa, Kia Niro and of course, the Volkswagen ID.3, which is one of Europe’s top-selling EVs.

The uptake of EVs in South Africa remains slow with prohibitively high pricing, lack of incentives, lack of product choice and range anxiety being some of the main factors preventing widespread adoption.

Hybrids, however, form the bridge or transition zone between ICE vehicles and EVs and Toyota is playing a growing role in offering affordable hybrids to South African consumers.

The forthcoming Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid, which will be locally manufactured at Toyota’s facility in Prospecton, Durban, will soon be the cheapest hybrid car on sale in South Africa priced from R413,000.

But that’s not all, Toyota also recently introduced the Corolla Hybrid sedan and the Rav4 Hybrid family car in South Africa which has broadened the choice available to local buyers but importantly, at prices that are more reasonable than what the EV market currently offers locally.

Of course, the updated Toyota Prius Hybrid is still available locally and potential hybrid buyers might also be interested to consider the recently-launched Honda Fit Hybrid.

This article as originally published on

SOURCE is a leading online automotive retail portal that lists more than 70 000 vehicles stocked by hundreds of dealers countrywide, as well as the top-ranked branded SA YouTube channel. In 2015, repositioned itself as a consumer champion by optimising its editorial content for the purposes of engaging and empowering its users. The Ownership Satisfaction Survey, in association with Lightstone Consumer, and the Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank, underlines the company’s objective to be the most comprehensive resource to South African vehicle buyers.
Go to:

Let's do Biz