Registrations were down but alt-fuel vehicle volume was higher.   -  Photo: Anthony Beck, Pexels

Registrations were down but alt-fuel vehicle volume was higher. 

Photo: Anthony Beck, Pexels

The EU-16 countries—Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.K.—finished 2021 just shy of the 2020 total for passenger cars, according to the latest figures from Dataforce, a leading market research firm in the international fleet market.

Overall, the 11 million registrations were 2% lower than the previous year; COVID and chip shortages were the cause for the continued decline, reported a February 17 Dataforce summary.

Within those numbers, however, alt-fuel vehicles registered strong positive gains.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), and hybrids all showed record volumes, with BEVs and PHEVs both exceeding 1,000,000 registrations each in 2021 over their 2020 figures. True fleets increased their PHEV volume by 186,000 units over 2020, but an astounding 244,000-plus BEVs from private registrations recorded largest volume increase of any fuel type and channel.

A “positive down” in 2021, according to Dataforce, was the EU-16 countries’ CO2 output: an average CO2 reduction of 19 grams over 2020. Norway reported the steepest decline: 40%. Sweden, Denmark, and the Netherlands also recorded significant drops in CO2 output.

SUV segments continue to improve in both volume and market share, with SUV compact models accounting for a 20% market share of all new car registrations, a gain of 12.1% in volume over 2020. In contrast, small and compact passenger cars continue to drop in volume with losses of 7.5% and 13.7%, respectively. Their corresponding market shares also dropped by 1% and 2%, respectively.

With chip shortages and COVID restrictions easing, Dataforce sees 2022 shaping up to be an interesting year for the EU-16.