Photo courtesy of the ACEA.

Photo courtesy of the ACEA.

Gasoline-powered cars have become the most sold vehicle type in the European Union, overtaking diesels in the first half of the year for the first time since 2009.

New gasoline-powered passenger car sales in the first half of 2017 were 10% higher than what was reported during the same period last year, according to a release from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. Meanwhile, diesel-powered vehicle sales saw a 4% drop.

Diesel’s market share in the European Union fell from 50.2% to 46.3% of new car registrations in the first half of 2017, according to the ACEA release. Approximately 152,323 less diesel cars were sold. Gasoline-powered vehicles now account for 48.5% of new passenger car sales, up from 45.8% last year. This equates to 328,615 extra gasoline cars sold year-on-year.

“Policymakers need to be aware that a sudden shift from diesel technology to petrol will lead to an increase in CO2 emissions," said ACEA Secretary General Erik Jonnaert.

Sales of green vehicles also rose by 103,215, when compared to last year. Battery-electric vehicles accounted for 1.3% of total car sales, while 2.6% were for hybrid vehicles, and 1.3% were toward propane or natural gas vehicles.

Jonnaert observed that the market penetration for alternative powertrains is low, but that they do play an increasing role in transportation.

“To this end, more needs to be done to encourage consumers to buy alternatively-powered vehicles, for instance by putting in place the right incentives and deploying recharging infrastructure across the EU,” said Jonnaert.