Electric car sales in Europe passed those of diesel engines for the first time in December as they hit 176,000, the Financial Times reported.

Diesel sales over the same month stood at around 160,000.

The electric vehicle deals represent a a 6 percent surge compared to the same period in the previous year.

This record is mainly attributed to government subsidies in several European countries, as well as the rigid regulations forcing EU manufacturers to sell more battery-powered vehicles from 2021.

By delivering a record 309,000 electric cars in the final quarter of 2021, US-based manufacturer Tesla accelerated this trend.

In addition, carmakers are intentionally increasing electric vehicle production to reduce their carbon footprint and curb fines from Brussels.

Diesel car sales have been experiencing a steady decline across the continent, driven by Volkswagen’s emission test for diesel engines scandal, rising taxes on the models in key markets, and bans on older vehicles in certain cities.

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