New car sales in the European Union rose 14.6% in October, boosted in part by a big jump in sales of fully electric cars, while hybrid electric vehicles accounted for nearly three of every 10 vehicles sold in the economic bloc.
Sales of fully electric cars rose 36.3% from a year earlier and full hybrid sales were up nearly 39% as the EU recorded its 15th consecutive month of sales growth, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said on Tuesday.
The ACEA said fully electric cars made up 14.2% of sales in October, overtaking sales of diesel cars for the third time.
As recently as 2015, diesel models accounted for more than 50% of cars sold in the EU, but they accounted for just 12% of sales in October.
For the ten months through October, sales of fully electric cars were up 53.1%.
Electrified vehicles - either fully electric models, plug-in hybrids or full hybrids - accounted for over 47% of all new passenger car registrations in the EU between January and October 2023, up from 42% in the same period last year, the ACEA said.
Some automakers, analysts and dealers have worried that EV sales are about to hit a plateau after several years of stellar growth, as consumers wait for more affordable models to hit the market.
Sales at Volkswagen, Europe's largest automaker, increased by 9.9% in October, while sales at Stellantis and Renault rose by 11.3% and 24.3%, respectively.
Tesla's sales rose nearly 150%, accounting for nearly 12% of fully electric car sales in the EU.
The number of new vehicles registered in October in the EU, Britain and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) grew by 14.1% to 1.04 million units, the ACEA said.
(Reporting by Nick Carey in London Editing by Matthew Lewis)