Registrations of new cars in Europe fell in March for the first time this year with the share of electric cars falling below last year's levels, according to official data released Thursday.

Some 1.03 million new passenger cars were registered last month in the European Union, down 5.2 percent from a year earlier, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said in its monthly report.

For the first three months of the year, registrations are up 4.4 percent from the year-ago period.

The strongest growth was in France and Italy which saw registrations rise 5.7 percent, while they were up 4.2 percent in Germany and 3.1 percent in Spain.

Even though Europe plans to ban the sale of new internal combustion engine cars by 2035, sales of electric cars have stalled the past few months.

In March, only 13 percent of new registrations were electric, up slightly from 12 percent in February, but down from 14.6 percent for all of last year.

In Germany alone, registrations of electric cars fell 28.9 percent. On the other hand, hybrid cars accounted for 29 percent of the market in March, up from 24.4 percent in March a year ago.

The Volkswagen group, which also includes Audi and Skoda, remained the largest seller of cars in Europe though its share of the market shrank 0.8 point to 24.9 percent.

Stellantis (Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat) also lost 0.4 point to 18.9 percent.

Among gainers, hybrid-specialist Toyota saw its share jump 1.1 point to 8.1 percent.