BRUSSELS—Sales of alternatively powered vehicles are following a highly uneven pattern across European Union countries, according to new findings from the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association.
In an Oct. 29 report, ACEA said that the consumer uptake of battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid electric passenger cars, as well as those fueled by natural gas or hydrogen, differed strongly from country to country.
For instance, the number of battery electric cars and plug-in hybrids (electrically-chargeable vehicles, or ECVs) sold last year ranged from just 93 cars in Latvia (0.6 percent market share) to 67,504 in Germany (2 percent market share), according to the ACEA's data.
The report went on to add that the consumer uptake of electrically chargeable cars has been particularly low in central and eastern Europe, with Poland for instance posting only 0.2 percent of total passenger car sales.
"An ECV market share of more than 1.5 percent is something that is exclusive to Western European countries," according to the report.
For electrically chargeable vehicles, the ACEA report highlighted not only an east-west divide, but also a marked north-south distinction.
Electric cars represented less than 1 percent of total sales in Italy and Spain last year—the third and fourth largest EU economies respectively.
In only four EU countries electrically chargeable vehicles make up more than 2.5 percent of the car market.
"Although the average EU market share of alternatively-powered vehicles is going up, the huge discrepancies across Europe are extremely worrisome," ACEA Director General Eric-Mark Huitema said.
In order to meet the ambitious 2025 and 2030 emissions targets set by the EU, the report warned that sales of all types of alternatively powered vehicles will have to pick up rapidly in all member states.
"Mobility must remain affordable for all layers of society. That is why we are calling on governments to put in place more meaningful and sustainable incentive schemes to stimulate sales EU-wide," Huitema said.