Gasoline car sales overtake diesel in EU 15: ACEA
London, 29 September (Argus) — Sales of gasoline-fuelled vehicles in the EU 15 in the first half of this year exceeded those of diesel-fuelled vehicles for the first time since 2009.
Diesel's share of EU-15 new car registrations fell to 46.3pc in the first half of 2017, from 50.2pc in the same period a year earlier, according to Europe's automotive manufacturers association ACEA. Gasoline vehicles accounted for 48.5pc of new passenger car sales in the period, up from 45.8pc a year earlier.
In absolute numbers, diesel car sales declined by 152,323 from a year earlier, while gasoline car sales rose by 328,615.
Increased sales of gasoline-fuelled vehicles reflect a growing public-policy shift away from diesel, in light of the 2015 Volkswagen emissions scandal and growing awareness of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. Diesel has a higher market share than gasoline across most EU member-states' car markets, as governments seeking to reduce carbon-dioxide emissions sought to incentivise use of diesel and accordingly created tax incentives for consumers.
But a number of European cities are introducing bans on diesel cars: local authorities in London, Paris, Grenoble, Lyon and Stuttgart are adopting restrictions gradually, and France will even out tax regimes for the two fuels by 2022.
A gradual consumer shift from diesel to gasoline could reduce European diesel imports and tighten the oversupplied European gasoline market. EU member-states imported around 35mn t of gasoil/diesel and exported around 48mn t of gasoline in 2015, according to the most recent data from Eurostat.
In the longer term, policymakers in Europe and Asia-Pacific are seeking to move consumers away from fossil fuel-powered vehicles entirely. The UK, French and Norwegian governments are targeting bans on new gasoline- and diesel-fuelled vehicle purchases in the period 2025-40, and the Chinese and Indian governments are considering similar moves.