Sales of new energy vehicles (hybrids, plug-in hybrids and batteries) in France overtook petrol cars for the first time in the first quarter of this year. The surge in sales of environmentally friendly vehicles is a breath of fresh air in the midst of high fuel prices and incessant subsidies for electric vehicles by the French government.
Overall, French new car sales fell in the first quarter and posted their tenth straight month of declines with a nearly 20 percent decline in March. The decline was due to the auto industry struggling to cope with supply chain issues, including a global shortage of semiconductor chips.
According to a Reuters report, April 1, 2022, citing industry data from Plateforme (PFA), sales of fully electric and hybrid models accounted for nearly 40 percent of new car sales, compared to 38.3 percent for (conventional) gasoline models.
A PFA spokesman said due to the uncertainty of the war in Ukraine and shortages of some components, it was not possible to give an estimate for the sale of new French cars in 2022.
Plus the sales market share of diesel models of 16.5 percent in the first quarter, pure combustion engine models still make up the majority.
But this is a big shift in auto sales, as electrified vehicles are still relatively new to the auto industry.
Driven by subsidies, bans on fossil fuel models and high gasoline prices, electric models have become popular products in no time.
The best-selling electric car in France in March was Tesla's Model 3, followed by Renault's Dacia Spring, and Stellantis' Peugeot 208. Overall, French auto sales fell 17.3 percent in the first quarter.