Electric cars beat petrol cars in sales for first time in this country
France has witnesses electric vehicles outselling its petrol counterparts for the first time in history. Between January and March, the French industry achieved this major milestone as the government continued to push for EVs through subsidies amid high prices of petrol. According to the sales data for the previous quarter, sales of fully electric and hybrid models accounted for nearly 40 percent of new car sales against 38 percent for conventional petrol models in the country.
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Some of the top-selling electric cars in France in March was Tesla Model 3, followed by Dacia Spring from Renault and the Peugeot 208 from Stellantis. France is also home to major carmakers like Citroen which also offers electric models besides German auto giants like BMW, Audi and Mercedes.
Overall, new car sales in France fell during the last quarter in tenth straight month of declines with almost 20 percent drop in March. One of the key reasons behind this slide is the supply chain issues including a global shortage of semiconductor chips which has gripped the auto industry across the world.
Plateforme automobile (PFA), which keeps account of vehicle sales in France, it is difficult to forecast trends for new car sales in the country for the entire year. The PFA attributed this uncertainty due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war as well as the chip shortage crisis.
While EVs may have outdone its petrol counterparts in France, the country still sees ICE vehicles outsell electric cars. If one adds the number of diesel cars sold in France, which had a market share of 16.5 percent in the first quarter, pure combustion engine models are still in the majority. Yet, the growth of EVs in France is a major change given that electric vehicles were a niche market just three years ago. EVs have become mainstream in a short time after government subsidies, bans on fossil-fuel vehicles and high petrol prices.