LONDON — Sales of electric and plug-in hybrid cars in the European Union almost trebled to over 1 million vehicles last year, accounting for more than 10% of overall sales, data showed on Thursday.
The jump in sales shows electrified vehicles are becoming more mainstream products after years of being a niche market and it came at a time when overall EU car sales plunged nearly 24% to 9.9 million because of COVID-19 lockdowns.
The data released by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) showed sales of fully-electric and plug-in hybrids surged to 1.046 million vehicles from 387,808 in 2019.
Sales of self-charging hybrid cars climbed 59% to 1.182 million last year while petrol and diesel vehicle sales fell 37% and 32% respectively, the data showed. Petrol cars remained the biggest seller, however, accounting for 48% of all EU sales.
As well as having to meet stringent new EU carbon