Europeans are ditching what used to be the de facto fuel for passenger cars–diesel–in favour of battery-powered vehicles. 

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), new EV registrations in the European Union have surpassed those of diesel-powered cars from January to October for the first time. This means EVs are now the third most popular type of vehicle here, after petrol-powered cars and hybrids.

Last month, EU registrations for battery-electric cars increased by 36.3% compared to October 2022, reaching 121,808 units, while the diesel car market continued to decline, with sales seeing a decrease of 13.2 percent.

Year-to-date, the EU saw 1.2 million new EVs registered on its territory, a massive increase of 53.1% compared to last year, and reached a total market share of 14% in the first ten months of this year.

By contrast, diesel-powered cars went from having a 15.9% market share in October of last year to just 12% this year. That’s a noteworthy decrease when compared to the year 2015 when diesel had a grip on the European car market with a 50% share. Year-to-date, diesel has a 13.9% share.

“In October, the market share of battery-electric cars rose to 14.2%, up from 12% in the same month last year. The year-to-date share now stands at 14%, surpassing diesel’s cumulative share for the first time,” ACEA said in a statement.

Hybrids saw a healthy increase in sales, too, with 2.2 million new registrations in the EU from January to October, up by 29.8% compared to the same period last year. On the other hand, plug-in hybrids were down in popularity on the Old Continent, with just 72,002 units sold last month, leading to a market share of 8.4% year-to-date, down from last year’s 10.2%.

Petrol-powered cars are leading the way in terms of registrations, growing its market share by 8.1% in October. However, in the first ten months, this category contracted from 35.4% to 33.4% compared to the same period last year.

In other words, it looks like diesel- and traditional petrol-powered cars are slowly but surely making room for the next wave of hybrid and electric vehicles, whether people like it or not.

As a reminder, the European Union Parliament voted to ban the sale of all new cars that produce carbon dioxide emissions from 2035.