The share of diesel cars dropped notably in 2017; from 49 % in 2016 to 44 % in 2017. This is significantly less than in 2011–2012, when 55 % of new cars were still powered by diesel. In France, where the diesel market share used to be significantly higher than the EU average, it dropped from a maximum of 77 % to 47 % by 2017 (Fig. 4-1). Of the larger markets, Italy is the only one where the diesel share remained relatively constant, at 57 % in 2017. Diesel tends to be the preferred fuel for larger segments, while for mini/small and sport vehicles gasoline dominates(Fig. 4-9).
The market share of hybrid-electric vehicles was 2.7 % in 2017. Sales of hybrid-electric cars went up in particular in Spain, where the market share increased from 1.8 % in 2015 to 4.5 % in 2017. This is now higher than in the Netherlands (4.5 %), which used to be the EU’s leading country in terms of hybrid-electric car sales (Fig. 4-2). For Toyota, by now about 50 % of all new vehicles sold in the EU are hybrid-electric (Fig. 4-6).
One striking feature of the European vehicle market over the last decade is the sharp increase in market share of passenger cars using gasoline direct injection (GDI) to obtain greater efficiency and lower CO2 emissions. Overall market share of GDI vehicles increased sharply beginning in 2008, and is estimated at around 49 % in 2017. Especially for the premium brands, GDI engines account for the majority of all gasoline vehicle sales in that timeframe. For an accurate comparison of the data, it should be noted that many of the early GDI vehicles limited operation to homogeneous charge only, whereas more complex designs introduced later also allow for stratified charge, with greater efficiency and more CO2 reduction benefit (Fig. 4-14).