Sales of electric vehicles (EVs) plunged across Europe last month, fuelled by a sharp drop-off in demand in Germany. 

Official figures show that sales for new EVs fell by 30pc in Germany last month, which led to a broader fall of 12.5pc across the Continent. 

It comes a week after Brussels launched a crackdown on an influx of cheap EV imports from China, which they claim have benefited from unfair state subsidies. 

The European Commission unveiled a raft of new trade tariffs of up to 48pc on EVs, including those made by MG, Volvo and BYD – all of which are China-owned. 

However, the measures are at risk of increasing EV prices for drivers across the bloc and sparking a diplomatic row with Beijing, which has threatened to retaliate with its own tariffs.

The new duties will come into force from July 5 unless the EU strikes a deal with China. 

Against this backdrop, data from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association on Thursday revealed that the year-on-year market share of fully electric cars fell from 13.8pc to 12.5pc in May. 

As well as a drop in demand across Germany, the Netherlands also reported a 12.5pc decline in new EV sales last month. 

Belgium and France were the only key markets to increase EV sales in May, growing 44.8pc and 5.4pc respectively. 

Meanwhile, the market share of hybrid EVs increased from 25pc to 29.9pc. 

According to environmental campaign group Transport & Environment, the sales slump is partly driven by carmakers prioritising combustion-engine cars and luxury EVs.

The Brussels-based clean transport and energy group said that carmakers are holding back more affordable EVs ahead of tougher EU carbon emission restrictions coming into force next year.

Lucien Mathieu, cars director at Transport & Environment, said: “Europe’s clean car rules are the Continent’s strongest driver of EV sales and more affordable vehicles.”

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2024-06-20T08:07:08Z dg43tfdfdgfd