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Passenger car sales in Italy 2014-2019, by fuel type

In 2018, the sales volume of passenger cars in Italy decreased for the first time since 2014. This contraction can be attributed to the introduction of the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) in Europe in September 2018. Manufacturers slowed down deliveries as a result of the new regulation, which imposed stricter certification procedures for emission targets – for example, Real Driving Emission (RDE) test cycles. Diesel vehicles were most affected by the introduction of the new standards, as their sales volume passed from 1.1 million units in 2017 to 770 thousand units in 2019. In 2019, sales of petrol cars outnumbered those of diesel cars.

Hybrid cars

The sales volume of hybrid vehicles more than doubled between 2017 and 2018, reaching 87 thousand units. In 2019, over 116 thousand hybrid cars were registered. While petrol-electric cars dominated the hybrid car market, diesel-electric vehicles were beginning to make a dent. In fact, their sales volume soared in 2019, reaching 19 thousand units.

Alternative fuels are taking off

While hybrid vehicles were consolidating their presence in the Italian car market, fully electric vehicles represented a small niche. Due to the low number of charging stations available in Italian highways, range anxiety was still a barrier to the widespread adoption of EVs. However, their sales volume more than doubled between 2018 and 2019, reaching a market share of about 0.6 percent. In 2019 there were 10.6 thousand new EV registrations. In 2018, the first hydrogen car was sold in the city of Bolzano, and in 2019 the number of hydrogen car matriculations reached seven units. While not a significant quantity, it can still be read as a sign that Italians are looking forward to driving innovative and more sustainable vehicles.

Number of passenger cars sold in Italy from 2014 to 2019, by fuel type

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period

2014 to 2019

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Statistics on "Automotive retail industry in Italy"

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