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. By 2021, up to 50 percent less cars running on diesel, petrol, and LPG were sold in Italy compared to pre-pandemic 2019 sales; however, cars emitting fewer emissions – such as electric cars – proved more popular nationally compared with the previous year.
The sales volume of hybrid vehicles doubled between 2020 and 2021, surpassing 497,200 units in 2021. 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 2021, reaching just under 63,000 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, with a market share of about 4.6 percent, electric vehicles are certainly increasing in popularity. Back in 2018, the first hydrogen car was sold in the city of Bolzano, and in 2019 the number of hydrogen car matriculations reached 17 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 2021, by fuel type
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UNRAE. (January 3, 2022). Number of passenger cars sold in Italy from 2014 to 2021, by fuel type [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved October 05, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/417567/passenger-car-sales-in-italy-by-fuel-type/
UNRAE. "Number of passenger cars sold in Italy from 2014 to 2021, by fuel type." Chart. January 3, 2022. Statista. Accessed October 05, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/417567/passenger-car-sales-in-italy-by-fuel-type/
UNRAE. (2022). Number of passenger cars sold in Italy from 2014 to 2021, by fuel type. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: October 05, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/417567/passenger-car-sales-in-italy-by-fuel-type/
UNRAE. "Number of Passenger Cars Sold in Italy from 2014 to 2021, by Fuel Type." Statista, Statista Inc., 3 Jan 2022, https://www.statista.com/statistics/417567/passenger-car-sales-in-italy-by-fuel-type/
UNRAE, Number of passenger cars sold in Italy from 2014 to 2021, by fuel type Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/417567/passenger-car-sales-in-italy-by-fuel-type/ (last visited October 05, 2022)