Europe car sales: share of diesel engines 2013-2017, by country

Ireland was the European country with the largest share of diesel cars. Although figures had decreased since 2013, diesel cars still made up 65 percent of all new passenger cars bought in Ireland in 2017. By comparison, Portugal had had the same share of new diesel cars as Ireland in 2013, but was able to cut said share by eleven percent within the following four years. The overall reduction in diesel car sales is unsurprising given the 2015 diesel scandal and subsequent discussions surrounding health and environmental impacts of the fuel type.

 Volvo sells most diesel cars

  The greatest share of new passenger cars fitted with a diesel engine were sold by Volvo. In 2017, nearly eight out of ten cars sold by the Swedish carmaker in Europe were reliant on diesel fuel. This was despite a nine percent decrease since 2013. Out of all car makers, Fiat was the only one which recorded positive development, with the percentage of diesel cars sold increasing from 31 percent in 2013 to 36 percent in 2017.

 Diesel pollution worse than petrol

  The diesel scandal uncovered that amounts of the air pollutant nitrogen oxide (NOx) released by diesel cars were in fact exorbitantly higher than testing previously suggested. This was due to software installed by carmakers masking actual emission figures. Diesel pollution would cost taxpayers nearly 56 billion euros in health and non-health related expenses. This was more than five times the amount of petrol pollution costs.

Percentage share of new passenger cars in Europe with diesel engines in 2013 and 2017, by country*

20132017
Ireland72%65%
Turkey-61%
Portugal72%61%
Italy54%57%
Luxembourg73%54%
Sweden61%50%
Austria57%50%
Spain67%48%
France66%47%
Belgium65%46%
Greece58%44%
EU-28 average53%44%
UK50%42%
Iceland-42%
Germany48%39%
EU-13 average43%36%
Switzerland37%36%
Denmark32%35%
Finland37%30%
Norway53%23%
Netherlands25%18%
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Source

Release date

December 2018

Region

Europe

Survey time period

2013 and 2017

Supplementary notes

* Includes Switzerland, Norway, Turkey and Iceland.

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Statistics on "Diesel vehicles in Italy "

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