Data released by Acea shows that in the third quarter of this year, total alternative fuel vehicle registrations in the EU increased (+13.4%), reaching 127,661 units. There was a particularly big rise for electric vehicles.

ACEA said that electric vehicle (EV) registrations showed a substantial increase (+62.2%), rising from 17,488 units in Q3 2014 to 28,360 units in Q3 2015. Demand for new hybrid vehicles (HEV) also grew significantly (+34.7%), totalling 53,183 units. On the other hand, registrations of new passenger cars powered by propane or natural gas showed a decline in the third quarter (-17.1), totalling 46,118.

Looking at the EU’s major markets, Spain saw the largest increase of AFVs registered over the third quarter (+74.0%), followed by the Netherlands (+55.5%), France (+46.1%) and the UK (+26.4%). While growth in Spain was sustained across all AFV categories, growth in the Netherlands, France and the UK was totally driven by electric and hybrid electric vehicle markets.

Among the EU+EFTA countries, Norway registered the largest number of electrically chargeable vehicles over the period, totalling 7,823 units.

Analysts believe that alternative fueled vehicles stand to benefit in Europe as the high diesel share of the car market declines in the wake of the bad PR for diesel generally following VW's diesel emissions scandal and wider concerns over NOx emissions and testing regimes.