There has been a steady increase in the number of electric and hybrid electric cars registered across the EU in recent years. In particular, the number of hybrid electric-petrol cars in 2017 (1.5 million) was almost seven times the number recorded in 2013 (0.2 million).
In 2017 there were 262 million cars registered in EU member states. Around 2 million (0.8 per cent) of these were classified as either electric cars or hybrid electric cars that can be driven in combination with a petrol or diesel engine.
However, figures still remain slim when compared to the volume of petrol or diesel-fuelled vehicles. In fact, among the EU Member States for which figures are available, there were only five countries with more than 1 per cent of their registered cars either electric or hybrid electric: Sweden (2.4 per cent), Poland (1.9 per cent), United Kingdom (1.5 per cent), France (1.4 per cent) and Belgium (1.2 per cent).
In Malta in 2017, there were a total of 291,664 cars registered in 2017, out of which just 1,356 were electric or hybrid cars, showing that clean energy has barely made any inroads in the local market.
However, in February, Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that he wanted Malta to be one of the first European countries to introduce a cut-off date for the importation of petrol and diesel vehicles.