The European Environment Agency (EEA) has revealed that about 11% of the 11.6 million cars sold in the European Union (EU), Iceland, Norway and the United Kingdom last year was an electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle. That’s one in nine new cars sold, and it represented an increase from 3.5% in 2019.

Provisional data from the agency also showed a 12% drop in average CO2 emissions of new cars compared to 2019, which is the first decrease observed since 2016 and the biggest annual drop since the EU introduced its car CO2 standards in 2010, according to a report by Reuters. The average emissions for new cars registered in Europe last year were 107.8 grams of CO2 per kilometre, representing a decrease of 14.5 grams compared with 2019.

Within the region, electrified car sales increased to more than one million in 2020, occupying a bigger share despite overall new car sales declining due to the pandemic. The EEA also stated that the share of electric vans increased from 1.4% in 2019 to about 2.3% in 2020.

With the tougher Euro 6d emission standard coming into effect last year, automakers were forced to reduce their fleet-wide emissions by either selling more low-emission vehicles or purchasing credits from other automakers that overachieved their targets. Those that are unable to comply will face fines, although the EEA did not reveal which automakers met the standard.