More electric and hybrid car imports in recent years

© ANP / Erik van 't Woud
In 2022, a total of 304 thousand passenger cars were exported, nearly 2 percent fewer than in the previous year. The Netherlands imported 249 thousand cars, representing a decline of more than 15 percent on 2021. Relative to 2019, the last pre-pandemic year, exports increased by nearly 1 percent and imports by approximately 11 percent. An increase was particularly notable in imports of fully hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles (FHEVs and PHEVs) as well as fully electric vehicles (FEVs). This is evident from new figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS).

In 2022, the number of exported cars decreased by 6 thousand (2 percent) relative to 2021. Following a slump in the previous year, car exports recovered in 2021. The slump was caused inter alia by the closing of borders and decreased car production on account of measures against coronavirus. Ninety percent of the exported cars were five years old or older.

Passenger car exports by car age
Leeftijd< 5 yrs (x 1,000)5 to 9 yrs (x 1,000)10 to14 yrs (x 1,000)15 to 20 yrs (x 1,000)20 yrs and over (x 1,000)
Source: CBS, RDW

Used car imports down last year

In 2022, the number of imported passenger cars decreased by 44.5 thousand or 15 percent on the previous year. The majority of the imported cars were young, with 82 percent younger than ten years and 57 percent under five years old in 2022.

Passenger car imports by car age
Leeftijd< 5 yrs (x 1,000)5 to 9 yrs (x 1,000)10 to 14 yrs (x 1,000)15 to 19 yrs (x 1,000)20 yrs and over (x 1,000)
Source: CBS, RDW

Rising exports of electric cars

Of the passenger cars exported in 2022, over 14 thousand were fully electric (FEVs), full hybrids (FHEVs) or plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). This is equivalent to slightly under 5 percent of total car exports. A shift can be seen within this group. Exports of FEVs were up, while exports of plug-in hybrids were down. In 2019, the number of exported FEVs stood at 1,373, versus 4,540 in 2022. Exports of plug-in hybrids declined by 59 percent at the same time, to 3,558.

FEV and PHEV imports up

In 2022, slightly under 19 thousand FEVs were imported, almost seven times more than in 2019. The increase in plug-in hybrid imports was even 14-fold relative to 2019, with nearly 24 thousand cars imported in 2022.

Passenger car imports and exports by fuel type
JaartalFEV exports (x 1,000)FHEV exports (x 1,000)PHEV exports (x 1,000)FEV imports (x 1,000)FHEV imports (x 1,000)PHEV imports (x 1,000)
Source: CBS, RDW

Higher petrol car exports

In 2022, slightly over 50 percent of the exported cars (157 thousand) were petrol cars while 42 percent (127.6 thousand) were diesel cars. The difference was smaller in 2019, with petrol cars holding a share of 47 percent and diesel cars 45 percent.

Passenger car exports by fuel type
BrandstofPetrol (x 1,000)Diesel (x 1,000)Hybrid (x 1,000)FEV (x 1,000)Other (x 1,000)
Source: CBS, RDW

Diesel car imports down in particular

The majority of imports are petrol cars. In 2022, their share amounted to 64 percent (159 thousand). Diesel car imports have declined over the past few years. Last year, 21.8 million diesel cars were imported, 40 percent less than in 2019.

Passenger car imports by fuel type
JaartalPetrol (x 1,000)Hybrid (x 1,000)Diesel (x 1,000)FEV (x 1,000)Other (x 1,000)
Source: CBS, RDW