Sales of new electrified vehicles in France overtook petrol-powered equivalents for the first time in the first quarter of 2022, a major milestone for lower-emission vehicles.

Overall, French new car sales fell in the period recording the tenth straight month of decline with an almost 20% drop in March, as the automotive sector struggles with supply chain issues including a global shortage of semiconductor chips.

Sales of fully electric and hybrid models in the first quarter accounted for nearly 40% of new car sales, marginally ahead of the 38.3% reported for conventional petrol models, according to industry data provided by the Plateforme automobile (PFA). Diesel’s market share was 16.5%.

A spokesperson for the PFA said due to uncertainty over the war in Ukraine and shortages of some components, it was not possible to provide a forecast for French new car sales in 2022.

The top-selling electric car in France in March was Tesla’s Model 3 followed by the Dacia Spring and Peugeot 208.