Diesel sales in the European Union fell heavily last quarter, with battery electric and both plug-in and regular hybrids showing big sales gains.

New data from the ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, had the results for the first quarter of this year. Diesel passenger cars down 17 percent, with gas cars taking up a big portion of that sales slack. But gas-powered cars didn’t get it all, alternative electrically powered cars made some big jumps.

The diesel car drop was around 322,622 cars compared with the same time a year before. That left the door open to buyers who wanted to save fuel – or stop using it altogether — without the current cloud hanging around diesel fuel following ongoing emissions scandals from Volkswagen as well as the threat of diesel bans in multiple EU countries.

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EV sales were up 34.3 percent and more than 8,300 units, hitting 32,566 battery electric vehicles sold. Plug-in hybrids saw a massive 60 percent jump. Unlike in years past where 60 percent could mean just a few extra units, the jump was to 37,332 passenger vehicles, up more than 14,000 units. That puts the total number of electrically chargeable vehicles sold at 69,898 units.

Non-plug hybrids also saw sales climb, by 25 percent to reach 139,556.

Germany is now the largest market in the EU for electric vehicles, moving ahead of France and selling 9,127 EVs. Sales in Germany were up 80.2 percent, which puts them neck and neck with non-member Norway for tops in all of Europe. 9,694 EVs were sold in Norway in the first quarter.

The biggest percentage increase in EV sales came from Romania, where sales jumped a massive 1,672.7 percent. The actual figures were somewhat less impressive but jumping from 11 to 195 cars sold is still notable.

Sales are still a fraction of the total EU new car market, which saw 4.15 million new passenger car sales in the same period. But they continue to improve at a rapid rate and have now topped the five-percent mark, hitting 5.1 percent.