For the full-year 2019, about 520,000 NEVs were sold out of a total of 15.3 million cars delivered in Europe.
The analyst firm Canalys said NEVs included plug-in hybrids, electric vehicles and fuel-cell vehicles, adding that the increase came off a low base.
"The industry needs a boost, and it should come, in part, from the new, more affordable, compact EVs launching in the first half of 2020 from mainstream brands such as Honda, Mini, Opel/Vauxhall, Peugeot and VW," said Canalys chief automotive analyst Chris Jones.
Jones described 2019 as being another challenging year for the European car market.
"While there was year-on-year sales growth for both Q4 and the full year, the growth is misleading due to the negative sales impact of the WLTP [World harmonised Light vehicle Testing Procedure] fuel economy and emissions test, introduced in 2018," he pointed out.
"Underlying demand for new cars in 2019 in most European countries was muted and the impact of the COVID-19 virus will prove an inhibitor to consumer sales well into 2020.
"The supply chain has been adversely affected, with shortages of key components affecting the whole global automotive industry, not just NEVs. Car manufacturers are also likely to prioritise supply for vehicles that are more profitable. [The} margins are low on NEVs, in some cases non-existent, so manufacturers will seek to protect profits."