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Volkswagen Passat GTE Impresses During Summertime Chill Season (Europe EV Sales In July)

This article is being simultaneously published on CleanTechnica, EV Obsession, and EV Sales. It is also being added to our Electric Car Sales page.

The European EV market had more than 13,000 registrations last month, down 4% over July 2015. The slowdown in sales are more visible on the BEV side, presumably now that more buyers are waiting for the upcoming long-range models. Nevertheless, the market is set to surpass the 200,000 units by year end.

Top 5 EVs In July


#1 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – Despite the Japanese SUV being the best seller in July, with 1,490 units, the fact is that its sales have dropped 14% YoY. This is the fifth month in a row of slowing sales. Talk about bittersweet victory. … Although growing in important markets, like Norway and Sweden, Mitsubishi hasn’t found a way to replace the average 300–400 units/month it had last year in the Dutch market and to stop the sales bleeding in the UK. Is Mitsubishi’s star product becoming passé?


#2 VW Passat GTE – Thanks to Sweden and Norway, big time Passat GTE buyers, Volkswagen’s midsize offering reached the 2nd place position, its highest ranking ever, with 1,178 units registered, which is its best score this year. With the right mix of space, practicality, low-carbon emissions, and power, the Passat GTE is destined for success as a company car for middle managers.

Renault Zoe 5

#3 Renault Zoe – The French hatch’s sales went back to black in July, with registrations up 16% YoY to 1,135 units. With Germany compensating for the seasonal slowdown of its domestic market, the French hatchback is enjoying the summer break to chill and return en force in September, preparing itself for the big Renault-Nissan Alliance product showdown at the Paris Auto Show.


#4 Volkswagen Golf GTE – The (not so) surprise of the month, VW’s sporty hatch returned to the top 5, reaching #4, with 834 units registered, but sales are down 52% YoY. With last year’s result inflated by the Netherlands and currently suffering from internal competition from its Passat GTE larger sibling, the plug-in hybrid version of Europe’s best-selling car will have a hard time in the near future, especially when the longer-range VW e-Golf lands.

3000+ Reservations For Nissan LEAF Group Buy In Quebec

#5 Nissan Leaf – Sales of the Japanese hatch were down 25% in July, to 805 units, its worst performance of the year, with registrations dropping across the continent. In normal circumstances, Nissan would be worried and would try to pull some tricks to turn things around, but this time, the Japanese brand is just keeping production at minimal levels to avoid big unsold stocks, waiting for the big EV push to be made by the Alliance at the Paris Auto Show.

YTD Ranking

Looking at the YTD ranking, there was only one significant change this month, with the VW Passat GTE jumping to #6, looking enviously to the #5 position of its Golf GTE relative.

But the race for #5 will also be made by the BMW i3, once the expected tsunami of 33kWh units arrives.

2017 BMW i3 blue

In the midst of the Summertime Chill season, besides the Passat GTE, two other models outside the top 20 also did their best — the Mercedes GLE500e had 136 units registered, its best performance ever, while the Audi Q7 e-Tron did even better, with 352 deliveries, by far its best month to date and already pulling it to #13 in the July ranking.

(Un)coincidentally, both are big luxury SUVs, something that seems to be the Trend du Jour these days.

Looking at the manufacturer ranking, trophy bearer Volkswagen (16%) has managed to keep Renault (15%) at bay, while the increasingly menacing BMW (13%) is just waiting for the 33 kWh i3 to arrive, in order to reach the top two.

Europe July YTD
Audi A3 e-Tron 398 3,813
BMW 225xe Active Tourer 350 2,501
BMW 330e 419 2,752
BMW i3 561 5,455
BMW X5 xDrive40e 310 2,932
Kia Soul EV 264 2,118
Mercedes B250e 172 1,725
Mercedes C350e 752 4,872
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 1,490 12,614
Nissan e-NV200 194 1,611
Nissan LEAF 805 11,659
Porsche Cayenne Plug-In 191 1,680
Renault Kangoo ZE 274 2,224
Renault Zoe 1,135 13,007
Tesla Model S 567 7,469
Volvo V60 Plug-In 263 1,887
Volvo XC90 T8 718 5,740
VW e-Golf 495 4,384
VW Golf GTE 834 6,519
VW Passat GTE 1,178 5,900
TOTAL 13,104 112,144
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Written By

Always interested in the auto industry, particularly in electric cars, Jose has been overviewed the sales evolution of plug-ins on the EV Sales blog, allowing him to gain an expert view on where EVs are right now and where they are headed in the future. The EV Sales blog has become a go-to source for people interested in electric car sales around the world. Extending that work and expertise, Jose is also market analyst on EV-Volumes and works with the European Alternative Fuels Observatory on EV sales matters.


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