Published on September 30th, 2017 | by Jose Pontes0
The (VW) Empire Strikes Back (Europe Electric Car Sales Report)
September 30th, 2017 by Jose Pontes
The (VW) Empire Strikes Back
The plug-in market in Europe had a surprisingly strong August month, with over 22,000 registrations, up 68% year over year (YoY). That pushes the plug-in market share up to 1.7%.
This unexpected surge can also be an indication of an exceptional September month. Will this mean the December 2015 record (34,213 registrations) is in danger?
Despite being a usually slow sales month due to the holiday season, the Renault Zoe hasn’t stopped leading the way. For the eighth month in a row, it was #1. But the real news in August was the deliveries surge from Volkswagen, with brilliant performances across the lineup, while also winning the month’s silver and bronze medals.
Looking at the monthly model ranking:
#1 Renault Zoe — Still struggling to satisfy the demand for its long-range supermini, Renault couldn’t lift off the accelerator and enjoy the holiday season. The French hatchback scored 2,152 units, up 147% YoY, with strong performances across the continent. The Zoe landed 710 deliveries in its domestic market, 423 in Germany, and 148 in Denmark. What an increased range does to an electric car’s sales…
#2 Volkswagen e-Golf — The 1,694 deliveries the e-Golf scored in August not only beat its previous personal record, set last June (1,360 units), but it also allowed the e-Golf to triple the result made in the same period last year (549 units), mostly thanks to Norway (996 deliveries, a new record) and Germany (475 units, a new record). Oh, the wonders of increased range…
#3 Volkswagen Passat GTE — Also profiting from Volkswagen’s recent love for plug-ins, the Passat GTE registered 1,352 units, its best result since January. The plug-in hybrid Passat landed great results in Sweden (614 units, a new record), Norway (356), and Germany (198). The German midsizer is once again flying high, driving middle managers across Europe to their next customers/meetings/mistresses.
#4 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV — A classic in these Euro charts, the Japanese SUV was back in black, growing 18% YoY to 1,204 units. It collected strong results in Norway (358 units) and Sweden (176), but the headlining result was in Iceland, where it set an all-time record for a single model — 152 registrations. No wonder Iceland is at 10% share…
#5 BMW i3 — It looks like the 33 kWh sales boost has ended, with the German hot hatch delivering only 1,149 units, its lowest result in a year. Leading markets, unsurprisingly, were Norway (390 units) and Germany (238). If it’s true, the upcoming restyling could help stop the sales bleeding, but the fact is the EV market is moving fast and only a sharp price cut can make it competitive again.
YTD Ranking — Volkswagen on the Rise
While the podium positions remained stable, below the podium were significant changes, with the VW Passat GTE climbing to #5, its e-Golf stablemate jumping to #11, and to end Volkswagen’s nearly perfect month, the Golf GTE climbing to #14.
In #20 we now have the BMW 530e, which saw 627 units moved in August. It seems this young plug-in hybrid has struck a chord with its target audience, which is eager to cash in on those juicy plug-in incentives. The model also shamed its direct rival, the Mercedes E350e (which only saw 204 registrations in August) and even kept up with the almighty Tesla Model S (766 deliveries).
In the manufacturers ranking, BMW is comfortable in its carbon fiber throne, holding 20% EV market share, followed by Renault (14%) and Volkswagen (12%, up 2%).
|Europe||August||YTD||YTD Market Share|
|Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV||1,204||11,882||7%|
|VW Passat GTE||1,352||8,243||5%|
|Tesla Model S||766||8,051||4%|
|Tesla Model X||577||6,636||4%|
|Audi A3 e-Tron||904||5,634||3%|
|Volvo XC90 T8||340||4,802||3%|
|VW Golf GTE||616||4,584||3%|
|BMW X5 xDrive40e||279||3,925||2%|
|Hyundai Ioniq Electric||620||3,801||2%|
|Kia Soul EV||570||3,325||2%|
This month we have only one new vehicle landing, but an important one:
Kia Niro PHEV — Building on the success of its regular hybrid sibling, which has broken the Toyota monopoly in its category, the plug-in hybrid Niro lands at the heart of the hottest selling segment in Europe: compact crossovers, where currently it has no direct competition to worry about — not that competition would be a problem. The Kia Niro PHEV has quite compelling specs (58 kilometers of electric range on the optimistic NEDC cycle) and pricing (€33,000). The problem for Kia will be to make enough of them to satisfy demand. Target: 1,000/month.