Renault Zoe, Nissan LEAF, & BMW i3 Dominate French EV Market (#CleanTechnica Report)

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And the Tesla Model S jumps 4 positions.

The French plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) passenger car market ushered in 3,099 registrations in May, up just 4% year over year (YoY). Fully electric models (BEVs) grew slightly faster than plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) — BEVs +5%, PHEVs +2% — which is something that hadn’t been happening in recent months.

The 2018 PEV share remained stable at 1.8%, with BEVs alone having 1.3% share.

Looking at May best sellers, the Zoe collected another win, but registrations were down (-12%) compared to the same month last year, something that the runner-up Nissan LEAF can’t  really complain about. Due to the new generation, the Japanese hatchback scored 375 deliveries, up 40% YoY.

A new face popped into the monthly top 5 as well. The Volvo XC60 PHEV ended in 4th thanks to 113 registrations.

EV Model Sales  
1 Renault Zoe 1,085
2 Nissan Leaf 331
3 BMW i3 204
4 Volvo XC60 PHEV 113
5 Mercedes GLC350e 108

In a market known for its stability, the only other top 10 change was the Volvo XC90 PHEV climbing one position to #8, thanks to 100 deliveries, and getting dangerously close to the #6 Kia Soul EV. Will we see two Volvos in the top 6?

But it’s in the second half of the rankings that the fun stuff happens. First of all, the Tesla Model S jumped 4 places, to #12, thanks to 63 deliveries (the same as last year’s May). The BMW X5 PHEV did even better, leaping 5 places, from #18 to #13, while scoring 82 sales, the model’s best result ever.

The VW Golf GTE rejoined the top 20, landing in #19, thanks to 46 registrations (its best result of the year). A telling change happened in #14, with the Hyundai Ioniq PHEV surpassing its BEV sibling, which seems to confirm rumours that the Korean brand dealerships are trying to divert prospective Ioniq BEV buyers into the PHEV version as Hyundai tries to prioritize the lower kWh versions. (1 BEV battery has as much kWh of capacity as 3 PHEVs, allowing Hyundai to triple the number of Ioniqs it sells when its battery supply is limited, as it’s reported to be. And that means more profit, of course).

In the brand ranking, French Renault (36%) continues in France’s driver’s seat, followed at a distance by BMW (12%, up 1%) and Nissan (11%).

EV Model May YTD YTD EV Market Share
1 Renault Zoe 1,085 6,079 36%
2 Nissan Leaf 331 1,779 11%
3 BMW i3 204 1,076 6%
4 Mercedes GLC350e 108 573 3%
5 Volvo XC60 PHEV 113 519 3%
6 Kia Soul EV 51 389 2%
7 Smart Fortwo ED 68 384 2%
8 Volvo XC90 PHEV 100 375 2%
9 VW Passat GTE 80 363 2%
10 Porsche Panamera PHEV 65 332 2%
11 Peugeot iOn 63 317 2%
12 Tesla Model S 63 295 2%
13 BMW X5 PHEV 82 278 2%
14 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV 36 271 2%
15 Hyundai Ioniq Electric 20 264 2%
16 Mini Countryman PHEV 8 261 2%
17 BMW 225xe Active Tourer 12 254 2%
18 Peugeot Partner Tepee EV 8 218 1%
19 VW Golf GTE 46 214 1%
20 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 41 213 1%
Others 515 2,373 14%
TOTAL 3,099 16,827 100%

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José Pontes

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.

José Pontes has 478 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes