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Published on July 30th, 2018 | by Jose Pontes

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Europe Electric Car Sales Up 37% In June — #CleanTechnica Report

July 30th, 2018 by  


Renault Zoe Beats Nissan Leaf

The European passenger plug-in market continues pushing forward. In June, the continent registered some 38,000 plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), up 37% relative to the same period last year and the continent’s second best performance ever. That showing pulled the year-to-date (YTD) count to some 185,000 deliveries (+43% year over year, or YoY). In total, the 2018 PEV market share of the overall car market there is up to 2.2% (2.4% in June).

This time, fully electric cars (BEVs) grew slower (+20%) than PHEVs (+55%). Will we see all-electrics bounce back in the second half of the year?

Looking at Europe’s fuel mix, diesel continues to drop significantly (-16% YoY) in a growing market (+5.2%), while all other fuels (including CNG, LPG, …) are on the rise, profiting from the diesel-fleeing stampede. At this pace, the new registrations of diesel-powered vehicles will be virtually dead by 2025.

June saw the Renault Zoe beat the Nissan Leaf for the first time since February, with BEVs continuing to own the top positions. The Tesla Model S, meanwhile, profited from the usual last-month-of-quarter peak to join the top 5. It landed in the #4 position.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV managed to score another top 5 presence as well, winning at the same time the bestselling PHEV award.

Among models that landed in 2018, the best selling one is the Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV, which registered 235 units in June, adding to the current 498 registrations made this year.


Looking at the monthly model ranking:

#1 Renault Zoe June’s 3,425 deliveries meant a 16% drop for the French hatchback, but nevertheless, those deliveries allowed the Renault BEV to narrowly beat its Japanese cousin and become the continent’s best seller in June. The French automaker is running to satisfy Zoe orders, and with the production output set to increase in a couple of months, expect the model to increase registrations and give its Leaf cousin a run for its money in the second half of the year. As for individual market performances, the domestic market did the usual heavy lifting, by registering 1,928 units, with other significant numbers coming from Germany (465 units), Norway (183), and the Netherlands (130).    

#2 Nissan Leaf The 2.0 version of the most common plug-in car in the world continues to expand its sales, by registering 3,377 units in June, doubling the result of last year. With the orders list still to be satisfied in a few countries, expect the Leaf to continue running for #1. Back to June performance, the main markets were Norway (1,152 deliveries), UK (500), France (469), The Netherlands (251) and Portugal (158).

#3 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV This model is solid as a rock. Despite a revised version being weeks from landing, the Japanese SUV secured yet another best-selling PHEV and best-selling plug-in SUV ranking, providing yet another podium presence in June. The model landed 2,174 registrations, up an amazing 46% YoY, which is the nameplate’s highest growth rate in years. This exceptional performance is possibly explained by a stock clearance event — the slightly revised version is set to arrive in Q3 2018, so the Mitsubishi plug-in SUV will continue to offer its unique mix of space, AWD, and affordability (~€40,000) with the added bonus of a larger electric range (28 mi/45 km real-world range) and more power (+15 hp). This should keep it popular in markets like the UK, Norway, and Sweden, all registering around 500 units/month. Going forward, the Japanese SUV is expected to keep wearing its best-selling PHEV crown in the foreseeable future.

#4 Tesla Model S The large Tesla sports sedan had its best June ever in Europe, thanks to 2,105 deliveries, up 52% YoY. This is an impressive result for the Californian, not only because it’s been on the Old Continent since 2013, but especially because the Model 3 is just 6 months away from crossing the pond and landing on this side of the Atlantic, which could already create a shadow over its older (and more expensive) sibling. So far, that hasn’t been the case, with the nameplate’s 2018 sales performance actually growing 14% YoY. Looking at individual countries, besides Norway’s usual contribution (467 units), the Netherlands has scored a record month, with 650 deliveries, while Germany and the UK also had significant contributions, with some 200 registrations in both countries.

#5 BMW i3 The German hot hatch saw sales increase slightly in June (+21% YoY), with 2,002 units being delivered. With the Leipzig factory expected to grow output towards the end of the year, thanks to the upcoming 44kWh version, do not expect the Bavarian carmaker to be worried with its quirky looking hatchback sales performance. Looking at individual countries, this time Germany (509 units, 399 of them being BEV) was the largest market for the i3, displacing Norway (335) in that spot. France (182) rounded out the top 3 absorbers of the BMW electric model.

Model June YTD PEV Market Share (YTD)
1 Nissan Leaf 3,377 17,944 10%
2 Renault Zoe 3,425 17,016 9%
3 BMW i3 2,002 11,301 6%
4 VW e-Golf 1,447 9,796 5%
5 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 2,174 9,662 5%
6 Tesla Model S 2,105 7,699 4%
7 VW Passat GTE 1,228 7,315 4%
8 Volvo XC60 T8 PHEV 1,327 6,566 4%
9 VW Golf GTE 1,388 5,955 3%
10 BMW 530e 1,266 5,818 3%
11 Tesla Model X 1,829 5,600 3%
12 Mercedes GLC350e 972 5,317 3%
13 Kia Niro PHEV 979 5,246 3%
14 BMW 330e 1,037 5,052 3%
15 Hyundai Ioniq Electric 766 4,569 2%
16 Smart Fortwo ED 675 4,507 2%
17 BMW 225xe Active Tourer 1,555 4,383 2%
18 Mini Countryman PHEV 1,556 4,018 2%
19 Porsche Panamera PHEV 603 3,866 2%
20 Kia Soul EV 329 3,527 2%
Others 8,096 39,753 21%
TOTAL 38,136 184,910 100%

Tesla Models Climb Positions

Looking at the 2018 ranking, the top positions remained the same, with the headlining news being the Tesla Model S climbing to #6. Also underlining a positive month for Tesla, the Model X jumped five positions, to #11, thanks to 1,829 deliveries, a new year best.

Other changes in the top 20 were the BMW 225xe Active Tourer climbing two positions to #17, thanks to a record 1,555 units, while its British cousin, the Mini Countryman PHEV, joined the top 20 in the #18 spot, also hitting a record performance (1,556 registrations).

With June being the second best selling month ever, there were a bunch of record performances. Besides the previously mentioned ones, the Volvo XC60 PHEV delivered a record 1,327 deliveries, while the BMW 530e continued its expansion streak, finishing with a record 1,266 registrations in June.

Outside the top 20, the BMW X5 PHEV scored a record 857 registrations, while another giant SUV, the Audi Q7 e-Tron, had its best month in 18 months (428 units). This sudden peak in flagship plug-in hybrid SUVs has to do with mid-year fiscal changes in a number of countries, added to the new WLTP cycle, which will significantly increase the prices of short-range PHEVs.

A final reference is due for the revised BMW i8. With 275 deliveries, it had its best result ever — that means going back to when it landed in 2014.  

Looking at the manufacturer ranking, last year’s winner, BMW (17%), is in the lead again — by a fair margin. Runner-up Volkswagen (13%, down 1%) lost a bit of ground to the leader, while Nissan (10%) is keeping the bronze medal. Nissan’s cousin Renault (9%) is close to the podium position, though, and just a tad ahead of Volvo (8%) and Tesla (7%). It’s a tight race this year.


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About the Author

Always interested in the auto industry, particularly in electric cars, Jose has been overviewing the sales evolution of plug-ins through the EV Sales blog since 2012, 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 now a partner in EV-Volumes and works with the European Alternative Fuels Observatory on EV sales matters.



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