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Published on August 27th, 2018 | by Zachary Shahan

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European Electric Car Sales Increased 42% In H1 2018 vs H1 2017

August 27th, 2018 by  


Our friends at top electric vehicle (EV) data collection and analysis firm EV Volumes have just published European plug-in vehicle sales results for the first half of 2018. The most notable stat is probably the one in the headline — 42% market growth year over year (YoY). Additionally, in total, the number of plug-in vehicles on the street in Europe passed 1 million.

Total plug-in car sales in the first half of the year reached 195,000, which meant 2% share of the overall auto market. The market share is expected to reach 2.35% in 2018, on the back of 430,000 plug-in car sales.

The market was almost perfectly split between fully electric cars (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) in the first half of the year — 51% versus 49%, but that split varies a great deal from country to country.

Every single country analyzed saw EV market growth. Germany led in terms of volume growth, while Norway remains the continent’s biggest EV market — though, much more populous Germany appears set to eclipse it. Germany saw 15% EV market growth. Norway saw 9% EV market growth. The UK saw 6% EV market growth, Sweden 5%, the Netherlands 5%, France 4%, and Spain 3%.

Just looking at current EV market share, EV Volumes highlights that it’s the more northerly countries that lead the pack. “Except in Denmark, where the market was confused by incomprehensible green car taxation plans, the nordic countries lead in EV adoption. The plug-in share in Norway is off the chart, as usual, with 37% YTD. EVs have a long tradition in Norway (the Th!nk and Buddy microcars) and EV awareness in Norway started some years ahead of other countries.”

An important point the EV Volumes crew reminds us is that growth is often limited by supply, not simply demand. “A caveat for high growth in the 2nd half is vehicle supply. Our tracking of plug-in vehicle inventory shows an average of only 4 days of supply on stock and 2 months of order back-log. Models with more than 10,000 unfulfilled orders, each, are Hyundai Kona, VW e-Golf, Jaguar i-Pace, Nissan Leaf, and obviously the Tesla Model 3, all of them BEVs.”

Overall, the European continent is seeing exponential EV market growth. The chart shows it better than words can.

As far as the leading models, Europe loves small electric cars. The top three models were the Nissan LEAF (considered a “compact” car and small in the US but quite a good “family car” size in Europe), the Renault Zoe, and the BMW i3 (which has a far easier time appealing to Europeans living in tight cities than Americans living in highway-oriented California, Florida, and Texas).

The one and only affordable plug-in SUV, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, had its usual strong showing, before another small-ish car, the VW e-Golf, and the supremely popular marge luxury car from Tesla, the Model S, staked their places ahead of the crowd. Four plug-in hybrids from popular European brands completed the top 10 list. The full list of the top 25 is below in more colorful and stat-specific format.

Before reading further, can you guess (or do you somehow know) the top brands in terms of EV sales on the European continent?

Despite quite a lot of criticism of BMW’s approach to plug-in vehicles (which has been published in a few forms here on CleanTechnica), the German brand is in the leadership position at the moment. Here’s how the brand ranking breaks down:

#1 — BMW — 35,450 units (+29 %)

#2 — VW — 33,700 units (+44%)

#3 — Renault — 21,400 units (+10 %)

#4 — Nissan — 19,300 units (+42%)

#5 — Daimler — 18,800 units (+35%)

“Growing fastest is #6 Hyundai-Kia with +234% and #7 Volvo with +164%. Mitsubishi (#9) is the only brand that lost volume (-3 %), Tesla is on #8 (the Model 3 sales start is not before 2019) and, finally, PSA is #10.”

Any predictions on how the brand ranking — of the model ranking — will change by the end of 2018?

For more details, read the entire EV Volumes report.

Related: Europe’s Electric Car Sales Up 30% In July — #CleanTechnica Report


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About the Author

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species). He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor. He's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession and Solar Love. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, and Canada. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in. But he offers no professional investment advice and would rather not be responsible for you losing money, so don't jump to conclusions.



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