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Published on January 8th, 2019 | by Jose Pontes


Jaguar I-PACE = #1 Vehicle (Not Just EV) in Netherlands in December 2018! Tesla Model S = #1 EV in 2018.

January 8th, 2019 by  

The Jaguar I-PACE was the best selling vehicle (of any type) in December, while the Tesla Model S was the #1 plug-in vehicle for all of 2018.

2018 Rank Netherlands December 2018 YTD Market Share
1 Tesla Model S 1,558 5,636 21%
2 Jaguar i-Pace 2,621 3,495 13%
3 Nissan Leaf 260 3,370 12%
4 Tesla Model X 652 2,970 11%
5 VW e-Golf 137 2,243 8%
6 BMW i3 272 1,613 6%
7 Hyundai Ioniq Electric 73 1,505 6%
8 Renault Zoe 83 1,017 4%
9 Opel Ampera-e 30 859 3%
10 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 85 707 3%
11 Hyundai Kona EV 152 551 2%
12 Volvo XC60 PHEV 23 477 2%
13 Porsche Panamera PHEV 3 329 1%
14 BMW 530e 6 204 1%
15 Audi e-Tron 163 163 1%
16 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV 1 157 1%
17 Porsche Cayenne PHEV 154 1%
18 Smart Forfour ED 5 152 1%
19 Mini Countryman PHEV 3 130 0%
20 Volvo XC90 PHEV 9 128 0%
+ Others 96 1,219 5%
ALL TOTAL 6,232 27,079 100%

December had 6,232 plug-in vehicle registrations in the Netherlands, a four-fold increase compared to the same month last year and the market’s best month since December ’16. The sales total translates into a stratospheric 31% plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) share in December, pulling the 2018 PEV share to 6%, a great result, especially when we realise that BEVs represented 89% of PEV registrations in 2018 and 98% in December alone.

Of course, the higher taxation of expensive BEVs in 2019 is the major reason for this surge, but something tells me (ahem, Tesla Model 3 …) that this exponential growth is set to continue through 2019.

This good market performance was the result of three exceptional individual results, starting with the Best Seller of the Month, the Jaguar I-PACE, which delivered 2,621 units, not only a new all-time record for a BEV, but also the first time that a 100% electric vehicle became the best selling model in the mainstream market.

The Tesla Model S also had a shining month, and year. It scored 1,558 sales in December, while its Model X sibling won the third place of the podium with 652 deliveries. That meant both Tesla models had new record highs.

Interestingly, these three models all showed up in the top spots of the December mainstream market. Besides the aforementioned win from the Jaguar I-PACE, the Model S was #2 in December while the Model X was #5, thus making 3 fully electric vehicles in the mainstream top 5. How long will it take the yearly ranking to look like this?

But there were others beyond the podium bearers who also shined. The BMW i3 had its best month in its 5 year career, by delivering 272 units (all BEV), proving once again the formula: “+ range = + sales”.

Just outside the top 5, there was one significant performance, with the #7 Hyundai Kona EV delivering 152 units. Let’s hope the Korean maker can find enough batteries to satisfy the overwhelming demand for its electric crossover. There is a rumour circulating that Hyundai already has 120,000 orders for it globally … I doubt that it could be true, but even if it is half of that, it is still a giant headache for the Korean head honchos. (“Where are we gonna find 60,000 batteries for the Kona?!? Wheeere????”) Editor’s note: I have long contended Hyundai and Kia were not treating their competitive EVs seriously enough and didn’t have decent battery supply lined up. Hope to be proven wrong, but numbers so far support that hunch.

Rank Model Sales  
1 Jaguar I-PACE 2,621
2 Tesla Model S 1,558
3 Tesla Model X 652
4 BMW i3 272
5 Nissan LEAF 260

Looking at the 2018 ranking, the big news is the Jaguar I-PACE’s six-position jump to the #2 spot, preventing Tesla from making a gold + silver win.

Nevertheless, the Tesla Model S was the 2018 best selling plug-in vehicle, with over 5,600 deliveries. It won its second (and last — because Model 3) title in a row. The Nissan LEAF ended the year in 3rd, its first podium since … 2011!

Is the “model they love to hate back to shut them up?” — as the Brazilian rapper “Gabriel o Pensador” says in one of his songs. I guess we will find out in 2019, once the Japanese company launches the 60 kWh version.

Off the podium, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was the best selling PHEV, its first title since 2015, when it was that year’s best selling PEV.

The BMW i3 was the best selling small car, in #6, outselling once again its rival Renault Zoe, which ended in #8.

As for the #11 Hyundai Kona EV, a lot is expected in 2019, so a top 5 ranking should be easy to earn, and assuming there are enough batteries, it could even have a go at the medal positions of the Nissan LEAF and BMW i3.

A reference is also due to the Audi e-tron joining the ranking in #15, thanks to its first 163 deliveries, which makes us wonder how high would it reach, if it hadn’t experienced production delays…

Outside the top 20, I’ll also mention the slow delivery ramp up of the Kia Niro EV (aka e-Niro), which had 40 registrations last month. But the Korean is looking for a possible top 10 presence in 2019.

Finally, I’ll end the model section with a reference to the 2019 best seller, the Tesla Model 3. How high will it go? My bet is around 14,000 units, making it not only a strong candidate for the #1 spot in the local mainstream market, but also making the Netherlands potentially one of the two top markets, volume-wise, for the Tesla midsizer in Europe — the other big market being Norway, where a “Model 3 mania” is sure to explode this year.

In the manufacturer ranking, Tesla (33%, up 2%) won its 2nd consecutive title, with Jaguar (13%) winning the silver medal at the last minute by overrunning Nissan (12%).

In the light commercial vehicle category (+91% year over year, with some 1,000 registrations), after the 2017 win, the StreetScooter vans once again took the best seller title, leaving the competition in the dust. The German vans were responsible for half of the category’s registrations.

Source: RAI Vereniging 
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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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