French EV Market Returns To Normal — April EV Sales Report

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The French plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market had 4,542 registrations in April, up 43% YoY, with a big portion of this growth coming from pure electric vehicles (BEVs). In total, BEVs scored 3,222 deliveries last month (+70%), with those all-electric cars representing 71% of all plug-in vehicle sales. This growth is even more significant when we realize that the overall vehicle market remained stagnant (+0.4%).

This result kept the 2019 PEV year-to-date share at 2.6%, with BEVs alone having 1.9% share.

On the other hand, diesel sales just keep on sliding, having reached a low of 33% last month, far from the 64% it had just 5 years ago. Will we see France drop the diesel addiction by 2024?

Looking at last month’s best sellers, the Renault Zoe’s sales were up 53% last month, to 1,472 units, earning it the #34 spot overall in France. Perhaps bigger news this month, relatively speaking, came in 3rd place, with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV reaching 281 units, a new year best for the Japanese SUV — which is starting to become a case study, as it looks indifferent to the passing of time. The Outlander PHEV has been on sale for six years now, and it’s not facing the headwinds that other plug-in hybrids are experiencing.

Elsewhere, the Tesla Model 3 is back at more normal levels, having ended the month in 4th, with 251 deliveries. That’s far from the 940 registrations that its Mercedes C-Class premium competitor managed to score last month. Will the midsize Tesla sedan be able to make regular 1,000/month performances over time, or were the 1,153 units of March a freak event? Discuss.

April Rank Model Sales  
1 Renault Zoe 1,472
2 Nissan Leaf 347
3 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 281
4 Tesla Model 3 251
5 Kia Niro EV 239

In a market known for its stability, this time there were a couple of changes in the top positions, with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV jumping two spots to 4th, switching places (and the PHEV leadership) with the Volvo XC60 PHEV.

Interestingly, the other change in the top 10 also involved a PHEV, with the Mini Countryman PHEV climbing to #8.

In the second half of the ranking, the Mercedes E300e/de twins have joined the top 20, in #18 — the first Mercedes to show up here in 2019. Maybe the EQC could join it by year end?

Underlining the good moment from Korean brands, Hyundai saw both its best selling models climb in the ranking. The Kona EV registered 161 units, a new record, allowing it to go up one place, to #11. The Ioniq PHEV was also up one position, to #19.

In the brand ranking, Renault (30%, up 1%), continues in the leading position, while Tesla (10%, down 2%) is still in the 2nd spot, with Volvo (8%, down 1%) and Nissan (8%) both jostling for the last place on the podium.

Rank Model April Sales 2019 Sales 2019 PEV Share
1 Renault Zoe 1,472 5,701 30%
2 Tesla Model 3 251 1,805 9%
3 Nissan Leaf 347 1,469 8%
4 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 281 960 5%
5 Kia Niro EV 239 940 5%
6 Volvo XC60 PHEV 147 868 5%
7 BMW i3 202 850 4%
8 Mini Countryman PHEV 176 632 3%
9 Smart Fortwo ED 110 607 3%
10 Volvo XC90 PHEV 92 564 3%
11 Hyundai Kona EV 161 528 3%
12 LR Range Rover Sport PHEV 100 469 2%
13 LR Range Rover PHEV 93 322 2%
14 Peugeot iOn 58 286 2%
15 Kia Niro PHEV 51 277 1%
16 Citroen C-Zero 53 228 1%
16 BMW 225xe Act. Tourer 66 228 1%
18 Mercedes E300e/de 79 227 1%
19 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV 44 194 1%
20 VW e-Golf 38 191 1%
+ Others 482 1,701 9%
= TOTAL 4,542 19,047 100%

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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 444 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes