Fully Electric Vehicles Could Gobble 10% Of Dutch Auto Market In 2019

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For the complete rundown on the Dutch plug-in vehicle sales, our reports from José Pontes.

There is no other reason for me to report on the Dutch sales than that it is my home market, and I have the numbers.

Until the last few days of May, the ranking of the top three electric vehicles in the Netherlands was #1 Hyundai Kona EV, #2 Kia Niro EV, #3 Tesla Model 3, and the margins between them were growing.

In the last few days of the month, though, the Model 3 started to sprint, and then barely snatched the #1 spot away from the Kona EV.

In June, the Model 3 started really sprinting away from the competition (Model 3 — 68 deliveries, Kona — 37 deliveries, Niro — 19 deliveries).

In April it was the opposite, the Model 3 started by taking a big lead over the competition, to later see the competition coming closer and closer in the second half of the month. For all the doubters, note that the explanation is simple — no boats arriving in Zeebrugge, Belgium, so no cars available for delivery in Europe.

But this is not a Tesla article. It is about the Dutch BEV market. As you can see in the table, this is a healthy electric car market. To put it into some perspective for our readers not familiar with The Netherlands, the auto market in the USA is about 30 times the size of the market in the Netherlands.

We had 8 models that regularly sold over 100 vehicles per month by April. In May, this group was joined by the Audi e-tron, with 160 deliveries, giving us hope that the production problems of the e-tron in its Brussels plant are a thing of the past.

Three popular models from previous years are momentarily in a dip. These are the Jaguar I-PACE and the Tesla Model S & Model X. These three saw record sales at the end of last year, right before incentives were cut nearly in half. They will likely return in the group of big sellers later this year.

Vehicles ranking #4, #5, and #6 are all going strong, with not much to say about them. The last two of the main group, the Nissan Leaf and Hyundai Ioniq, are struggling while waiting for larger batteries in a few months.

Dutch BEV Sales Statistics 2017, 2018, January–May 2019

Perhaps more interesting are the lines at the bottom of the sales list in 2017 and 2018.

In 2017, the fully electric vehicle (BEV) market grew from below 1% to nearly 2%. It was the first year after the very lavish incentives for plug-in hybrids (PHEV) were ended. The Netherlands had a very strong plug-in vehicle market of ~10%, but it was mainly PHEV cars in a “benefit in kind” corporate lease arrangement. Importantly, most arrangements covered gas but not electricity. The result is not hard to guess — drivers getting all the incentives but never using the plug.

We had to start over from close to zero. But the incentive for pure electric driving was still very lavish, which translated into strong year-over-year growth numbers in 2018.

At the end of 2018, the incentives for cars over €50,000 were lowered to just an incentive for the first €50,000 of the price, resulting in a run on the more expensive models. That cumulated into the Jaguar I-PACE being the best sold model of December 2018 in The Netherlands (of any fuel type), beating the customary leaders, the Golf and Clio. The market share reached a Norwegian level of 30.36% in that month! The year-on-year growth for 2018 over 2017 was >200% — it tripled!

This year we have the lower growth numbers of a more mature market (ahem). Thanks to the introduction of the new Model 3, though, we managed to have year-over-year growth over these first 5 months of a modest 120%.

With the Model 3 SR+ becoming available in the second half of the year, two popular models with larger batteries coming, and a few new models, this year could end with a market share of over 10%.

10% is where José Pontes will start seeing the Osborne effect kick in.

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Maarten Vinkhuyzen

Grumpy old man. The best thing I did with my life was raising two kids. Only finished primary education, but when you don’t go to school, you have lots of time to read. I switched from accounting to software development and ended my career as system integrator and architect. My 2007 boss got two electric Lotus Elise cars to show policymakers the future direction of energy and transportation. And I have been looking to replace my diesel cars with electric vehicles ever since. At the end of 2019 I succeeded, I replaced my Twingo diesel for a Zoe fully electric.

Maarten Vinkhuyzen has 279 posts and counting. See all posts by Maarten Vinkhuyzen