Tesla & Renault Shine In France — June EV Sales Report

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The French passenger electric vehicle market scored 5,847 registrations in June, up 25% year over year (YoY). That plug-in double-digit growth is even more significant when we realize that the overall market remained stagnant (-2%). This result placed the 2019 plug-in vehicle (EV) share at 2.5%, with fully electric vehicles (BEVs) alone having 1.9% share.

With BEVs (+42%) growing faster than PHEVs, all-electric cars represented 77% of all plug-in sales last month, significantly above the 2019 average (73%), which means that BEVs are winning the upper hand over PHEVs in yet another market.

This good result from BEVs is reflected in the list of June’s best selling models, with the Renault Zoe scoring 1,845 units, a new year best and an especially impressive performance considering the heavily revised Zoe Neo is right around the corner, as is the EV version of the popular Peugeot 208 and the much hyped VW ID.3.

Elsewhere, the Tesla Model 3 had another high tide, reaching another 1,000-delivery month in June. Its 1,097 units almost beat the 1,153 units delivered in March. Will the sports sedan score a new record in September?

The Nissan LEAF crawled back into the 3rd spot, beating the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV by just 3 units, and the BMW i3 closed out the top 5 with 190 deliveries.

In a market known for its stability, the main news was perhaps the Hyundai Kona EV jumping to #9, thanks to 189 deliveries, a new personal best, while the Kia Niro PHEV registered 129 units, the nameplate’s best result in 18 months. Despite chronic battery constraints, the Korean models continue to impress, which makes you wonder how high would they be if they had enough batteries. …

The Jurassic Citroen C-Zero jumped 3 positions, to #15, while the Mercedes E300e/de twins kept on climbing up the ladder, up again one position to #16. This is a good sign for the just-landed Mercedes EQC (6 registrations), but I would say that the success of the new electric Mercedes will depend more on the automaker’s ability (willingness?) to get enough batteries than anything else.

The landing of the DS 7 Crossback PHEV, with 63 units, signals the start of the PSA Group’s plug-in offensive, with plenty of models set to roll out this year. After this DS 7, there will be the DS 3 Crossback EV, Peugeot 208 EV, Peugeot 3008 PHEV, Peugeot 508 PHEV, Opel Corsa EV, and plenty more said to launch next year, so expect this market to be quite different a year from now.

Rank France June 2019 2019 EV Share
1 Renault Zoe 1,845 8,877 31%
2 Tesla Model 3 1,097 3,223 11%
3 Nissan Leaf 332 1,973 7%
4 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 319 1,502 5%
5 Kia Niro EV 156 1,248 4%
6 BMW i3 190 1,200 4%
7 Volvo XC60 PHEV 44 994 3%
8 Mini Countryman PHEV 150 938 3%
9 Hyundai Kona EV 189 858 3%
10 Volvo XC90 PHEV 94 775 3%
11 Smart Fortwo ED 87 772 3%
12 LR Range Rover Sport PHEV 130 701 2%
13 Kia Niro PHEV 129 518 2%
14 LR Range Rover PHEV 47 429 1%
15 Citroen C-Zero 76 362 1%
16 Mercedes E300e/de 67 359 1%
17 BMW 225xe Act. Tourer 53 353 1%
18 Peugeot iOn 34 352 1%
19 Hyundai Ioniq PHEV 68 339 1%
20 Tesla Model S 108 296 1%
+ Others 632 2,876 10%
= TOTAL 5,847 28,945 100%

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Last but not least, the Tesla Model S rejoined the top 20 at #20, thanks to 108 deliveries, the nameplate’s best result in 15 months, which added to the good results of the Model X (80 deliveries, a new year best). All together, Tesla had its best month ever in France in June, and with the Mercedes E-Class PHEV just 63 units ahead of the company’s large sedan, the Model S still has a shot at being the best selling luxury plug-in car in France.

Of course, it helps that both the S and X had further improvements to keep them fresh (batteries with more range, faster charging, etc.). There’s no denying that, while the Tesla Model 3 is making waves in the premium midsize car class, both the S and X are still well below their class best sellers (Mercedes E/GLE-Class, BMW 5 Series/X5).

And never mind that “Tesla Model S beats Mercedes S-Class” mumbo jumbo — the direct competitors of the Model S are the Mercedes E/CLS-class, not the S-Class, because few of the potential buyers of this model would switch it for a Model S. The Tesla’s attributes would not change people’s minds who are interested in an S-Class. (Fuel economy? “Uh … who cares? That’s pocket money.” Acceleration? “This is an S-Class — who cares if 0–60 mph is done in 5 seconds instead of just 2 seconds? For that kind of stuff, I have a Ferrari in the garage.” Silence? “Have you ever been driven in an S-Class?” Autopilot? “Mine is called Jeeves, thank you.”)

So, yes, the Model S competitors are the BMW 5/6 Series and Mercedes E/CLS-Class. And because of this, I believe Tesla could and should aim for Model S sales to reach at least some 150,000 units/year, not 60,000.

End of rant.

In the brand ranking, Renault (31%, up 1%) continues in the leading position, while Tesla (13%, up 3%) is firm in the 2nd spot, with Kia and Nissan (both with 7%) and Volvo and BMW (6%) all running for the podium.

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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 468 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes