Huge Tesla High Tide In Europe — June EV Sales Report

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The European passenger plug-in vehicle (PEV) market logged some 47,000 registrations in June (+24% year over year), with the PEV market growing 34% in 2019 so far. That’s a great performance considering the stagnating performance (-3%) of the overall auto market.

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In June, while plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) had a horrible month — down -38% year over year (YoY), their worst drop since 2014 — all-electrics had some 34,000 deliveries (+98% YoY). Fully electric vehicles (BEVs) were responsible for 73% of all plug-in sales last month (and 66% year to date). The BEV share of the overall market is at 2.3%. Adding PHEVs to the tally, the share climbs to 3.2%, placing the 2019 PEV share at 3% (2% for BEVs alone), above the 2.5% result of 2018.

Looking at other fuels, diesel sales continued their never-ending dive (-21% YoY), with its market share dropping to 31%.

The big news in June was the expected Tesla high tide. The Model 3 scored another 5-digit performance, while both the Model S & X had their best results in 2019.

Interestingly, despite the Tesla Model 3’s big landing, the remaining top 5 best sellers had 25%+ growth rates, meaning the Model 3 isn’t drying up sales of other EVs at all, but seemingly helping them to thrive.

The monthly model ranking was as follows:

#1 Tesla Model 3 – After the March delivery peak, the poster child for electromobility had its 2nd delivery peak in Europe, with 11,604 deliveries in June. The sports sedan is still benefitting from the reservation backlog in Europe. Some markets are already getting the Standard Range Plus (SR+) versions, while in other countries, like Norway, demand is high enough to still be delivering the all-wheel-drive (AWD) versions, so expect another backlog-driven peak in September. Note that we should only know the organic demand of the Model 3 in Europe in Q4 2019, or even perhaps in 2020. But, back to June, looking at individual markets, the midsize EV model was mainly delivered in Norway (3,012 units, best-selling vehicle in the overall market), the Netherlands (2,487, new record and best-selling vehicle in the overall market), Germany (1,336), and France (1,097).

#2 Renault Zoe – The 4,881 deliveries of June signaled a new year best and a 43% growth rate for the French hatchback, an impressive performance considering the much improved “new” Zoe and the upcoming Peugeot 208 EV (and Opel Corsa EV, etc.) are just a few months away. As for individual performances, the Zoe continues to be as popular as ever in its domestic market (1,845 units) and in Germany (1,020 units), with the surprise being once again Italy (350 units), where Renault is the main beneficiary of the new local incentives.

#3 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – The stainless steel Japanese SUV seems unfazed by the passing of time and the arrival of new models, being the only PHEV able to follow the pace of the best selling BEVs. The Mitsubishi model scored 3,580 registrations in June (up 67%!), continuing to be popular in the UK (650 units). However, the new #1 market for the Outlander is Germany, where it had 915 registrations, while Norway (540) logged the third spot. The success of this PHEV in the BEV-friendly environment is remarkable, but in the long run, one wonders how long the Outlander PHEV will resist the BEV wave (possible answer: until 2021, when the Tesla Model Y and VW ID Crozz finally land). With no direct BEV competitor landing soon, the Mitsubishi model could still pick up a lot of sales this year without major worries.

#4 BMW i3 – The German hot hatch’s sales were up 26% in June, to 2,520 units, with the BMW pocket rocket benefitting from its unique formula (it is the only premium city EV in town) to continue expanding its sales. Looking at individual countries, Germany (714 units), Norway (453), and the UK (350) were the main markets. Looking into 2019, expect the Star Wars–inspired EV to continue growing, being a regular face in this top 5.

#5 Volkswagen e-Golf – Volkswagen’s electric Golf managed to reach the 5th spot in June, with 2,246 units delivered, up 55% YoY. That’s an amazing performance considering the Wolfsburg Mother Ship has entered into full ID mode, advertising the new BEV family as if it didn’t already have one successful model on the market. But the e-Golf is here and still selling strongly, profiting from the strong name recognition, with the German EV’s main markets in June being Norway (798 deliveries), Germany (635), and the UK (300).

Looking at the 2019 ranking, since the podium positions continue stable, the main news was the BMW i3 surpassing the Nissan Leaf and reaching the 4th spot, with the Japanese hatchback dropping two spots in two months.

The Nissan hatchback really needs a shot of the 62 kWh version to recover. Although, one question is if the new version isn’t too little, too late.

The Jaguar I-PACE was up to 10th, becoming the 7th BEV in the top 10. With the #9 Volvo XC60 PHEV just 176 units ahead, it shouldn’t take long for the British sports SUV to climb another position and become the best selling midsize premium SUV, a title that should remain with the Jag until the landing of the Tesla Model Y.

In the second half of the table, there were several changes. The Audi e-tron continues to climb positions, with the German SUV up two positions, to #12, while the Kia Niro PHEV climbed to #14 and the Smart Fortwo EV reached the #16 spot.

There was a new entry in the top 20 in June as well, with the Tesla Model S resurfacing at #18 (12th BEV in the top 20), thanks to 1,670 units, and although Tesla’s flagship deliveries were down 21% YoY, it was its best performance in 2019, so it seems the veteran sports sedan has regained enough demand to sustain a top 20 position this year.

The same can be said about the Tesla Model X, which jumped to #21, just 65 units below the #20 Volvo XC90 PHEV, thanks to 1,118 deliveries, a new year best, but comparing with the same month of 2018, deliveries were down 39%, a steep fall. And while the reason for the Model S drop is homegrown (the Model 3 is diverting sales from it), the drop of the Model X has to be found elsewhere, as the Osborne effect of the Model Y alone does not explain this large drop. So, yes, Tesla demand can be diverted into other EVs — if they exist, of course.

Below the top 20, we should notice the good performance of the new Mercedes E300e/de twins, with 795 registrations last month, a near-record performance for the plug-in E-Class. This places the nameplate just 300 units from the top 20.

In the manufacturer ranking, Tesla (17%, up 2%) is the leader, while 2018 winner BMW (13%, down 1%) remains in the runner-up spot, ahead of Renault (10%) in the 3rd spot. However, Hyundai and Mitsubishi are not far behind, with 8% share.

If you prefer seeing the sales charts with “Others” includes, here they are:

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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 477 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes