Renault Zoe Still Rules France, But Plug-In Hybrids Shine In November — EV Sales Report

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The French plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market had 5,540 registrations in November, with fully electric vehicles (BEVs) dropping 10% year over year (YoY), to 3,201 units. However, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) took the fast lane and were up 80%.

With plug-in hybrids shining, BEVs saw their lead (70% vs. 30% share) reduced by 1 percentage point, but expect BEVs to rebound in December, thanks to the expected peak performances of the top two models.

The November result (3.2%) left the 2019 PEV share at 2.7%, with BEVs alone having 1.9% share.

The Renault Zoe delivered 1,866 units in November, topping the charts, but this is still not the big jump people expected from the new version of the vehicle, but January is right around the corner (… December should see all extra Zoes head to the Netherlands).

Elsewhere, the usual podium bearers were displaced, with the Porsche Cayenne PHEV managing to beat the Nissan Leaf and ending the month on the podium, with 246 registrations, while the BMW i3 did even better, scoring a record result of 324 units and winning last month’s runner-up spot.

The sales performance of BMW’s pocket rocket is impressive, considering it is a six-year old model. Despite that, it continues to see its sales grow and is keeping up with the best. So, thankfully, the news of its death was greatly exaggerated. …

While the top positions seem to be already carved in stone, from the #6 Kia Niro EV down, a lot can still happen. With the Korean crossover now in energy saving mode, it should lose a couple of spots in December — to the Volvo XC60 PHEV and Mini Countryman PHEV. The British crossover scored 181 points last month, a new year best, allowing it not only to climb to #8 but also putting pressure on the Volvo model, just 9 units ahead! So, we could see it reach the 6th spot in the last days of the year with a strong finish.

This was actually a great month for the BMW Group. Not only did the Mini Countryman PHEV and BMW i3 shine, but the BMW 225xe Active Tourer was also up, to #14, thanks to a record 207 registrations. Outside the top 20, the new BMW X5 PHEV scored 129 registrations, a new record in the rich-soccer-mom SUV career.

So, all in all, BMW saw three models hit record results in November. Not bad, eh?

But it wasn’t just the Bavarians reaching new heights, as there were other plug-in hybrids shining in November, like the VW Passat GTE scoring a record 136 deliveries, or the new Audi Q5 PHEV registering a best ever 76 units.

The Climber of the Month was the Porsche Cayenne PHEV, which had 246 registrations, storming into the top 20. It darted straight to the #17 position, so it seems the sports SUV is here to stay as one of the leaders in the current plug-in hybrid resurgence. The unexpected second coming of the Cayenne profits not only from a second hybrid version (the top dog Turbo SE), but also from a new body choice, the Coupe, which finally gives the deserved sporty looks that match the Porsche model’s talents. Oh, and I guess all the publicity that Porsche got with the Taycan unveiling didn’t hurt either….

The Mercedes C300e/de twins also posted a surprising result, with the Mercedes midsize model registering 127 units, its best score in 19 months, but that is nothing compared with the shock surprise of the month, the plug-in hybrid VW Golf GTE coming back from the dead and registering 159 units! And yes, I double checked this, and yes, it is the current-generation Golf VII, not the upcoming Golf VIII — so I guess this is a sign that in many markets the new Golf VIII PHEV will sell in large amounts, despite having to share the VW stage with the fancy ID.3. In other words, it looks like the next-generation Golf still has a role to play in VW’s Plan to Rule the (EV) World.

In the brand ranking, Renault (31%, up 1 point) continues to be in the leading position, while Tesla (12%) is firmly in the 2nd spot, all while BMW (8%, up 1 point) is trying hard to keep Nissan (7%) at bay in order to win this year’s bronze medal.

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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