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Plug-In Vehicles = 5.7% of Portugal’s Auto Sales

The Netherlands got most of the press from EV fans in recent weeks and months thanks to a stunning 54% plug-in vehicle (PEV) market share at the end of 2019 and the Tesla Model 3 bagging approximately twice as many 2019 sales as the #2 Volkswagen Polo.

The Netherlands got most of the press from EV fans in recent weeks and months thanks to a stunning 54% plug-in vehicle (PEV) market share at the end of 2019 and the Tesla Model 3 bagging approximately twice as many 2019 sales as the #2 Volkswagen Polo. However, a few other markets are really starting to rise up as well. One of those is Portugal, which had an impressive 5.7% plug-in vehicle market share in 2019.

Somewhat surprisingly, this is one of the only top markets for pure electric vehicles in which the Tesla Model 3 wasn’t #1 last year. The Nissan LEAF was. (Room for Tesla to grow?) It was a neck-and-neck race at the end, though. The Nissan LEAF ended up with 13% share of the PEV market and the Model 3 ended up with 12%. There were just 119 registrations between them. The 3rd best selling PEV was also a 100% electric model, the Renault Zoe, which had 8%.

Portugal’s PEV market grew 54% in 2019 compared to 2018, according to EV Volumes.

Despite not having a model in the top 4, BMW actually won the brand title for most plug-in vehicle sales (21%), while Tesla was in second (16%) and Nissan was third (13%).

As noted earlier today when reporting on Switzerland reaching 5.5% PEV market share, only a handful of countries have hit this high of PEV market share. Also noted earlier, once a country hits 5–6%, PEV share, it tends to rise quickly. Here are the countries with the most plug-in vehicle market share and how they got there (note that these numbers include plug-in hybrids as well as fully electric vehicles):


  • 2012 — 3%
  • 2013 — 6%
  • 2014 — 14%
  • 2015 — 22%
  • 2016 — 29%
  • 2017 — 39%
  • 2018 — 49%
  • 2019 — 56%


  • 2015 — 3%
  • 2016 — 5%
  • 2017 — 14%
  • 2018 — 19%
  • 2019 — 25%

The Netherlands:

  • 2017 — 2%
  • 2018 — 6%
  • 2019 — 15%


  • 2015 — 2.6%
  • 2016 — 3.6%
  • 2017 — 5%
  • 2018 — 8%
  • 2019 — 11%

Will Portugal reach 9% in 2020? 14%? Something else?

Special thanks to José Pontes and EV Volumes for support with data in this article.

We now have a dedicated Tesla Sales page. If you’d like to see more data and charts on Tesla sales in different countries or globally, click that link.

*If you’d like to buy a Tesla Model 3, Model S, or Model X and get some free Supercharging miles, feel free to use my special, magical, unicorn-blessed referral code: You can also get a $100 discount on Tesla solar with that code. There is currently no use for a referral code when putting down a reservation for a Cybertruck or Model Y.

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