Fossil Vehicle Sales In France Crash By 25% As EVs Quadruple To 11% Market Share

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France, the world’s 8th largest auto market, just hit 11% electric vehicle market share in January, a year-on-year growth of 4×. Meanwhile, diesel and gasoline vehicle sales crashed by ~25% year on year.

The Renault Zoe delivered 5,331 units in France in January, almost half of the country’s pure electric car sales, and the new Peugeot e-208 delivered 2,537 units (some 27% of all Peugeot 208 sales).

Peugeot e-208 Press Image

Spring-Back Effect?

The massive year-on-year market share jump from January 2019’s 2.7% to 11% was boosted by manufacturers releasing EV stock that had deliberately been held back in late 2019. Manufacturers need to push hard for EV sales now that we’re into 2020, in order to meet the new European CO2 emissions targets that start this year.

Whilst the 11% figure thus partly represents a spring-back effect from recent suppression, it’s also likely that France’s full year 2020 EV market share will achieve at least 5% overall (from 2019’s full year figure of 2.8%). Whether 10% or higher can be sustained over the coming months, we will have to wait to see.

The overall 2020 results will partly depend on the volumes of EVs that become available, and waiting times, since demand is unlikely to be the bottleneck. Additionally, a large part of the EV market share growth picture is the significant fall off of fossil vehicle sales. Even if there are some EV supply bottlenecks during 2020, market share will inevitably grow as regular consumers increasingly realize that fossil vehicles are a waste of money (both in running costs and depreciation). They are quickly becoming stranded assets. Folks who can’t immediately get a hold of their preferred EV will wait for the right moment and hold off any fossil vehicle purchase in the meantime (see Maarten’s analysis of the Osborne effect).

Let’s visualize the January year-on-year market share change across all fuel types, noting the volume drop of fossil vehicles (click to zoom):

Other European Markets

We are currently waiting on January new vehicle registration data from the two other largest European markets, Germany and the UK. The next biggest markets, Italy (2.1% EV market share) and Spain (4% share) have both seen January market share more than double over their full year 2019 figures, albeit from a lower base.

Meanwhile, Sweden has seen January EV market share increase by 2.5× year on year to over 30%, and Norway has just had its strongest January ever with 64% market share (more details coming tonight). Another standout performer is Portugal, which has seen January 2020’s EV market share almost double 2019’s full-year 5.7% share to 11% share. Finally, the Netherlands, despite the pull-forward effects of a tax cliff in late 2019, has already demonstrated a respectable 7.2% EV market share in January.

It’s worth bearing in mind that all of these January results have been achieved before any 2020 shipments of the Tesla Model 3last year’s volume outperformer — have arrived in Europe. Europe will see higher volumes of the Model 3 available this year, as China now has its own homegrown supply from the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory.

What EV market share will see in various parts of Europe across 2020? Please jump into the comments and share your thoughts.

For more EV sales reports, head over to:

Article images courtesy of OEMs, graphs © Max Holland / CleanTechnica.

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Dr. Maximilian Holland

Max is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist, trying to ask questions and encourage critical thinking. He has lived and worked in Europe and Asia, and is currently based in Barcelona. Find Max's book on social theory, follow Max on twitter @Dr_Maximilian and at, or contact him via LinkedIn.

Dr. Maximilian Holland has 394 posts and counting. See all posts by Dr. Maximilian Holland