The French plug-in passenger electric vehicle market broke all of its previous records in January, with all-electric models jumping 258% to 10,952 units and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles surging 238% to 3,813 registrations. Both powertrains beat their own previous bests, adding to a record 14,765 plug-in vehicle registrations.
This brilliant start of the year, added to a falling overall market (-13% year over year), pulled the 2020 plug-in vehicle (PEV) share to an amazing 11% share (8.2% for full-electrics alone). That’s a big boost from the 2.7% of the same month last year, and with hybrid vehicles also jumping (9% share last month versus 5% in January 2019), 20% of the overall market is already electrified, which is making the pure fossil fuel share dive, and diesel in particular is now at a decades-low 32%.
Has disruption hit the French market for good?
Looking at January best sellers, the Renault Zoe smashed its registrations record, with 5,331 units — #3 in the overall market! That was the main reason for BEVs shining, but it wasn’t the only one, as the #2 Peugeot 2018 EV landed with a bang, with 2,537 deliveries. PSA disrupted the market by placing 5(!) models in the top 6.
Besides the runner-up spot of the 208 EV, Peugeot placed the 3008 PHEV crossover in #3 and the 508 PHEV midsize model in #6, while the luxury arm of the Group, DS, had its two models in #4 and #5.
Add the fire sale of the nine-lives Citroen C-Zero (a record 414 units!) and the 161 registrations of the crossover Opel Grandland X PHEV, and we can say that PSA’s electric deployment started on the right foot. And there’s still the landing of the Opel Corsa EV and Opel Mokka X EV, and the volume ramp up of the crossover Peugeot 2008 EV.
With the plugin market now starting to resemble the overall market, there was still time for other models to shine, like the #7 Kia Niro EV (429 units) and #10 Hyundai Kona EV (248) hitting record results, or the impressive landings of the Seat e-Mii EV (116 units) and Skoda Citigo EV (124), respectively the Spanish and Czech twins of the small Volkswagen e-Up.
With PSA starting 2020 at full speed, Renault’s 8 year(!) walk in the park could be nearing an end, and while the French brand still has a commanding 36% share, Peugeot now has 27%. Add the remaining PSA brands (Citröen, DS, Opel) to the tally, and we get 39% for PSA, which is exactly the same number as if we add Renault to Nissan and (the fallen into the abyss) Mitsubishi.
And all of the sudden, the French EV market became one of the most interesting to follow!