EV Market Share Breaks New Records in France — 11.7% of New Autos Have Plugs

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France saw a remarkable 11.7% market share for plug-in electric vehicles in March, exceeding January’s breakout result, and bringing the Q1 2020 tally to 9.7%. This is almost 4× growth in market share compared to Q1 2019 (2.6%).

The overall auto market in March was down 72.2% year on year, due to both early-month emerging sentiment and the latter half of the month spent mostly in isolation and containment. Only 305 vehicles were delivered to private buyers after the lockdown came into effect on March 17th, according to analysis by Best Selling Cars Blog.

Of the plug-in electric vehicle result, most of the sales were pure battery electrics (BEVs) with a ratio of 3:1 over plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

Renault Zoe. Image courtesy Renault

Almost 60% of March’s pure electric (BEV) sales came from just two models, the longstanding homegrown favourite Renault Zoe, selling 1,744 units (32% of all BEVs), and the global favourite Tesla Model 3, selling 1,385 units (25% of all BEVs), according to figures from CCFA via Automobile Propre. Against the comparatively weak figures for traditional powertrains, these sales were enough to place the Zoe in 7th place in the overall auto market in March, and the Model 3 in 14th place.

Tesla Model 3. Image courtesy Max Holland for CleanTechnica

With 2020 Q1’s cumulative EV market share coming in at 9.7% in France, there’s every reason to expect a figure of around 10% can be achieved in the country for all of 2020, which should equate to something in the neighbourhood of 150,000 to 200,000 vehicles, depending on how economic activity actually plays out.

This will likely put France as the EV market share leader of the big 5 European auto markets, ahead of Germany and the UK, Spain and Italy, and behind only Germany in actual sales volume.

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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 MaximilianHolland.com, or contact him via LinkedIn.

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