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Published on April 7th, 2020 | by Jose Pontes

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Tesla Model 3 Jumps To #1 Among All Autos In The Netherlands

April 7th, 2020 by  


While the Netherlands does not have yet a full lockdown, the coronavirus pandemic has forced a wide range of businesses to shut down, slowing business significantly, so expect slow sales months at least in April and May … in the overall market, that is.


*Others = plug-in vehicles not in the top 20.

Despite the coronavirus-related slowdown in the second half of March, the Dutch plug-in market had a positive sales month, with 5,102 plug-in registrations, up 8% year over year (YoY). This is in stark contrast with the overall market (-25% YoY), translating into a plug-in vehicle (PEV) share of 17% (14% fully electric vehicles/BEVs) in March, pulling the year-to-date (YTD) count to 12,208 units (+14%) and the 2020 PEV share to 12% (9% BEV).

This good market performance was in big part thanks to the Tesla Model 3, which had 1,339 deliveries in March, allowing the Tesla sedan to become last month’s best seller in the overall market, with over 400 units of advantage over the #2 Kia Niro (925 units). It is the 6th time that the Tesla midsizer has won the overall best seller trophy since it landed a little more than a year ago — and, of course, it was the best selling automobile for the full year 2019.

Speaking of the Kia Niro, its EV version was also the runner-up (525 units) in the plug-in market, scoring its second record performance in a row, so it seems the Korean automaker has enough batteries to ramp up production of its popular EV. Also, slowly but surely, the overall market is merging with the plug-in one…

Surprisingly, the Volvo XC40 PHEV ended the month in 5th, with a record 237 units registered. That made it once again the best selling PHEV in this market. This is a promising sign for the future XC40 BEV.

Just outside this top 5, the Skoda Citigo EV registered 229 units, a new record, but if we add up all 3 Bratislava triplets (Skoda Citigo EV, Seat e-Mii and VW e-Up!), we get 349 units, which would place it in 4th, an impressive performance for a city EV.

With “Others” included:

Looking at the 2020 ranking, we have a new leader, with the Tesla Model 3 jumping to #1, leaving the previous leader, the Opel Ampera-e, 347 units behind, with the last place on the podium being a close fight between the #3 VW e-Golf and #4 Kia Niro EV, the two separated by just 16 units.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV has regained its lead in the plug-in hybrid category, but that might not be for long, as the rising star Volvo XC40 PHEV is just 66 units behind. The young Swede might surpass the veteran SUV soon.

Outside the top 10, the ranking also had plenty of changes, with the Renault Zoe climbing to #11, thanks to 86 units, a new year best, while its cousin the Nissan Leaf jumped 5 spots, to #12, thanks to 125 registrations, also a year best. The most impressive performance in the lower half of the table, however, was the Mini Cooper SE joining the ranking in #13, thanks to 215 deliveries in its first full sales month. The British hot hatch is sure to join the top 10 soon, on the way dribbling past its opponents with the same finesse that Lionel Messi does on the football pitch (soccer field).

By the way, I find the Mini EV TV adverts awesome — the best I have seen for any plug-in vehicle. And with the right formula: EVs = Fun!

After a loooong production hell ramp up, the Mercedes EQC has finally reached the top 20. Outside the top 20 table, the main news was the landing of the Ford Kuga PHEV (aka Ford Escape in North America), with 81 registrations. This strong start could mean a top 20 spot soon, with the American automaker paving the way for its true EV champion, the Mustang Mach-E.

In the manufacturer ranking, Tesla is the new leader (13%), followed by Volkswagen and Kia, both with 11% share in their race for silver. Just off the podium, we have the previous leader, Opel (10%), while Volvo (9%) follows right behind.

Midsize Cars

Tesla’s midsizer is in the lead, but it will have to keep a close eye on the BMW 3 Series (12% PHEV units) and Volvo’s S/V60 twins (27%).

As for the remaining top 5, the local Mercedes importer only last month started to deliver the C300e/de PHEV, so there is hope for it, something that can’t be said about the 100% unplugged Audi A4…

Midsize SUVs

While the Volvo XC60 and BMW X3 should continue to see their plug-in share increase over the next few months, Mercedes is now possibly more interested in ramping up the EQC to replace its fossil-powered GLC midsize SUV.Diversity is the word here, from the all-electric Mercedes EQC to the almost-all-PHEV Mitsubishi Outlander (94% PHEV units), followed by the mildly pluggable Volvo XC60 (33% PHEV) and BMW X3 (14%), and ending on the unplugged Mercedes GLC.

Full-Size Cars

The leadership is in the hands of the BMW 5 Series, which has a low plug-in share of its sales, only 14%. But there are other models in worse shape. The Mercedes E-Class has only 6% of its sales coming from its PHEV versions, the S/V90 PHEVs have only 5% share of the big Swede’s sales, while the Audi A6 has yet to receive its PHEV units.

The only good news is the 62% PHEV share of the #5 BMW 7 Series, but there could be more good news soon, as the Porsche Taycan is still in ramp-up mode and has already registered 61 units, beating the Tesla Model S (43 units), so we might see it here soon.

Full-Size SUVs

Unlike the full-size car category, where fossil fuel is still king, here in Behemoth Land, electrification is more advanced, with the leader BMW X5 having 60% of its sales coming from its PHEV version, the #3 Volvo XC90 representing 86% of the nameplate’s sales, and the Range Rover Sport having 87% of all of its sales coming from the PHEV version.

The all-electric Audi e-tron is 4th, while the Porsche Cayenne is the only model (for now) with most of its sales coming from the plug-less versions (only 10% of sales come from the PHEV versions). 

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About the Author

Always interested in the auto industry, particularly in electric cars, Jose has been overviewing the sales evolution of plug-ins through the EV Sales blog since 2012, 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 now a partner in EV-Volumes and works with the European Alternative Fuels Observatory on EV sales matters.



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