French Auto Sales Down ~90% In April, Electric Vehicles At 7.8% Share

Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Passenger auto sales in France fell by 88.8% year on year in April. Though, the second half of the month did show signs of recovery. Plug-in electric vehicles took 7.8% market share, with favorite models being the Renault Zoe, Peugeot e-208, and Tesla Model 3.

Although the April figures are a huge drop-off from historical levels, AAA data did show signs of recovery in sales from the second half of the month, according to analysis by L’argus.

Plug-in electric vehicle sales were at 7.8% market share for April, with pure battery electrics (BEV) dominating over plug-in hybrids at a ratio of approximately 3:1. Overall powertrain market shares were fairly consistent relative to the average of previous months, despite the massive downscaling of total volumes. However, plug-less hybrids gave up some market share to pure petrol combustion, likely a temporary blip.

Renault Zoe Press Image

We don’t yet have detailed EV model sales data for April, since sales of multi-powertrain models like the Peugeot 208 and DS 3 Crossback are undifferentiated in the CCFA data. However, previous months have seen the Renault Zoe consistently take the top EV spot, averaging around 3,000 units per month (and enough to take the #6 position overall in the country’s auto sales).

The Peugeot e-208 has been a close second to the Zoe, with around 2,500 sales per month in Q1, just outside the top 10 autos overall. The Tesla Model 3 saw average sales of around 1,000 units per month in Q1, making it the third best selling EV, which is notable for being in a premium segment almost double the price point of the Zoe or e-208.

The DS3 Crossback EV is regularly in the fourth position, at around 500 to 600 sales per month. All others consistently in the top 10 (Nissan LEAF, Hyundai Kona EV, Kia Niro EV, Mini Electric) are under 300 per month and experience variable volumes, likely due to supply shipments.

The clear trend for 2020 is that all EVs are growing rapidly, whilst combustion powertrains are declining. The current COVID-19 crisis is temporarily affecting volumes, but the underlying evolution in market share is still visible in the sales mix. I’m expecting plug-in vehicles to take around 10% of the overall market in France this year.

Article images from respective brands.

Have a tip for CleanTechnica? Want to advertise? Want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Latest CleanTechnica.TV Videos

CleanTechnica uses affiliate links. See our policy here.

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 429 posts and counting. See all posts by Dr. Maximilian Holland