Breaking! French Electric Vehicle Market Share At 7.5% In May, 9.2% Year To Date

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France saw a plugin electric vehicle market share of 7.5% in May 2020, triple the May 2019 result, in a steadily recovering overall auto market that is down 50% year on year (YoY). The cumulative 2020 EV result stands at 9.2% share.

We await formal data on the best selling EV models in May, but it appears that, as was the case in April, the Peugeot e-208, Renault Zoe, and Tesla Model 3 were the favourites. Battery electrics (BEVs) were preferred over plugin hybrid electrics (PHEVs), with a ratio of approximately 4:3.

The much improved general auto market result in May (compared to an 89% drop YoY in April) comes as dealers reopened for business on May 11th.

The auto market recovery is expected to get a further boost starting from this week (June 2020), as new government incentives are now in effect. The BEV incentive for private consumers has been increased from €6000 to €7000 (for list prices of up to €45,000), and the PHEV incentive now stands at €2000 (list of up to €50,000 and ≥ 50 km WLTP electric range). These amplified incentives will last until the end of 2020.

There’s an additional boost to the long-standing cash-for-clunkers program, with owners of older polluting vehicles (roughly pre-2006 petrols and pre-2011 diesels) able to get a €5000 trade-in bonus when buying a plugin electric vehicle. The boosted trade-in bonus is limited to a maximum of 200,000 vehicles, and has an income cap that ensures 75% of French households are eligible to participate. The trade-in bonus is stackable with the above incentives, for up to €12,000 off the price of a new BEV.

As an example, the Renault Zoe’s base purchase price of €23,900 would effectively drop to €11,900 with all of the incentives applied, making it a no-brainer for many folks.

Although some incentives are also available to support the least polluting new combustion vehicles, these are considerably less than the support going to EVs. This should result in even higher EV market share results for the remainder of the year.

With these new incentives, combined with the inherent superiority of electric powertrains, we can expect the 2020 full year EV market share in France to exceed 10%, and perhaps even exceed 15%, and help propel Europe to a 7.5% market share or higher.


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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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