Portugal is a somewhat surprising bright spot in the electric vehicle market. It has one of the highest EV market shares (share of its overall auto market) in the world, yet is not a very wealthy nation like Norway of the Netherlands. And it’s EV market share hasn’t popped all of a sudden, but has instead been the result of a strong gradual rise. The country has been doing well consistently for a while.
Like other countries in Europe, 2020 has been especially kind to EV market share in Portugal, with 12% of new auto sales being plug-in vehicles in 2020, and the same for June of 2020.
With such a higher EV market share, and also being a different kind of market from Norway, the Netherlands, or Sweden, I think it’s an important one to look at closely to get a sense of how the EV market is evolving and how it will in the future.
As you can see above, Portugal has an unlikely leader, a car that used to be #1 in many EV markets but seldom holds that position today. With relatively low pricing already, but then also strong discounts (from what I hear), the LEAF is still #1 in Portugal. It is followed by the two models you routinely see at the top of the charts these days — the hotter than Honolulu Tesla Model 3 and the elegant yet economical Renault Zoe. They wrap up a couple of popular vehicle classes and price points, with the LEAF sliding in between them, in this rare case with the LEAF on top.
A slew of premium-class plug-in hybrids fill out the rest of the top 10, only broken up by the new-ish Peugeot 208 EV. José Pontes of EV Volumes (and CleanTechnica) notes that plug-in hybrid (PHEV) sales were actually up 12% in June 2020 compared to June 2019, compared to plug-in vehicles as a whole being up 3% and overall vehicle sales being down significantly. There’s one more note on the PHEV rise.
June sales bring some surprised that may lead to notable changes in the full-year ranking by the time December comes around. The Volvo XC40 PHEV dominated, while the Tesla Model 3 sat way down in the #9 spot — despite it being an end-of-quarter month. Though, the Model 3’s problem may be a production matter rather than a demand on.
The XC40 PHEV rose from #10 to a far-in-the-lead #1 position in June. The Mercedes-Benz A250e also did quite well, rising from #10 in the full-year ranking to #3 in June.
Any other thoughts on these sales charts and trends int he industry?
Here are the sales charts again with “Others” (all other plug-in vehicles combined) added: