Renault Zoe Shines In New Record Month In France

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Image courtesy Renault.

The Dog Days Are Over in the French EV market, with the pandemic’s disruption now behind it, and a new stimulus package from the local government that can go up to €12,000. (Now imagine if the €16,000 Dacia Spring EV lands in time for this kind of incentive — it will be yours for peanuts!) Plugin vehicle sales surged 359% year over year (YoY) in June, to a record 21,000 units, with PHEVs faring better than BEVs (up 5-fold versus “only” 205%). Plugin hybrids thus rose to 35% of the plugin market last month, above this year’s average of 31%.

But because the overall French market was also positive (+1%), the market share gains weren’t as spectacular as in the lockdown months, with the plugin market share ending June at 9% (5.9% for BEVs alone), dropping slightly the 2020 PEV share to 9.1% (6.3% BEV) — still well above the 2.8% of 2019.

When one looks at last month’s best sellers, the Renault Zoe broke all records by registering 6,012 units, a new all-time high for a plugin in France, allowing the French EV to reach #8 in the overall auto market in June. It had 27% share of France’s plugin market in the first half of the year.

The remaining podium positions went to two Peugeots (the 208 EV and 3008 PHEV, in that order), while we have a surprise in the 4th position. Profiting from increased unit availability coming from its recent Czech Republic production increase, the small Hyundai Kona EV crossover broke its personal record, by delivering 674 units. That meant it won its second Best Selling Foreigner award in a row. A sign of things to come?

Two other surprises were just outside this top 5 — the Jurassic Citroen C-Zero in #6, with 548 registrations, its best score ever in its 10 year career (it landed way back in 1810 2010), and the Mercedes GLC300e showing up in #7, with 500 registrations, a new record for the midsize SUV.

Looking at the 2020 ranking, the top two positions remain unattainable for anyone else, and nothing significant happened in the top spots. Aside from the Zoe’s 27% plugin market share in the first half of the year, the Peugeot 208 EV had 14% plugin market share and the Tesla Model 3 had 5% market share. However, the new #4 Peugeot 3008 PHEV, up one spot last month, gained 148 units on the current bronze medalist, the Model 3 and has 4% plugin market share. While the distance between the two is still significant (938 units), the French crossover will benefit from the fact that the next Tesla high tide will only be September — so it has two months to shorten the distance. Will it be able to do so? Please, place your bets!

Still, in the first half of the table, a mention is due to the Koreans, the Hyundai Kona EV and Kia Niro EV, with both scoring record performances and climbing in the table. The first jumped two spots to #6, and the second climbed to #8. Korea is rising. … (Haven’t I written this before?!?)

In the second half of the table there’s also a lot to talk about, starting with two new vehicles in the top 20. The small VW e-Up showed up in #19 thanks to a record 397 deliveries, and if we were to add all three triplets together (VW e-Up, Skoda Citigo EV, Seat e-Mii), the city EVs would be #12 in the table. In #18 we have the current talk of the town, with the Ford Kuga (euro-spec Escape) PHEV joining the table thanks to a record performance (455 units).

Speaking of record performances, the Mercedes GLC300e climbed two positions, to #12, thanks to a record 500 units registered, while the Peugeot 2008 EV did even better, by jumping 4 spots to #16, thanks to a record 406 registrations. And I believe Peugeot’s small crossover is still in ramp-up mode, so expect it to jump further positions in the coming months, possibly into a top 10 position.

Another model on the rise in June was the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which was up to #14 thanks to 476 registrations, a new year best, and in a record month, several other models also had surging sales, like the #11 Nissan Leaf (494 units, best score in 21 months), the #13 Porsche Cayenne PHEV (244 units, a new record), the #15 Volvo XC60 PHEV (a record 316 units), and even the #17 BMW i3 (hey, remember me?), which registered 249 units, a new year best.

Finally, regarding potential future entrants to the top 20, a mention goes out to the 300 units of the Opel Corsa EV, which means its production ramp up is now well underway; the Volvo XC40 PHEV, which registered 306 units last month, confirming the young Swede as one of the surprises of 2020; and Renault finally bringing the cavalry to help the Zoe, with the Captur PHEV landing with a bang (388 registrations) while the Mégane PHEV landed in demonstration mode (with just 16 registrations). With Peugeot coming closer every passing month, Renault couldn’t just rely on the Zoe to keep its arch rival at bay!

Speaking of which … in the brand ranking, leader Renault (28%, up 2 percentage points) is now in recovery mode, with Peugeot (21%) firm in the 2nd spot, while DS (7%, down 1 point) is in 3rd, slightly ahead of Tesla (6%, down 1 point).

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José Pontes

Always interested in the auto industry, particularly in electric cars, Jose has been overviewed the sales evolution of plug-ins on the EV Sales blog, 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 also market analyst on EV-Volumes and works with the European Alternative Fuels Observatory on EV sales matters.

José Pontes has 473 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes