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France Hits 10.5% EV Market Share In August — Up 4× Year On Year

Europe’s 2nd largest auto market, France, saw passenger plugin electric vehicle market share of 10.5% in August 2020, a 4× growth in share from August 2019. Bestsellers this year include the Renault Zoe, Peugeot e-208, and Tesla Model 3.

Europe’s 2nd largest auto market, France, saw passenger plugin electric vehicle market share of 10.5% in August 2020, a 4× growth in share from August 2019. Bestsellers this year include the Renault Zoe, Peugeot e-208, and Tesla Model 3.

The 10.5% total plugin in vehicle share comprised 5.4% pure battery electrics (BEVs) and 5.1% plugin hybrids (PHEVs).

The passenger auto market as a whole was some 20% down on August 2019’s peak, though that anomalous peak was fuelled by regulatory changes that pulled forward sales, industry body the CCFA said. The 103,631 sales in August 2020 were in line with the 5 year historical volume trend for August sales.

Note that France’s cash-for-clunkers scrappage incentive scheme closed out at the end of July (being capped at a total transaction number of 200,000). All of these August results were thus achieved without the help of that additional incentive.

We don’t yet have comprehensive sales numbers for individual models in August, but we do know that longtime favourite the Renault Zoe continued to perform well with 1618 registrations, the Peugeot e-208 saw roughly 1475 registrations (assuming the year’s trend of 23% BEV share of the 208’s total sales), and the Tesla Model 3 saw 261 registrations.

Recall that Tesla mostly ships its vehicles to Europe for sale in the last month of the quarter, so July and August usually show a dip and September will see higher Model 3 volumes. The above three models were the bestselling BEVs in the first half of 2020, by some margin over the runners up, the Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro, and DS3 Crossback.

It will be interesting to see how many Volkswagen ID.3s get delivered in France in September. The VW Golf, Europe’s overall best selling vehicle, is only around the 40th most popular vehicle in France, with homegrown compacts and hatchbacks from Peugeot, Renault, and Citroën being much more favoured.

The BEV market is less mature in model availability, though, so an outstanding value offering can outperform in market share, and the ID.3 should certainly be relatively unconstrained by production volume. Let’s see if French BEV fans consider the ID.3 an outstanding value offering.

If the ID.3 makes strong inroads into the French market, this will encourage Renault, and Groupe PSA (parents of the Peugeot e-208 and siblings) to innovate further, and the overall losers will be combustion vehicles.

This BEV model competition will only boost market share further over the tear that it has been on recently. Year-to-date 2020 is already at 9.3% plugin market share in France, and is heading higher as ever more BEV and PHEV model volume becomes available across Europe. This is up dramatically from 2019’s 2.6% full year result.

We will almost certainly see over 10% market share for full year 2020 — what’s your bet about the final result? Let us know in the comments.

Vehicle photos courtesy of respective brands.

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Max is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist, trying to ask questions and encourage critical thinking about social and environmental justice, sustainability and the human condition. 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.


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