France Sees 10.6% Plugin Vehicle Market Share In September — 4× Growth Year On Year

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France, the second largest auto market in Europe, and 8th in the world, saw 10.6% plugin electric vehicle market share in September. This is almost 4× growth from the same period in 2019 (2.8% share). Cumulative plugin share for 2020 now stands at 9.5% and may reach 10% by year’s end.

French plugin electric vehicle sales in September were dominated by full battery electrics (BEVs) at 5.9% share, with plugin hybrids (PHEVs) taking 4.7% share. The year-to-date cumulative shares now stand at just over 6% BEV and just under 3.5% PHEV, for a combined plugin share of 9.5%. This time last year the cumulative plugin share stood at 2.6%.

We don’t yet have complete data for France’s most popular BEV models in September, but piecing together clues from the CCFA with a few snippets from AAA data, the top 4 positions seem to be well defined:

The top 3 Renault ZOE, Peugeot e-208 and Tesla Model 3, are the usual suspects. The new Volkswagen ID.3 has jumped straight into the #4 spot, overtaking the Hyundai Kona and Kia Niro which normally jostle for this position (now relegated to competing for 5th and 6th spots).

Other popular September BEV models in France that round out the top 10 (in approximately correct order) are likely to be the Peugeot e-2008; VW e-Up; Mini-e; and DS3 Crossback. Keep an eye out for José’s market reports later this month for more detailed model sales data.

Volkswagen ID.3. Image Courtesy: Volkswagen

For the ID.3 to achieve 616 unit sales in its first sales month in France is a great result, especially in a market that saw very few sales of the VW e-Golf predecessor (despite the e-Golf being very popular in other European markets). Let’s see what pattern of sales the ID.3 stabilizes at over the coming few months. I’d bet on it regularly appearing in the French top 5 from now on, perhaps even the top 3.

Of course the homegrown Renault Zoe is the real success story in France, having now amassed 26,000 sales in 2020, and holding the #9 spot on the 2020 list of overall best selling vehicles in the country.

From 15th October Renault group is due to premier two new models, the diminutive and affordable Dacia Spring and a new B-segment compact SUV based on the CMF-EV platform.Dacia Spring. Image Courtesy: Renault Group

There’s not yet much solid information, but the Spring, with a likely WLTP range around 200km, will certainly cost less than €20,000 and perhaps less than €15,000. If the latter, it may take over from the ZOE as the group’s best selling BEV in 2021. Let’s see if Renault Group release pricing information at the forthcoming reveal event.

Along with Germany, and much of the rest of Europe, France’s fast growth in plugin electric vehicle market share is one of the big EV news stories of the year. Now standing at 9.5% cumulative share, will France break the 10% mark by the end of the year? I suspect it will. Please share your thoughts and experience in the comments section.

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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, or contact him via LinkedIn.

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