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27% Plugin Vehicle Share in the Netherlands! (& Tesla Model 3 Sneaks Into #1)

The Super-September edition of the Dutch EV market actually saw it return to red (-3% year over year/YoY), but with the crash of the overall market, plugin vehicle (PEV) market share actually jumped to 27%, 6 percentage points ahead of September 2019.

The Super-September edition of the Dutch EV market actually saw it return to red (-3% year over year/YoY), but with the crash of the overall market, plugin vehicle (PEV) market share actually jumped to 27%, 6 percentage points ahead of September 2019. If you can stretch your mind back that far, it was a time when we had no covid disruption a healthy automotive market saw plugins jump to 21% market share, thanks to the then-upcoming changes of company car rules, which were set to start on January 1st, 2020.

Last month, plugin share of 27% (21% fully electric vehicles/BEVs) pulled the 2020 PEV share to 16% (12% BEV), placing it finally above last year’s overall result (15%).

Interestingly, this time, BEVs were the main driver of growth, being responsible for 79% of all plugin sales last month, well above the 74% yearly average. That was all thanks to the Tesla high tide, strong performances from Hyundai–Kia, and the landing of hot, new BEVs.

As such, looking at last month’s best sellers, we saw a relatively close race between the Kia Niro EV and the Tesla Model 3, with the latter one winning the September trophy and reaching the #2 position in the overall auto market ranking. Meanwhile, the Korean crossover got 749 registrations, which meant a new personal record.

But the highlight of the month came in 3rd, with the Volkswagen ID.3 scoring 609 deliveries in its first month (or should I say, “first weeks”) on the market. It will make a strong contender for the 2021 Best Seller title.

Off the podium, another hot new EV had its first full sales month, with the Polestar 2 reaching #4, with 478 registrations, while the #5 Hyundai Kona EV scored a year best result, 397 registrations.

An interesting factoid regarding this top 5 is the fact that all of these BEVs have over 400 km (250 mi) of WLTP electric range.

Looking at the 2020 ranking, the Tesla Model 3 has recovered the leadership position from the Kia Niro EV, but with only 18 units separating them, this will be a race up until the last minute.

Elsewhere, the first changes in position occurred in the #8 and #9 slots, with the Renault Zoe and Skoda Citigo EV (288 registrations, a new personal best) climbing one position, at the expense of the Nissan Leaf, which is now 10th, a few steps below the #5 spot it had 12 months ago.

The Volvo S/V60 PHEV twins jumped two positions, to #11, thanks to 182 registrations, their best result since January. The Swedish brand now has a 1–2 leadership position in the PHEV (plugin hybrid) category.


In the second half of the table, the hot hatch Mini Cooper EV was up to #13, thanks to a record 223 registrations, while PSA cousins Opel Corsa-e and Peugeot e-208 continue climbing, with the German model jumping to #16 thanks to a record 314 registrations, and the French EV up to #17.

We have a new face in the table, with the Volkswagen ID.3 shooting to #19 in its landing month, while the Polestar 2 is now #21, with 511 registrations. However, 478 of those 511 were made last month, so expect the Sino-Swede to join the table soon, possibly replacing the #20 BMW X5 PHEV, which would leave just 4 plugin hybrid models in this top 20.

Outside the top 20, there isn’t much to talk about, the Peugeot e-2008 is ramping up deliveries, having registered 126 units in September, while the wacky strong personality Mazda MX-30 landed last month with a strong result of 176 registrations. Expect the Japanese maker to continue pushing its crossover EV throughout the remaining months of the year, as Mazda needs desperately to comply with the EU CO2-emission rules in order to avoid fines. So, if anyone is interested in this peculiar model, expect some significant discounts towards the end of the year.

In the manufacturer ranking, Kia (14%) is in the leadership, followed by Tesla (12%, up 1 percentage point), while Volkswagen (10%) and Volvo (also 10%) are running for the bronze medal.

The #5 Hyundai (8%, up 1 point), is closing in on the podium, but it also has Opel (7%, up 1 point) knocking on the door, with the German brand now starting to justify PSA’s bet on it.

Midsize Cars

Rank Model 2020 Sales  
1 Tesla Model 3 4,307
2 BMW 3 Series 2,923
3 Volvo S/V60 2,832
4 Mercedes C-Class 1,315
5 Audi A4 1,129

Tesla’s midsizer is leading by a landslide, followed by the electrified BMW 3 Series (14% PHEV units) and Volvo’s S/V60 twins (35%, up 8 points compared to the June report).

As for the remaining top 5, the local Mercedes importer has started to deliver the C300e/de PHEV versions, but the PHEV versions only represent 5% of the midsize Mercedes, while the #5 Audi A4 doesn’t even have a plugin version.

But Audi’s spot on this top 5 could be in danger, as the hot Polestar 2 could steal its position in the coming months

Midsize SUVs

Rank Model 2020 Sales  
1 Volvo XC60 1,247
2 Mitsubishi Outlander 991
3 BMW X3 919
4 Mercedes GLC 552
5 Mercedes EQC 354

This category is running fast into electrification, from the all-electric Mercedes EQC in #5, to the almostall-PHEV Mitsubishi Outlander (96% PHEV units) in 2nd, passed up by the #1 Volvo XC60 (33% PHEV, up 6%) or the #3 BMW X3 (33%, up 10 points), and ending on the mildly pluggable Mercedes GLC (11% PHEV) in 4th.

With Mercedes now delivering PHEV units of its GLC midsize SUV, expect the three-pointed-star model to increase its electrification rate significantly.

Full Size Cars

Rank Model 2020 Sales  
1 BMW 5 Series 1,477
2 Volvo S/V90 635
3 Mercedes E-Class 614
4 Audi A6 389
5 Porsche Taycan 331

The leadership is in the hands of the BMW 5 Series, which now has a low plugin share of only 13%.

And while the others are even worse, things are slowly changing. The #3 Mercedes E-Class has 11% (it’s up 3 points relative to the last report) of its sales coming from its PHEV versions, while the #2 S/V90 PHEVs have also 11% share (up 6%) of the big Swedes’ sales. Even the #4 Audi A6 has started to become electrified, with the big Audi now having 5% of its sales coming from their PHEV versions.

Another piece of good news is the Porsche Taycan is in the 5th spot, so we have one BEV model in every one of these top 5s.

Full Size SUVs

Rank Model 2020 Sales  
1 Audi e-Tron 934
2 BMW X5 903
3 Porsche Cayenne 575
4 Volvo XC90 466
5 LR Range Rover Sport 306

Unlike the full size car category, where ICE is still king, here on behemoth-land, electrification is much more advanced. Not only did the Audi e-tron rise to its own leadership position, but the #2 BMW X5 now has 67% of its sales coming from its PHEV version, up 7% relative to June’s report. Additionally, the #3 Porsche Cayenne was the model that showed the most progress, with its electrification rate jumping from 24% three months ago to its current 43%.

The #4 Volvo XC90 has an 88% electrification share (up 2 percentage points), while the #5 Range Rover Sport has 88% (up 1 point) of all of its sales also coming from the PHEV version.


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Written By

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.


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