While the overall French automotive market had a so so month (-3% in September), plugin vehicle sales continued to be steaming hot (+322%). Plugin hybrids (PHEVs) were up 486%, to 7,867 units, faring better than 100% electric vehicles (BEVs), which were up only 138%, to 10,011 registrations.
Looking at the fuel split among vehicles registered last month in France, disruption is happening before our eyes, with petrol dropping 11 percentage points in market share compared to the same period last year, to 45%, while diesel is also down, albeit a moderate 3 points, to 35% market share, to the profit of all electrified categories.
First of all, conventional hybrids were up 6 percentage points, from the 5% of last year to the current 11%, passing up PHEVs, which now have 4.7% of the market (up from 3.5% a year ago), and then ending with the 6% of BEVs (6% in September 2019), allowing the 2020 plugin vehicle share to be at a record 9.5% (10.6% last month), which is a whole different world from the 2.8% of 2019.
Expect the numbers to improve slightly in the remainder of the year, with the 2020 tally probably reaching 10% by year end, which would not only be a great achievement, but also the prelude for #Disruption ’21 — French Edition.
Looking at last month’s best sellers, the top two plugin models were the usual local heroes — the Renault Zoe and Peugeot e-208, but below them we have the Tesla Model 3, which took the #3 spot while also ending up the best selling foreigner thanks a highly predictable end-of-quarter delivery rush.
But the real surprises show up just below the podium, with the Renault Captur PHEV jumping to 4th, thanks to a record 899 registrations, while the much anticipated Volkswagen ID.3 landed straight at the #5 spot, thanks to 616 units. These two models are set to become regulars in the top 5.
Below these models, there are plenty of models ramping up deliveries, like the Audi Q5 PHEV (440 units) and Mercedes A250e (382) on the plugin hybrid side, while we should highlight the Opel Corsa EV (400 units) on the BEV side, as the German BEV is starting to gain real traction in France.
Looking at the 2020 ranking, while the top 2 spots remain unattainable for any vehicles not already in those positions, the last position on the podium can still change hands. The Tesla Model 3 climbed to 3rd, while below it, the Hyundai Kona EV surpassed the DS 7 PHEV, with the Korean crossover now reaching the 5th position.
The #7 Kia Niro EV also has a shot at surpassing the DS plugin hybrid, with the Kia model now just 48 units below the French SUV.
In the second half of the table, we have a few more position changes, with the Mercedes-Benz GLC300e climbing to #11, while the rising star Volvo XC40 PHEV jumped two positions, now at #12.
Another model on the rise is the Peugeot e-2008, now #14, while the Volkswagen Golf GTE, still with the Golf VII body, jumped to #18, thanks to a record 394 registrations. The German model is benefiting from stock clearance prices and will end its career on a high note.
The Renault Captur PHEV joined the top 20, in #15, thanks to a record 899 deliveries, and is now only 78 units behind its Peugeot e-2008 arch rival, so expect the Renault crossover to follow the Zoe example and jump ahead of its Peugeot competitor soon.
In the brand ranking, the leader is, as always, Renault (25%), with the runner-up Peugeot (19%, down 2 percentage points) losing some ground, while Tesla (6%, up 1 point) has surpassed local automaker DS (5%), becoming the new bronze medalist.