France Hits Record 11.8% Plugin Share In October — Up 3.5× Year On Year

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October 2020 saw the French plugin electric vehicle market hit a record 11.8% market share, up 3.5× from October 2019’s 3.4% share. Cumulative 2020 year-to-date plugin share now stands at 9.8% and is on track to cross 10% share for the full year.

October’s 11.8% plugin total was boosted by an unusually strong 6.0% plugin hybrid (PHEV) share. The year-to-date contribution stands at 6.0% full battery electric (BEV) and 3.8% PHEV, for a combined plugin tally of 9.8%. This is up from just 2.7% combined cumulative plugin share a year ago.

We have some provisional data for the most popular BEVs in October; the homegrown Renault Zoe as usual took the top spot with 2507 sales. The Peugeot e-208 came in second with 1988 sales. Third spot was a tie between the Kia e-Niro and the new Renault Twingo ZE, both with 678 registrations. Fifth and sixth spots are not yet confirmed, but on the basis of recent trends, are almost certainly contested by the Hyundai Kona EV and Volkswagen ID.3, both with sales in the region of 500 or 600 units.

Renault Twingo. Image Courtesy: Renault

This is the first month of delivery of the new Renault Twingo, a designed-for-urban BEV with a modest 190 km (118 miles) WLTP range and no DC fast charging (just 22 kW AC charging). With the VW group triplets (e-Up! and siblings) arguably offering substantially better value (similar pricing, 260 km range and 50 kW DC charging) it will be interesting to see if the Twingo’s initial 678 sales represent a one-off push to fulfill an order backlog, or whether these numbers will sustain (or even grow) in the coming months.

The final two months of 2019 both saw plugin share results maintaining roughly the 3.4% level achieved in October 2019, so we may also expect the final two months of 2020 to deliver similar results to October’s record 11.8% share. If that’s the case, the full year 2020 result should just step across the 10% line, from the current 9.8% cumulative standing. Let’s see how it plays out.

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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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