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FIAT 500e Lands in Hot French EV Market — 15% Share!

While the overall automotive market has seen its blues highlighted by the recent Covid resurgence (down 27% in November), plugin vehicle sales continued to be steaming hot (+204%), with plugin hybrids (PHEVs) growing faster than full electrics (up 291%, to 9,144 units).

While the overall automotive market has seen its blues highlighted by the recent Covid resurgence (down 27% in November), plugin vehicle sales continued to be steaming hot (+204%), with plugin hybrids (PHEVs) growing faster than full electrics (up 291%, to 9,144 units). That figure has allowed PHEVs to have a 49% share among all plugin vehicles, another impressive result in this traditionally BEV-friendly market. It is also well above the 40% share PHEVs have in the year overall.

These disruptive numbers are also reflected in the plugin share, as last month it reached 15% (8% BEV), pulling the year-to-date (YTD) share to 10% (6.2% BEV), a far cry from the 3.1% from 12 months ago.

Interestingly, the market disruption is also benefiting conventional hybrids (HEVs), as they reached 12% share last month, well above the 5% of last year. So, we had 27% of total sales coming from electrified models in November, a new high. Meanwhile, petrol lost 14 percentage points in 12 months, from the 56% of November ’19 to the current 42%, while diesel lost just 3% share, to the current 31%.

With the 2020 plugin share now reaching two-digit scores on a regular basis, expect this market to be disrupted further next year.

Looking at last month’s best sellers, the top 2 were the usual local heroes, but below them, the PHEV race was close, with the Mercedes GLC300e/de getting in between the two local major players and the Mercedes SUV losing its category title to the Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV by just 45 units.

Funny enough, after a record result in October (1,693 units!), the Renault Captur PHEV’s deliveries dropped 64% month on month, to the 602 of November. Was it a simple allocation issue, or was October an exception due to the waiting list clearance?

Among the remaining top 10, the VW e-Up has beaten all expectations, by coming out of nowhere to #6, with a record 520 registrations, beating not only the #7 Tesla Model 3, but also the #8 VW ID.3 … which seems to be stuck in 500-something performances in this market. Has the new German EV already found its (slowish) cruising speed?

Regarding the Californian, the 501 deliveries of November are its 2nd best score ever in an off-peak month, so we might see it score a record result in December. Say … 1,500 units?

In 10th, we have the Mercedes A250e, which got a best ever score of 443 units. And that wasn’t the only Mercedes to hit record results, as the aforementioned GLC300e/de score of 637 was also a record, as was the #13 Mercedes GLA250e’s 425 units.

The German automaker is busy ramping up deliveries of its extensive PHEV lineup, with 3 other models hitting relevant and record performances last month: the GLE350de scored 167 units, the CLA250e sporty sedan had 127 units, while the new B250e MPV is already at 101 deliveries.

It took the company a while to get its show on the road, but the fact is that Mercedes is now well ahead of its arch-rival, BMW, which had a decent performance coming from Mini, with the Cooper EV scoring 405 deliveries, while the best selling BMW was the X1 PHEV, which had 284 registrations. Meanwhile, its slightly more expensive, slightly less roomy, and much uglier sibling, the BMW X2 PHEV, was the only good surprise coming from the Munich automaker, as it delivered a record 147 units in November.

In the lower half of the top 20, a reference goes out to the 377 deliveries of the Range Rover PHEV in its first full sales month, while its less fancy sibling, the Land Rover Discovery Sport PHEV, also score a three-digit score in its first full sales month — in this case, 101 units.

But the most important fresh model was undoubtedly the #20 FIAT 500e, which registered its first 307 units in France. While it is an impressive landing per se, this is also an important landmark for the city car category, because it means that the leader of the segment is now going electric. Expect it to become to the city car crew what the Renault Zoe is to the category above (and what the VW ID.3 wants to be in the compact segment).

Outside this top 20, a reference is due to the landing of the Suzuki Across PHEV (aka rebadged Toyota RAV4 PHEV), with a relevant 103 registrations (and much needed for EU’s CO2 compliance…). Additionally, Citroen had the e-C4 EV hatchback score its first three-digit performance, with 101 deliveries, as it prepares the model to become its star player for 2021.

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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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