France Plugin Share Grows To 13.2% In February Up Two-Thirds Year-On-Year

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French plugin electric vehicle market share grew by two-thirds year-on-year in February 2021, to 13.2%, up from 7.9% in February 2020. The overall auto market was down 21% year-on-year. Best selling full electric models in February 2021 were the Peugeot e-208, Tesla Model 3, and Renault ZOE.

The combined 13.2% plugin share result consisted of a fairly equal spread between full battery electrics (BEVs) at 6.4% and plugin hybrids (PHEVs) at 6.8%. This represents a strong growth in PHEVs from a minority 2.3% share in February 2020.

The overall auto market was down 20.9% year-on-year to a volume of 132,671 units sold in February. Non-electrified combustion powertrains lost share from a combined 84.5% in February 2020, to 68.6% in February 2021.

Diesel in particular has a noticeable drop from 35.2% to 24.9% share over the past 12 months. Diesel’s absolute sales numbers almost halved from 59,108 to 33,103 over the 12 month period.

Here’s the evolution of auto powertrain shares since the start of 2020:

Notice that February 2021’s share of plugins has already shown an uptick over January 2021, whereas February 2020 actually saw a slight dip over the previous month. We can expect to see March 2021 continue to show a monthly plugin growth trend. Note also that H1 2020’s plugin share was fairly flat (which is common in France and several other markets) and it’s typically only from August onwards that the magnitude of the year’s plugin share growth begins to show.

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Best Selling BEVs

We haven’t yet got full BEV model sales data from industry body the CCFA. On the basis of recent patterns in powertrain-split (for multi-powertrain models), the Peugeot e-208 appears to have had the most BEV sales in February, with an estimated 1,378 units. The Tesla Model 3 came in at the #2 spot with at least ~1,100 sales (perhaps as many as ~1,200). The long-term French favourite, the Renault ZOE dropped to #3 spot with 1074 sales, just behind the Tesla.

Other popular BEV models were (estimated numbers);  the Hyundai Kona (~625); Kia Niro (~596); Fiat 500e (~557); Renault Twingo (~417); Peugeot e-2008 (~411); Volkswagen ID.3 (~361) and Opel Corsa-e (~280) in the #10 spot. The rankings should be about right, but take these actual numbers with a pinch of salt, since most are estimated from recent powertrain-split trends.  Jose will report the more detailed French model sales numbers once they are made available from around the middle of this month, so keep an eye open for that.

Peugeot e-208. Image Courtesy: Peugeot

With several new BEVs (and PHEVs) due to arrive in the coming months, we can expect 2021 to be another strong growth year for plugins. Recall that 2020 saw a full year plugin share of 11.2%. We’ll find out next month what the Q1 result has been, and I’d expect it in the range of 13-14% share already.

I’m still expecting full year 2021 to achieve a result close to 20% plugin share, with final months exceeding 30%. What do you think? Please jump in to the comments to share your thoughts.

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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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