Volvo XC40 Siblings Shine In The Netherlands — February EV Sales Report

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The Dutch plugin electric vehicle (PEV) market dropped 20% in February year over year (YoY), to 2,952 registrations, but that result wasn’t all that bad considering that the overall market fell even more (-26% YoY), placing last month’s PEV share at 14% (5.6% full electrics/BEV). That kept the 2021 year-to-date PEV share at 13% (4.1% BEV), but with March expected to be a strong month (Tesla + VW high tides), expect the share to go up a notch or two by then.

Breaking down registrations between each plugin powertrain, BEVs recovered a bit and are now responsible for 32% of the PEV market, a 3% recovery from January’s disaster (29%), but far from the 69% of 12 months ago and even further away from the 82% of 2020. Nonetheless, expect BEVs to recover ground as the year advances.

In February, the leader was the Volvo XC40 PHEV, scoring its second win in a row, this time with 231 registrations, while its BEV twin was 5th, with 114 registrations, both helping the Swedish SUV to become the 3rd best selling model in the overall market (only behind #1 Ford Fiesta and #2 Kia Picanto). In fact, 59% of the Volvo XC40’s registrations came from these two versions.

In 2nd place we have a real surprise, with the veteran Nissan Leaf teaching the young ones a thing or two (insert deep discounts comment). The Leaf’s jump in the market allowed it to win last month’s silver medal and the monthly best seller trophy in the BEV category.

The 3rd spot went to the Renault Zoe, followed by a familiar face in this market, the Kia Niro EV, which secured the 4th spot with 114 registrations.

Another surprise is the Volvo S/V60 PHEV twins reaching the 6th position, with 93 registrations, thus resulting in 3 Volvos in the top 6 positions (and 5 in the top 12 if we include the #12 XC90 PHEV and that liberal-thinking Volvo, the Polestar 2, in 8th).

In a more BEV-friendly top 20 than in January, with 9 BEVs now in the ranking (versus only 5 in January), a mention also goes out to the Stellantis BEVs, which had 3 representatives in the table — the Peugeot e-208 in #7; its crossover sibling, the e-2008, in #9; and the Opel Corsa-e in #19.

Regarding the PHEV armada, a reference is due for the 11th spot of the Mercedes C300e/de, with 64 registrations, the midsizer’s best score since 2016, while the #18 Range Rover Sport PHEV tank registered 54 units, its best performance in over 2 years.

A mention also goes out to two Citroen models — the C4 EV hatchback had 27 registrations and the SUV C5 Aircross PHEV had 47 registrations. So, after Peugeot, DS, and Opel, now it’s time for the double chevron maker to ramp up production and help the French-Italian-American-German conglomerate to grow its plugin sales.

What about Tesla? — you may ask. The Model 3 had 37 deliveries last month, a significant fall from the 135 units of February 2020, but all these are peanuts compared to the March high tide, because Tesla still concentrates the bulk of European Model 3 deliveries in the last month of each quarter. So, next month will be the real test of Model 3 sales in the Netherlands.

Looking at the 2021 ranking, while the podium remained the same, below it there were several changes. The Volvo S/V60 PHEV climbed to 4th, while its higher riding sibling, the XC60 PHEV, was up to #6. But the Climber of the Month was the Nissan Leaf(!), with the Japanese hatchback jumping from #20 in January to #7 this month, becoming the new best selling BEV in the table.

Another model climbing the ladder was the Renault Zoe, which joined the table in #9, and the Volvo XC40 EV went up to #13, highlighting Volvo’s positive month.

After a slow January, the 2020 best seller, the Volkswagen ID.3, returned to the table at #20. Expect the German hatchback to return to the front positions in March.

In the manufacturer ranking, Volvo (18%, up 2 percentage points) is the new #1, displacing BMW (15%, down 2 points) from the leadership position, while Kia (5%) closed out the podium, just ahead of Mitsubishi (4%).

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José Pontes

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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