Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Plugin Vehicles Account For 4.6% Of New Vehicle Sales In January In Italy

Originally published on opportunity:energy.

Italy’s plugin car market saw a rather soft start to 2021, following a sparkling end of 2020 that was marked by a sense of exuberance. January sales figures show a combination of the hangover from year end, as well as the marks of a new lockdown. Plug-in vehicles, nonetheless, are on the rise in a year-on-year (YoY) comparison.

Following December’s incredible stats for electric mobility, the Italian car market began 2021 with some of the usual trends, and a softening of others (see Unrae data). The overall market saw about 135,000 cars sold, down more than 14% YoY, thus continuing a decline that has characterised car sales since the start of the pandemic. Petrol and diesel registrations are down by a third YoY, settling to 36% and 27% of the market respectively. Traditional hybrids are quickly replacing pure ICE vehicles and now stand at 24.3% share, a trend that is bound to keep growing. Plug-in vehicles, after an absolute blast to mark the end of 2020, recorded an almost inevitable retreat from those levels in January.

Full electric cars stooped to 2,494 registrations, or less than 1.9% market share. While this is a far cry from the previous month’s all-time record of 7,255 units, it is still a 28% increase YoY. Automakers probably rushed the registration of as many full electric cars as they could by year end to meet their fleet-wide average emission target of 95 g CO2/km. This in turn may have led to a temporary low availability of new BEVs, many of which are still production-constrained.

Plug-in hybrids showed a better performance than full electrics, somewhat unusual for the Italian market. At 3,760 units, PHEVs took 2.8% of the market, and almost triple (!) YoY. While this is also far from December records (when monthly registrations topped out at 6,374), it’s a strong start nonetheless compared to other powertrains. We could see PHEVs grow from strength to strength in the coming months, perhaps pushed by car dealerships with more conviction than they would push pure electrics.

Overall plug-in market share thus started off the year at just above 4.6%, less than half the peak levels of the December bonanza, but still almost double the registrations from a year ago — a good foundation for rest of the year. Looking at individual models, let’s see what the chart of the top 10 BEVs has to offer.

The new Fiat 500e started the year where it ended the previous one, in first position. This time, though, it shared the monthly crown with the Smart Fortwo, both scoring 419 units. European champion Renault Zoe followed in third place with 255 registrations, closing out what could become a typical podium in the months ahead. The Opel Corsa-e and Peugeot e-208 siblings trailed in the 4th and 5th position, with 216 and 193 registrations respectively.

Following the top five, two names caught the eye for opposite reasons. In 6th position with 129 units, the Renault Twingo ZE — an obvious podium candidate in Italy’s BEV market — recorded a low that is unlikely to be seen again in the future. On the other hand, entering the top 10 from the very bottom, the Citroen e-C4 made its debut and was the only car in the chart above the B-segment. This is an accomplishment usually achieved by the Tesla Model 3, which is missing altogether this month, as fairly typical at the start of a quarter.

2021 has started off with perhaps unimpressive growth rates compared to what the Italian market got us used to in recent months. It is natural, however, to see a high-growth market catch a breath following a long period of triple-digit rises.

Competition will soon heat up, as the winter hangover fades, pandemic lockdowns ease, and new electric models make their entry on a monthly basis. 2021 is also the year when the new EU regulations for passenger cars come fully into force. With such dynamics brewing in the background, this could simply be the quiet before the storm.

Check out our brand new E-Bike Guide. If you're curious about electric bikes, this is the best place to start your e-mobility journey!
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Carlo Ombello is an environmental engineer based in London. He writes about environment, sustainability and green technologies on his blog opportunity:energy.


You May Also Like


BYD achieves another record month Plugin vehicles continue to be all the rage in the Chinese auto market. With the end of the covid...


Innovation continues in the e-mobility realm. There are plans to launch a fleet of electric seaglider planes by 2025 in Hawaii. The Citroën Ami...

Clean Transport

Last month, we covered Ford’s greatly expanding EV sales. It turns out, it was just getting started. For May (May numbers come out in...


With multiple crises raging (chips, batteries, covid, Ukraine war…), EV sales disruption is the order of the day, and one can say that anything...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.