The Dutch plugin vehicle (PEV) market continues to drive in the fast lane, with 5,090 plugin registrations in April, placing last month’s PEV share at 21% (10% BEV). That makes the year-to-date PEV share to 17% (6.6% BEV), which is still down compared to last year’s result (25%), but already above the 2019 score (15%). Expect this year’s result to continue growing throughout the year. As a point of comparison, in April 2020, the YTD share was at 12%, which could mean that if this year has another strong end-of-year peak, we should see the plugin share end north of 30%. Not bad, eh?
Breaking down registrations between the two basic plugin powertrains, BEVs continue to recover ground, having 47% of April’s registrations — and, YTD, they are now responsible for 40% of plugin sales, a 3 point recovery compared to March. However, they are still far from the 82% share of 2020. Expect pure electrics to continue recovering ground throughout the year, but one thing looks certain: with BEVs gradually losing their fiscal incentives year after year, plugin hybrids are recovering their space in the market, highlighting just how sensitive the plugin market still is to incentives.
In April, the plugin sector leader was the Kia Niro EV, scoring its first win since last July, this time with 359 units. The true sensation of the month, though, was the Skoda Enyaq, which landed with a bang. The Enyaq got its first 353 registrations in the Netherlands in April, allowing it to climb immediately into the runner-up spot, just 6 units behind the Korean crossover. In the overall ranking, the Czech station-wagon-in-disguise was 11th! Not bad for a landing month….
The truth is that the new Skoda model so far seems like the most competitive MEB-based EV (sorry, ID.3 and ID.4…), with competitive pricing and more space and practicality than its VW relatives. It’s no surprise that there are rumours saying that Skoda is looking to increase the 70,000 production target for 2021 in order to cope with demand.
“The Force is strong with you, young Enyaq” — said Master Skoda.
Just off the podium, in 4th place, we have the Ford Kuga PHEV in peak form (304 units, a new record), while Mitsubishi at last had some reasons to celebrate, with the new Eclipse Cross PHEV showing up in #9 in its first full sales month while the veteran Outlander PHEV was #13.
Interestingly, and a sign of where the market is heading, the top 9 best sellers are either crossovers or SUVs, with the best positioned “car” (Peugeot e-208) only showing up in #10.
And looking below, there are only three other “cars” in this top 20, the #13 Volvo S/V60 PHEV, the #17 Polestar 2, and the #20 BMW i3, thus making it 4 cars vs. 16 crossover/SUVs.
Now, let that sink in….
Speaking of the second half of the table, we had a few surprises there, like the #19 position of the Mercedes EQA, in only its second month on the market, and the BMW i3 coming back from a long absence, ending up at #20. We might see an interesting duel between these two compact EVs.
Outside the top 20, April witnessed the arrival of two very different models. Ford celebrated the landing of its much anticipated Mustang Mach-E (58 units), while after many months (years) of promises, we finally witnessed the European landing of Geely’s post-modern (ahem * hipster * ahem) brand Lynk & Co, with the first 66 registrations of its plugin hybrid SUV, the 01.
Looking at the 2021 ranking, while the leader, the Volvo XC40 PHEV, remains untouchable (for now at least), below it there is much to talk about. The Kia Niro EV benefited from a strong April to jump 7 spots, into 2nd place, reaffirming its podium pretensions, while the Ford Kuga PHEV climbed to 3rd and the Volvo XC40 EV was up 5 spots to #6. With the #2 Kia Niro EV just 207 units ahead, we might even see a 1-2 lead from Volvo here at some point. …
And don’t forget the #8 Tesla Model 3 peak performances, so we still have several candidates for the top positions, and once again, only one of them (Tesla Model 3) is not a crossover or SUV, which speaks volumes to the current market trends — and, of course, to the tremendous potential that the Tesla Model Y has in Europe.
In the second half of the table, a mention goes out to the Skoda Enyaq joining the table in #14 right in its landing month. The Czech EV seems destined for higher grounds (top 5?). The BMW iX3 was also on the rise, having climbed to #16, up two spots from its previous standing in March.
Another BEV set to join the table soon is the #21 Peugeot e-208 (271 units). Although, it might be at the expense of its French arch rival, the #20 Renault Zoe….
In the manufacturer ranking, Volvo (16%, down 1 point) is the #1 brand, BMW (14%) is in the runner-up position, and Volkswagen (6%, up 1 point) closes out the podium at a distant 3rd, ahead of Kia (5%, up 1 point).
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