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20 Top Selling Plugin Vehicles Globally — Charts

Global plugin vehicle registrations were up 94% last month compared to July 2020, scoring 480,000 units (or 7.1% share of the overall auto market). That made it the plugin market’s third best month ever.

Fully electric vehicles (BEVs) represented 66% of plugin registrations in July, in line with the year-to-date (YTD) tally. In total, there were some 318,000 registrations of BEVs, or 4.7% share of the overall auto market.

With the YTD tally now above 3 million units (and at a record 6.5% share), and knowing that the second half of the year is traditionally stronger, we should be seeing the plugin vehicle (PEV) market easily surpass 6 million units this year!

Still, while disruption is already happening in Europe and China, we should only see disruptive levels on a global scale next year, which should get a boost if the US market goes into warp speed due to the upcoming electric pickup truck wars.

Having said that, December should be the first month with double digits on a global level, as all 3 major markets (China, Europe, and USA) are expected to have record months.

The future will depend much on the development of the COVID pandemic, the economic recovery, and how fast the chip (and battery) shortage is solved, but whatever happens, expect plugins to continue increasing market share, as legacy OEMs are protecting their plugin offerings from the aforementioned production risks as if their lives depended on it. (And they actually do….)

In the model ranking, although there weren’t significant surprises in the podium positions, with the Wuling Mini EV taking its usual win in Tesla’s off month, it should be noted that last month the Tesla Model 3 managed to beat its Model Y younger sibling. Now that both nameplates are being delivered in basically all the same markets, it will be interesting to see if the sedan can keep up with the crossover sales.

Off the podium, the not so big surprise was the Volkswagen ID.4 repeating June’s performance and taking the 4th position, with 10,654 units delivered. With US deliveries now adding to Europe’s large volumes, and China deliveries finally starting to ramp up, expect the German crossover to continue expanding its sales in the coming months and become the best selling model among the legacy OEMs.

Elsewhere, a mention goes out to several Chinese models hitting record scores (there were 11 Chinese models in last month’s top 20). Those included the #6 Changan Benni EV, #7 Li Xiang One, #9 BYD Song Pro PHEV, #11 XPeng P7, #18 BYD Qin Plus BEV, and #19 Roewe Clever EV. Some models from traditional OEMs were also ramping up deliveries, like the #10 Ford Mustang Mach-E (6,745 units) and the #13 Hyundai Ioniq 5 (5,924). The biggest surprise was the Jeep Wrangler PHEV, which jumped to #8, with 7,275 registrations. It seems Stellantis has struck gold with the PHEV version of the charismatic model, which makes the rumoured Magneto BEV version of the Wrangler a no-brainer for the future.

In the YTD table, the climbers of the month were two Chinese models, with the cheap Changan Benni EV jumping 6 spots, to #7, while the full-size Li Xiang One yacht SUV jumped 5 positions, to #6, and now has the category leader BYD Han EV, in #5, less than 6,000 units away. Expect the startup model to reach the category leadership position by September/October.

These results of the large SUV, now unquestionably the leader in the PHEV category, are impressive not only because it comes from a startup company — which, by the way, is not one of the most highlighted on the media — but also because it plays in the higher end of the market.

While once upon a time the Chinese automotive industry was derided for just building cheap knockoffs, the story is very different now, as it has competitive models in every segment, from the city car category (Wuling Mini EV; Changan Benni EV; Ora Black Cat), to full-size cars and SUVs (BYD Han EV; Li Xiang One).

Elsewhere, Volkswagen had a good month, with the ID.4 climbing to #4 and the ID.3 to #8. The Toyota RAV4 PHEV jumped two spots, to #16, proving that the Japanese automaker continues to show a lot of potential in this market. (But does Toyota want to fulfill it? Hmmm….) Meanwhile, the Ford Escape/Kuga PHEV climbed one position, to #19.

Speaking of Ford, its new BEV baby, the Mustang Mach-E, is just 1,300 units below the top 20, so expect it to join the table soon — maybe already by August.

Wrapping up the top 20, we have a new model on the table, with the BYD Qin Plus PHEV joining in, at #17. The Chinese midsizer is no doubt aiming for a top 10 position soon.

BYD Wins Manufacturer Competition in July

BYD is going from strength to strength, once again beating its own record, with 46,938 registrations, and allowing it to beat Tesla in the monthly race for the first time since January. At that time, the Californian had been beaten by SGMW, and with the seemingly never-ending record streak from the Shenzhen automaker set to continue, it might even give Tesla some fight in the race for the August title.

Hyundai impressed last month, with a near-record score of 16,798 units, mostly thanks to the production ramp up of the Ioniq 5, but the real surprise landed in #16, with Jeep jumping into the top 20, in #16, beating its Stellantis partner Peugeot (#17) for the first time. Was that a one-time thing, or has Jeep become Stellantis’ Next Big Thing?

Also worthy of mention is the fact that both Li Xiang and XPeng made it to the Top 20, in #18 and #20, and both with record results, while NIO was just #21, some 100 units below rival XPeng.

In the YTD table, BYD surpassed Volkswagen and is now 3rd, and by the looks of things, SGMW’s silver medal should be on the line soon, as BYD is set to get close to it by October.

Hyundai and Kia had both reasons to smile, with the first jumping two spots, to #12, while the second climbed to #10.

The remaining position changes came from Ford, now in #15, thanks to its Mustang Mach-E and Escape/Kuga PHEV dynamic duo, and Changan, which was up one spot, to #19.

Outside the top 20, and among several Chinese automakers aiming to reach the table, we now have Jeep, fewer than 3,000 units away from the top 20, so we might have a second Stellantis representative on the table soon.

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Written By

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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