21% of Automobiles Sold in Netherlands in September Were Fully Electric!

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The Dutch plugin vehicle (PEV) market slowed down a bit last month, with 7,904 plugin registrations logged in September, representing just a 1% increase year over year (YoY). However, because the overall market was down 16% compared to September 2020 (which was itself a bad month, as it had crashed 22% over the same month in 2019), one can’t really complain about it. Last month’s PEV share of the overall passenger auto market reached an amazing 32% (21% BEV), pulling the year-to-date PEV share to 23% (13% BEV) and the total tally to 53,330 units.

The PEV market share is still down compared to last year’s full-year result (25%), but it shouldn’t be for long, as the market share should continue growing throughout the year, probably surpassing last year’s result by November.

Let’s now break down registrations between the two basic plugin powertrains. BEVs are returning to form, getting 66% of September’s registrations. That allowed pure electrics to gain a bit more ground on plugin hybrids in the year-to-date tally (56% vs 44%). Expect pure electrics to continue recovering ground in the remainder of the year.

In September, there was a close race for the leadership position, with the plugin sales leader being decided by one(!) single unit. The winner was again the Kia Niro EV, with 576 registrations, while the runner-up was the Skoda Enyaq, with the Czech station-wagon-disguised-as-a-crossover registering 575 units.

The surprising Lynk & Co 01 PHEV completed the podium, with a record 556 registrations, which allowed it to be #7 in the overall market!

In fact, there were 4 plugin models in the overall Dutch top 10. The Kia Niro EV contributed 54% of the registrations to the leadership position of the Kia Niro in the overall market. The Skoda Enyaq was #6 in the overall ranking, and besides the Lynk & Co model in #7, we also have the Tesla Model 3 (4th in the plugin table) showing up in 10th in the general ranking.

Speaking of Tesla, the recent arriving Tesla Model Y jumped to #5, improving on the result of the landing month, but it still wasn’t enough to beat its older sibling, the Model 3, something that will definitely happen in Q4 as the automaker tries to empty the Model Y’s waiting list.

Elsewhere in the top 10, the Audi Q4 e-tron made it to #9, thanks to a record 197 registrations, while below it, other models had their time to shine with year-best performances. That was the case for the stylish #11 Polestar 2 (171 units), the resurrected #13 Volkswagen ID.3 (156 units), the quirky #14 Mazda MX-30 (now, imagine if Mazda’s crossover actually had decent electric range…), and finally the cute #19 Fiat 500e (128).

Another model making itself noticed was the Opel Mokka EV, signaling another chapter of the renaissance of the German brand under the Stellantis umbrella. The stylish small crossover was in #20 with a record 117 units.

Outside the top 20, September saw the Citroen SpaceTourer EV score 69 registrations, with the French van-with-windows being the most successful of the EV triplet twins (Opel Zafira, Peugeot Traveller, Citroen SpaceTourer) last month and confirming the popularity of these people carriers in Dutch lands. Also worthy of mention are the 98 registrations of the Volvo XC40 EV, with the Belgium-made Swede set to increase its sales soon thanks to the new, cheaper, versions.

Looking at the 2021 ranking, the race for the leadership position continues, with the Kia Niro EV keeping decent distance (115 units) above the runner-up Skoda Enyaq. With 3 months to go, I think it’s safe to assume that the race for the 2021 title is in the hands of these two. Who will win? Ladies and gentlemen, please place your bets!

The VW ID.4 climbed one spot, to 4th, surpassing the Ford Kuga PHEV and making it 4 BEVs in the top 5. Meanwhile, the Tesla Model 3 was up to #7.

But the Climber of the Month was the Lynk & Co 01 PHEV, jumping 8 spots to #9, with the Chinese cousin of the Volvo XC40 gaining its first success story outside of its domestic market.

In the second half of the table, a mention goes out to the veteran #12 Renault Zoe, which saw its even more veteran Nissan Leaf cousin come closer — only 51 units now separate them. Meanwhile, its Peugeot 208 EV arch rival is also closing in, with the little Pug in #15, only 129 units behind the Zoe. So, we could see the Stellantis model steal the category Best Seller title away from the Renault model by year end.

The new face in the top 20 is the Polestar 2, jumping to #17, with Polestar hoping the cheaper versions of the stylish fastback will allow it to keep a top 20 position until the end.

Just outside the table we have the #21 Mercedes EQA, with 696 units. With the compact crossover just 3 units behind the #20 Volvo XC60 PHEV, expect it to reach a top 20 position soon, which would make it the 13th BEV representative in the top 20.

In the model rankings, we have two candidates for the Best Seller title, but in the manufacturer ranking, things are less predictable. Volvo (10%) returned to the leadership position, but with runner-up BMW (10%, down 1 percentage point) just a couple hundred units behind, things are anything but assured for the Swedish automaker, especially since rising Kia (9%, up 1 point) is now just 500 units away from it. The Korean brand surpassed Ford (8%, down 2 points) last month, as the American brand’s dynamic duo (Kuga PHEV and Mustang Mach-E) had a slow month.

Skoda is 5th, also with 8% share, while #7 Volkswagen (6%, up 1 point) is closing in on #6 Mercedes (6%).

As for OEMs, everything remained stable on the podium, with Volkswagen Group (22%, up 1 point) firm in the leadership position, while a rising Lynk & Co helped #2 Geely–Volvo (14%, up 1 point) recover some ground.

#3 BMW Group (12%) and #4 Stellantis (11%) kept their standings, but we have a position change in 5th, with Hyundai–Kia (11%, up 2 points) surpassing a slowing Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance (9%, down 2 points). The latter had the war veteran #15 Nissan Leaf as its sole representative in last month’s top 20.

Speaking of war veterans, it looks like the best sellers among the Alliance lineup are made of them — the Renault Zoe, Nissan Leaf, and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV average 9.7 years old. Compare that with the Volkswagen Group’s average model age of less than a year, or Tesla’s 2.5-year-old average. Now you see part of the explanation for the Alliance’s falling sales.

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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.

José Pontes has 466 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes