The Dutch plugin vehicle (PEV) market was down in negative territory last month (-8% YoY), with 8,358 plugin registrations logged in October. However, this was expected, because last year’s Q4 was heavily influenced by upcoming fiscal changes that inflated registrations in that period.
And with the overall market dropping faster (-24% YoY) than the plugin category, one can’t really complain about it. Last month’s PEV share of the overall passenger auto market reached an amazing 35% (24% BEV), pulling the year-to-date PEV share to 24% (14% BEV) and the total tally to 61,701 units.
The PEV market share is still slightly down compared to last year’s full-year result (25%), but it shouldn’t be for long, as the market share should continue growing, probably surpassing last year’s result in November.
Let’s now break down registrations between the two basic plugin powertrains. BEVs are returning to form, getting 69% of October’s registrations. That allowed pure electrics to gain a bit more of a lead on plugin hybrids in the year-to-date tally (58% vs. 42%). Expect pure electrics to continue growing their lead in the last two months of the year.
In September, the winner was once again the Kia Niro EV, with 658 registrations, but the surprise on the podium was #2, with the Lynk & Co 01 PHEV surpassing the #3 Skoda Enyaq thanks to a record 578 registrations, allowing it to be #6 in the overall market!
In fact, there were 4 plugin models in the overall Dutch top 11. The Kia Niro EV contributed to the Kia Niro’s leadership position in the overall market with 62% of the registrations. The Skoda Enyaq was #7 in the overall ranking, and besides the aforementioned Lynk & Co model in #6, we also have the Volkswagen ID.4 (4th in the plugin table) showing up at #11 in the general ranking, thanks to a year best score of 469 units.
Elsewhere in the top 10, the Audi Q4 e-tron made it to #5, thanks to a record 396 registrations, while below it, other models had their time to shine with year-best performances. That was the case for the stylish #6 Polestar 2 (301 units) and the resurrected #9 Volkswagen ID.3 (247 units). Meanwhile, below the top 10, we should mention three Stellantis representatives getting year-best performances — the Peugeot e-208 small hatchback in #12, with 206 units, its crossover e-2008 sibling in #13 (194 units), and their German cousin Opel Corsa EV at #15 (176 units).
Another model making itself noticed was the Hyundai Ioniq 5, signaling another chapter in its delivery ramp-up, this time reaching #16 thanks to a record 143 units. The stylish retro XL hatchback should land top 10 performances soon, something its Kia cousin, the EV6, did immediately in its landing month, with 284 units in October! Considering the popularity of the Kia Niro EV and the fact that I believe the EV6 sits well with general Dutch car tastes (please confirm/discredit my assumption), I expect it to become not only a regular face on the podium, but also a candidate for the 2022 EV Best Seller title in this market.
Outside the top 20, October saw the attractive Opel Mokka EV score 112 registrations, while the design-over-function Mazda MX-30 had 101 deliveries.
Looking at the 2021 ranking, the race for the leadership position continues, with the Kia Niro EV winning a bit more distance (223 units) over the runner-up Skoda Enyaq. With 2 months to go, I think it’s safe to assume that the race for the 2021 title is in the hands of these two, with the Korean winning 60/40 on the betting list.
The Volkswagen ID.4 climbed one spot, to 4th, surpassing the Ford Mustang Mach-E, and might reach the #3 Volvo XC40 PHEV by the end of the year, which would result in a 100% BEV podium in 2021.
The post-modern Lynk & Co 01 PHEV continues to rise in the table, now up two spots to #7. The Chinese cousin of the Volvo XC40 is gaining its first success story outside of its domestic market thanks to clever marketing and competitive (and flexible) pricing.
(On a side note, when I was at the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, the Lynk & Co stand was one of the most visited, and most were people under 35 years old. So, their unusual marketing strategy — Mini-meets-Smart-meets-fashion-brand — was already making strides with their target audience, and it seems that strategy is again working in the few European markets where it is present.)
In the second half of the table, the highlights go the Peugeot e-208 jumping three spots, to #12, with the little Pug managing to beat (for good?) its arch rival, the Renault Zoe.
Another model on the rise is the Polestar 2, going up three positions, to #14. The stylish fastback is profiting from the cheaper versions to surpass the BMW 3-Series PHEV, that has been losing positions lately, due to the current changing winds (BEVs are back, baby!).
Speaking of changing winds, we have three new faces in the top 20 (Audi Q4 e-Tron, Mercedes EQA, and Volkswagen ID.3), all BEVs and all replacing PHEV models, which now makes it 15 BEVs in the top 20. And while last year’s score of 18 BEVs in the top 20 should be hard, if not impossible, to achieve this year, the truth is that this year’s registrations will be closer to actual market demand and less inflated by fiscal changes or CO2 mandates.
While in the model ranking the Kia Niro EV is starting to become the favorite for the Best Seller title, in the manufacturer ranking, the current leader is far less assured.
Volvo (10%) hung onto the leadership position in October, but is less than 100 units ahead of a rising Kia (10%, up 1 percentage point), which displaced BMW (9%, down 1 percentage point) to the 3rd spot. With the Korean automaker benefitting from the recent EV6 addition, expect it to pass Volvo soon, especially considering that the PHEV-heavy lineup of the Swedish automaker is not aligned with the most recent BEV trend.
Off the podium we have Ford, with 8% share, closely followed by Skoda, also at 8% share, while #7 Volkswagen (6% share) is closing in on #6 Mercedes (also 6% share).
As for OEMs, this time there were important changes to mention, while the Volkswagen Group (21%, down 1 point) is firm in the leadership position, and the rising Lynk & Co and Polestar helped #2 Geely–Volvo (15%, up 1 point) to stay secure in the runner-up spot, below these two, we have a new Bronze medalist.
After Hyundai–Kia (12%, up 1 point) surpassed the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance in September, the next task was for the Korean OEM to jump two spots, running ahead of Stellantis and the BMW Group in one swipe and landing in the last place on the podium. This is an impressive performance, having gained 3 positions and 3 percentage points in the last two months. With the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 only just starting, expect the Korean Group to continue growing, maybe becoming Volkswagen Group’s main competition in the 2022 race.
Finally, a few words on why Tesla decided to use the Netherlands as the pilot market for the opening of the Tesla Supercharger network. In my opinion, it has to do with the fact that this is without doubt the most developed major EV market regarding charging infrastructure. In fact, despite it small area, the Netherlands has the highest number of charging points in Europe, higher even than Germany, which means that with such high density, the Tesla Supercharger network isn’t such a selling point as in other countries, so an additional volume of users coming from other brands should be easier to manage and would create fewer complaints from current Tesla owners than in other markets with less-developed charging infrastructure.
To have an idea on how much variety there is in the Netherlands, it is common to find more than one open CPO (charge point operator) operating in the same service station, and all with at least 150 kW chargers. For example, you might have 2 or 3 charging points from Shell at the Shell service area and then some 50 meters away a Fastned charging station with an extra 4 charging points, also at 150 kW. And then on top of these, we have those places which also have Ionity, Tesla SuperChargers. … Where else in the world is this the common experience at a service area?
The Fastned case is interesting, because while Ionity was supposed to replicate the Tesla Supercharger network, the truth is that the fast-expanding Fastned network does a better job of it. Personally, I think in some places Fastned stations look better, are more visible, and are more functional. Not only are they covered, using the roof to house solar panels (providing clean renewable energy while covering people and cars from the elements), but I also particularly like the drive-through layout, which makes it easier to park and charge.
The Netherlands is a true charging Nirvana.