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Plugin Vehicles = 23% Of New Car Sales In France

The Dacia Spring was last month’s best selling EV and the 6th best selling car overall in France.

Plugins continue to rise in France, with last month’s plugin vehicle registrations ending at 28,578 units, divided between 16,416 BEVs and 12,162 PHEVs. The former jumped 71% year over year (YoY), while the latter were up 35%.

With the overall market keeping its losses to just a 3% drop, plugins reached 23% share of the market last month (13% BEV). Pure electrics once again outsold PHEVs — 57% share of the plugin market vs. 43% — allowing BEVs to continue gaining ground in the year-to-date (YTD) race (53% BEV vs. 47% PHEV). Expect BEVs to creep further away in the last month of the year.

The year-to-date (YTD) registrations are now over 250,000 units, pulling the market share of plugin vehicles to a record 18% (9.3% BEV). That is a good 7-percentage-point increase over the 2020 result (11%), and it could climb a little more by the end of the year.

For some powertrains to go up, others need to come down, and that is what is happening to regular petrol and diesel sales, with the former (petrol) representing 37% of sales in November in the overall market, against 42% a year ago, and the latter (diesel) falling even harder, having just 19% of sales last month, a steep 11-percentage-point drop compared to November 2020’s 30%. And this in what was once a diesel-loving market! At this pace, diesel sales will be dead in just two years time. So, this is what disruption looks like….

Last month’s best seller was the Dacia Spring, with a record 2,895 registrations, with the Sino-Romanian delivery ramp-up allowing it to be 6th overall. This is the first time the little Dacia won a top 10 presence in the overall market. Will the delivery ramp-up continue? Will it be able to beat the Model 3 and the Renault Zoe (and Megane EV) in the 2022 race?

No one really knows, but expect the little crossover to be running head to head with those EVs in next year’s race.

Speaking of the Renault Zoe and Tesla Model 3, the two models are in the remaining positions on the podium, and with the Peugeot e-208 in 4th, we have a full BEV top 4.

In 8th we get the Mercedes GLC PHEV, which scored a record performance of 782 registrations last month, confirming its popularity in the market.

Elsewhere, a mention goes out to the #10 Tesla Model Y, which scored 642 registrations, a new record for the midsize crossover. Unlike other markets in Europe, like neighboring Germany, do not expect the Model Y to outsell its sedan sibling next year in France, as this market is not so crossover-crazed as others and the price difference between the two models will have a greater influence here than in other markets.

In the second half of the table, we have a surprise, with SAIC’s MG HS PHEV showing up in #13, thus making it four Made-in-China plugins in this top 20.

Below the top 20, a mention goes out to two models hitting record scores. The Citroen C4 EV continued its (slow) ramp-up by delivering 349 units. Expect the compact hatchback-disguised-as-a-crossover to show up in the table soon. The second relevant score came from the Volvo XC60 PHEV. Its larger battery and revised specs allowed the midsize SUV to reach a record 358 deliveries (once again, the formula “>range = >sales” gets proven.

Looking at the 2021 ranking, the #1 Tesla Model 3 kept a safe distance over the #2 Renault Zoe, and unless a big surprise comes in December, we should see the Model 3 win its first best seller trophy in France. If so, the interesting fact is that the Tesla Model 3 will be the best selling EV this year both in Germany and France, beating their domestic competitors for the first time.

Add in the fact that the Tesla Model 3 is also the best selling EV in the United Kingdom, and it is quite a big deal that Tesla’s midsize sedan is going to be crowned the king of the three markets that make up the backbone of the European EV market.

Elsewhere, we see the Dacia Spring jump to 5th, a nice position to end its debut year and prepare to make some waves next year. (Best seller title?)

In the second half of the table, the Mercedes GLC PHEV was up to #11, while the Mini Cooper EV climbed to #16. Interestingly, the British hot hatch is the only representative of the BMW Group in this table.

Looking at the manufacturer ranking, everything remained stable. The leader — Peugeot (16%) — is ahead of rival Renault (15%) in the race for the title, while Tesla (9% share) closes out the podium, ahead of Mercedes (7%, up 1 point) and Volkswagen (6%).

As for OEMs, Stellantis is the major force, with a commanding 29% share. The Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance is far behind in #2, but has seen its share rise once again by another percentage point, to 20% share, recovering 5% share in the last three months. That’s in no small part thanks to the volume deliveries of the Dacia Spring. The best foreign OEM is Volkswagen Group, with 13% share.

Off the podium, we have Tesla in 4th (9%), benefiting from a slow month from Hyundai–Kia (7%, down 1 point) and winning some margin over the Korean group. So, the Californian Texan automaker can already cruise (or turn on Autopilot) in December, knowing that the #5 Hyundai-Kia won’t bother them.

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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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