Fiat 500e Shines in 21% Plugin Share Market of France

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Plugins continue to rise in France, with last month’s plugin vehicle registrations ending at 22,926 units, divided between 12,692 BEVs (or 12% share of the overall auto market) and 10,234 PHEVs (9% share of the auto market). The former jumped 33% year over year (YoY) while the latter was actually down by 8%.

With the overall market continuing to drop off a cliff, down 23% YoY and down a significant 42% compared to April 2019 (the last normal April in the market), plugins reached 21% share of the market last month (12% BEV). Pure electrics once again outsold PHEVs — 55% share of the plugin market vs. 45%. This is a departure from the 2021 final result (53% BEVs vs. 47% PHEVs). Expect BEVs to keep gaining ground throughout the year.

The year-to-date (YTD) registrations are now over 95,000 units, pulling the market share of plugin vehicles to 20% (12% BEV). This is already 2 percentage points above the result that the market had in 2021 and is a good 9-percentage-point increase over the 2020 result (11%). So, expect the market to stay firmly above 20% by the end of the year, maybe even reaching 30% by then.

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 38% of sales last month in the overall market, a 34% drop, and the latter (diesel) falling even harder, having just 16% of sales last month, with its sales diving a steep 48% compared to a year ago. And this in what was once a diesel-loving market! At this pace, BEVs will surpass diesels this year and diesel sales will be dead in just two years.

Interestingly, plug-less hybrids have seen their sales go up, by 19%, now representing 21% of the market, which means that if we add all electrified powertrains together (BEV+PHEV+HEV), we see that 42% of all passenger cars sold in France last month had some form of electrification, which is already more than the share of the leading fossil fuel powertrain (petrol — 38%). This is what disruption looks like….

After two months of Tesla Model 3 domination, last month’s best seller was actually the Fiat 500e, which had an impressive 1,737 registrations. That was its second record score in a row, allowing it to beat the Dacia Spring. Yes, two foreign EVs were in the top two positions, which is especially impressive in a market that had the Renault Zoe ruling for several years and in a market known for privileging domestic models. In the first four months of the year, we had three different leaders (Dacia Spring, Tesla Model 3, and Fiat 500e) and none of them were French!

The remaining podium position went to the Peugeot e-208, which again outsold an underperforming Renault Zoe. The Zoe ended the month in 4th, with 1,052 registrations, just 100 units ahead of the Renault Twingo EV, another veteran from the Renault stable.

Elsewhere, a mention goes out to the record score of SAIC’s MG eHS PHEV. The Chinese crossover ended the month with a record 696 registrations, allowing it to end the month in 2nd in the PHEV category, only behind the local hero Peugeot 3008 PHEV. China is rising….

In the second half of the table, we have the Kia EV6 continuing to shine, in #15 with 403 units. Meanwhile, the Citroen e-C4 EV’s production rate is now allowing the hatchback-disguised-as-a-crossover to show up in the table, in this case in #14, with 448 deliveries.

Below the top 20, the highlight is another Chinese model on the rise, with the post-modern Lynk & Co 01 PHEV having its best month so far in France, 225 registrations. Expect the compact crossover to reach the top 20 in the coming months.

Looking at the 2022 ranking, #1 is still in the hands of the Tesla Model 3, but expect the Dacia Spring to jump into the leadership position in May due to Tesla’s expected delivery drought from the Covid-19 lockdown in Shanghai.

That said …

With the little Dacia also coming from China, do not expect a particularly good month from the Sino-Romanian in May either. It should be enough to surpass the Model 3, but will probably see both the #3 Peugeot e-208 EV and the rising #4 Fiat 500e come closer. In theory, we could see a four-model race for #1 in June. Fingers crossed!

(And Oh Sacré Bleu, only one of them is French!)

The top spots have two position changes. The Fiat 500e rose to 4th, while the Climber of the Month was the Peugeot e-2008 EV, which jumped 6 spots to #9. One result of the latter jump was that four Peugeot models made it into the top 10.

In the second half of the table, there isn’t much to talk about, with the only position changes being the Kia EV6 and Citroen e-C4 EV climbing to #15 and #17, respectively. However, just below the top 20, we have the MG eHS PHEV in #21, just 13 units behind the #20 Hyundai Tucson PHEV. Expect the Chinese crossover to join the table soon.

Looking at the brand ranking, the top two brands remained stable, with both Peugeot (15.9%) and Renault (11.2%) keeping their gold and silver medals. The last place on the podium remained with Tesla (9%).

Off the podium, Dacia (6.8%) is stable in 4th, while Mercedes (6.3%) is safe in 5th, with one percentage point of advance between itself and #6 Kia and #7 Fiat.

As for OEMs, Stellantis is the major force in this market, with a commanding 30.8% share. The Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance is sitting comfortably in #2, with 19.3%. Hyundai-Kia is in 3rd, with 10%.

Off the podium, we have Tesla in 4th (9%), followed by Volkswagen Group (hey, remember me?) in 5th with 7.3%. Yes, Volkswagen Group has been surprisingly missing in action so far in this market, to the point that it has BMW Group (6th, with 7.2%) breathing down its neck….


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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.

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