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13% Of New Car Sales In Europe Electric (21% Plugins)

With the overall European car market still in the red, down 17% last month year over year (YoY), the European passenger plugin vehicle market has also started to be affected. It was down 8% last month, with approximately 219,000 plugin vehicles registered in June. Looking closer, plugin hybrids (-22% YoY) were the ones to blame for sinking plugins into the red. Plugin hybrids (aka PHEVs) registered their fourth consecutive month of falling sales in May. We may have witnessed peak PHEV in Europe.

At the same time, BEVs managed to grow last month, even if only 4%. That’s down on the yearly average growth rate (+32%), but it’s a whole lot better than everything around it. We are seeing two-digit drops across the board. The fact that BEVs are being more resilient can also be seen in the BEV/PHEV breakdown. BEVs were responsible for 61% of June’s plugin sales compared to 58% of the yearly average.

Last month’s plugin vehicle share of the overall European auto market was 21% (13% full electrics/BEVs), keeping the 2022 plugin vehicle (PEV) share at 20%. BEVs grew their share by 1 percentage point, to 12%.

A highlight last month was the Tesla Model Y taking the leadership position in June and YTD. The Fiat 500e continued to impress nonetheless, though.

Tesla Model Y new #1 In Europe — Plugin Vehicle Sales Report

Let’s look closer at June’s top 5 plugin vehicles in Europe.

#1 Tesla Model Y — With fresh deliveries coming from Shanghai, and profiting from the slow production ramp-up of the German-made units, the family-friendly crossover jumped to the leadership position in June thanks to 16,758 registrations. (The second best selling model on the table, the Fiat 500e, had less than half of that in the same period.) The reason for the success of the midsize crossover? Besides Tesla’s star power, and the fact that the Model Y has a more European-friendly shape compared to its Model 3 sibling — after all, it’s a crossover that in practice is more of a station wagon (or MPV) on stilts than anything else. I believe market availability is also important. In a production-constrained market, where many EVs have one-year waiting lists, the fact that you can have a Model Y only four months after ordering it plays a big role in sales totals. Regarding June performances across the continent, the Tesla crossover had its best score in the UK (4,194 units), followed by Norway (2,533), Germany (2,144), Sweden (1,876), and a surprising France (1,964), which so far hadn’t been a big market for the Model Y.

#2 Fiat 500e — The little Italian set another record performance last month — 7,322 deliveries. With the Mirafiori plant set to have a theoretical production ceiling of 180,000 units/year, and the fossil-fueled Fiat 500 said to be going the way of the dodo next year, expect more record scores to be attained by the little Italian as it transitions from being the best selling city car in Europe of the ICE era to wearing the same badge of honor in the new EV era. It is doing so by being the default EV choice in the cheap(ish) & chic city car category. With the Mini Cooper EV being a more premium proposal, Smart going upmarket in the next generation of city EVs in order to fight MINI, and the Chinese brands focused (for now, at least) in the higher segments of the market, expect the Fiat EV to remain the reference to beat in the category. Last month, the main markets were the usual — Germany (2,973 units) and France (1,843 units), with the UK (700) and its native Italy (781) also making significant contributions to the tally.

#3 Tesla Model 3 — The midsizer was 3rd in June, with 6,408 registrations, thanks to fresh units coming from Shanghai. Although, because production was halted during part of the quarter, expect some pent-up demand to pass into the 3rd quarter. Expect a stronger third quarter. Still, with the Model Y now starting to win the upper hand regarding deliveries (and demand), do not expect many more gold medal performances from the Model 3 in the future. However, consistent presences in this top 5 should be a given. Regarding June’s performances, Tesla’s sporty sedan had its best score in the UK (1,450 units), followed by Switzerland(!) with 1,139 deliveries, France (1,047 units), and Germany (only 764 deliveries, a below-par month). But then again, it is only natural that German buyers now will prefer the Model Y, being made at home and all, over the Model 3.

#4 Peugeot e-208 — It has been a long, hard road for the stylish Pug. Unlike its Fiat 500e stablemate, which had everything to win (the 500 was the best selling city car in the ICE market, it didn’t have internal competitors, and the outside competition wasn’t really up to date and/or had limited production), when it came to the French hatchback, there was a lot to take on. Its archrival in the EV size category, the Renault Zoe, was already an established name in the market, with several best seller trophies. The electric Peugeot started life at the same time as its German cousin, the Opel Corsa EV, which incidentally was experiencing a rebirth of some sort, with the new generation being its best in decades. This led to a slow start of life, with many considering the e-208 more like a team player than a star player that leads the charts — just adding its bit to the overall Stellantis tally. Probably thanks to increased battery availability and/or increased demand, the truth is that the little Peugeot is increasing its output, to the point that it got a second record score in a row, this time with 5,691 registrations in June. In fact, it also won the subcompact/B-segment category, with a 800 unit lead over the 7th placed archrival Renault Zoe. The Peugeot model has stolen the thunder from its Renault rival and is the new reference vehicle in the B-segment, making it the strongest candidate for the best seller trophy in the category. This would mean Stellantis would win both the A and B segment #1 trophies in Europe, which is not bad for an OEM once accused of not having high-volume EVs. Regarding the e-208’s performance, the main market was its native France (2,860 registrations), followed by Germany (871 registrations), the Netherlands (576), and the UK (550).

#5 Skoda Enyaq — Possibly the most competitive model coming out of the MEB platform, the Czech crossover reappeared in the top 5 last month, with 5,664 registrations. It was once again the best selling model from Volkswagen Group. … With the component-derived slowdown now mostly surpassed, expect the family-friendly Skoda to have a stronger second half of the year, with more top 5 presences certainly coming. Regarding June deliveries, the understated EV had its best score in Germany (1,144 registrations), followed by Norway (1,052 registrations), Sweden (526 registrations), the UK (500 registrations), the Netherlands (408 registrations), and its native market — 364 registrations in the Czech Republic.

Looking at the rest of the June table, the big highlight was the #8 position of the VW ID.3, which seems to have come back to life thanks to 3,800 registrations. Also worthy of mention is the fact that the best selling PHEV, the Ford Kuga PHEV, was only in 8th, with 3,792 registrations. The other three PHEVs in the table were in #18 (Kia Sportage PHEV), #19 (BMW 330e), and #20 (Cupra Formentor PHEV). Will we see the top 20 table with just one or two PHEV representatives soon?

In the second half of the table, a mention is due for first volume month of the new Renault Megane EV. The Megane EV started life on the table with 3,272 registrations, allowing it to reach #14. A place below, another French hatchback that thinks it’s a crossover, the Citroen e-C4 EV, scored another record score (3,233 registrations), its third in a row!

The Audi e-tron has won another top 20 presence, this time in #16, proving that the big Audi is so far immune to the attempts from BMW iX and Mercedes EQE to steal its leading role in the full size category.

Below the top 20, the big news is the production ramp-up of several models, like the 2,856 registrations of the super sporty Cupra Born, losing out a top 20 position by just 19 units to its stablemate Cupra Formentor PHEV. The Cupra Born benefits from the easing up of production constraints on Volkswagen’s plants and should join the top 20 soon. There’s also the 1,254 registrations of the VW ID.5, the sportier sibling of the VW ID.4, signaling that the increased components availability in the Volkswagen stable is finally allowing the sporty crossover to start its delivery ramp-up.

Meanwhile, in the Stellantis stable, the stylish Opel Mokka EV crossover scored a record 2,696 registrations, and SAIC saw its eZS crossover reach 2,514 registrations, its best result in a year (thanks to the recent facelift). The new MG5 station wagon reached a record 1,165 registrations, no doubt a result that will be improved several times, as MG’s station wagon is the only reasonably priced BEV model in Europe, a market known for its love of station wagons.

Finally, we saw the first volume month of the long awaited Toyota bZ4X. Despite the unfortunate name (and design), a lot is expected from Toyota’s first dedicated BEV. The SUV landed with 477 registrations in Europe. Will we see it in the top 20 soon?

Looking at the 2022 ranking, the two mass-market Teslas switched positions, with the Model 3 passing the torch to the more Europe-friendly Model Y, something that was already expected to happen sometime this year. Expect the more family-friendly Tesla to win the European title this year, succeeding its lower-riding sibling in that honour.

Also worthy to mention in the top positions is the fact that the 3rd placed Fiat 500e gained even more advantage in the race for best selling non-Tesla. It now has an advantage of some 10,000 units over the new 4th placed VW ID.4. With the little Italian seemingly being the only model able to run at the same pace as the Teslas, the VW ID.4 will have a really hard time removing the little Fiat from the bronze medal position.

In fact, the German crossover also has to watch its back, because with the Peugeot e-208 currently in record-breaking mode, having jumped two spots last month (from 7th to 5th), and with the VW model just 600 units ahead, the stylish hatchback could surpass it in the coming months.

Elsewhere, the Skoda Enyaq continues to climb the ranking ladder, now in 8th. It is up two positions compared to May, and with the #7 Ford Kuga PHEV just 28 units ahead, expect the Czech EV to climb further in July.

Also worthy of reference is the VW ID.3 jumping three spots, to #15. Despite this, the compact hatchback is only the 4th best selling MEB-platform model on this table, behind the #4 VW ID.4, the #8 Skoda Enyaq, and the #13 Audi Q4 e-tron. For something that was presented as the spiritual successor of the VW Golf (and therefore, the grandson of the VW Beetle …), the least we can say is that it hasn’t lived up to expectations….

In the last place on the table, we now have the Audi e-tron, which removed the Mini Cooper EV from the top 20. But with the British hot hatch in #21, just 5 units behind the big Audi, expect it to rejoin soon, especially considering that both the #18 Volvo XC40 PHEV and #19 Mercedes GLC PHEV are facing serious headwinds due to the current BEV takeover and will likely be prime candidates to have their places in the table taken by the curve-friendly EV.

In the automaker ranking, with BMW (9.3%, down from 9.5%) and Mercedes (8.2%, down from 8.6%) suffering from the PHEV sales drop, they have seen the competition get closer to the top two spots. This is particularly serious for Mercedes, not only because it now has 3rd placed Tesla (7.6%, up from 6.9%) within point blank range, but also because it lost 0.7% share in just two months….

In 4th we now have a rising Volkswagen (6.4%, up from 6.1%). It surpassed Kia (6.3%) last month and is now looking to regain the leadership position in Europe by the end of the year. Can it do that?

With Peugeot and Audi at 5.8% each, the race for the 6th position remains quite interesting.

Overall, this is a very balanced EV market, as proven by the fact that leader BMW has only 9.3% share.

Arranging things by automotive group, Volkswagen Group is in first place with 18.6% share, up from 18.1% in May (and 17.4% in April). It looks like the dog days are over for the German conglomerate.

Stellantis is in second and also rising fast (now at 16.6%, up from 16.1% in May and 15.3% in April). The runner-up conglomerate is gaining ground on the competition and one wonders how much higher it can go. Will it be able to endanger the Volkswagen Group’s #1 position? One thing is certain — both Volkswagen Group and Stellantis now seem to be playing in a different league from the remaining competition. This replicates, by the way, what is happening in the overall market, where both rule the market.

The current bronze medalist, Hyundai–Kia (11.5%, down from 11.7%) lost some share, but because #4 BMW Group (11.2%, down from 11.5%) lost even more, the Korean group gained some ground over the Bavarian OEM. In 5th, we have Mercedes-Benz Group (9.3%, down from 9.8%) losing significant ground, so we could see the rising #6 Renault–Nissan Alliance (8.6%, up from 8.4%) profit from the Renault Megane EV’s introduction and surpass the German OEM 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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