11% Of New Car Sales In Europe Electric (19% Plugins)

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The overall European car market is still in the red, and the European passenger plugin vehicle market has also started to get affected. It was down 5% last month, with approximately 157,000 plugin vehicles registered in July. Looking closer, plugin hybrids (-25% YoY) were the ones to blame for sinking plugins into the red. Plugin hybrids (aka PHEVs) registered their fifth consecutive month of falling sales in July, with last month’s 25% drop being the biggest since August 2019. We may have witnessed peak PHEV in Europe.

At the same time, BEVs managed to grow last month, by 19%. That’s down on the yearly average growth rate (+30%), but it’s a whole lot better than everything around it. We are seeing two-digit drops across the board.

Last month’s plugin vehicle share of the overall European auto market was 19% (11% full electrics/BEVs), keeping the 2022 plugin vehicle (PEV) share at 20% (12% for BEVs alone).

A highlight last month was the Fiat 500e taking the leadership position in July, with only two models (Fiat 500e and Skoda Enyaq) repeating their top 5 presence in both June and July.

Fiat 500e Wins #1 In Europe

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

#1 Fiat 500e — The little Italian set another record performance last month — 7,322 registrations. 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 chic and cheap(ish) 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) on the higher segments of the market, expect the Fiat EV to remain the model to beat in this category. Last month, the 500e’s main markets were the usual — Germany (2,973 units) and France (1,843 units) in the lead, with the UK (700) and its native Italy (781) also making significant contributions to the tally.

#2 Volkswagen ID.4 — The star of Volkswagen Group ended the month in the runner-up spot, with the German crossover reappearing in the top 5 last month thanks to 4,889 registrations. With the production constraints mostly surpassed, and the USA allocation now being produced locally, expect a higher production output for the European ID.4, helping it it to become a familiar face on the podium. Regarding July deliveries, the Volkswagen EV had its best score in Germany (1,440 registrations), followed by Ireland (703 registrations — July is a peak delivery month in the Emerald Island), Norway (649 registrations), and Sweden (516 registrations).

#3 Skoda Enyaq — Possibly the most competitive model coming out of the MEB platform, the Czech crossover once again appeared in the top 5 last month, with 6,654 registrations. With the component-derived slowdown now mostly surpassed, expect the family-friendly Skoda to have a stronger second half of the year. More top 5 presences are certainly coming. Regarding July registrations, the understated EV had its best score in Germany (821 registrations), followed by Norway (673 registrations) and the Netherlands (539).

#4 Volkswagen ID.3 — After a long absence, the oldest sibling of the MEB family returned to the top 5, with the German EV getting 3,697 registrations in July. And while no longer the star player on the Volkswagen team, blame it on the current crossover craze and on the fact that VW has higher profits with the ID.4 — hence the production focus on the larger sibling. With the Volkswagen Group ramping up production, expect the compact hatchback to have a stronger second half of the year. In July, the spiritual successor of the VW Golf shined in its home Germany (1,383 registrations), followed by the UK (1,000 units), while Ireland saw 396 ID.3 cars being delivered there.

#5 Renault Megane EV — Renault has high hopes for its newest EV, and the French EV earned its first top 5 presence in July thanks to a record 3,549 registrations (proving that the production ramp up is well underway). The Megane EV was the best selling model from the Renault–Nissan Alliance, beating the previous group best seller, the Renault Zoe, which ended in #11 with 2,764 registrations. With that task achieved, it is now up to the French hatchback-that-thinks-it’s-a-crossover to go after the VW ID.3 and become the best seller in the compact hatchback category. More top 5 presences are surely coming. Regarding July deliveries, the stylish EV had its best score in its native France (1,937 registrations), followed by Germany (752 registrations) and Italy (234).

Looking at the rest of the July table, the big highlight was the #8 position of the Cupra Born, which scored a record performance — 2,999 registrations. That’s an impressive feat when we realise that the sporty Spaniard did it in a usually slow month (due to the holiday season). Interestingly, it was the 4th MEB platform model among the 8 best selling models of July, highlighting that the German conglomerate’s EV deployment is back on track and ready to regain its leadership role.

In the second half of the table, a mention is due for two year-best performances, with the #12 Ford Mustang Mach-E scoring 2,755 registrations and the #16 Peugeot e-2008 EV crossover getting 2,538 registrations.

Also worthy of mention is the fact that the best selling PHEV, the Hyundai Tucson PHEV, was only 14th, with 2,608 registrations. The two other PHEVs in the table were its cousin the Kia Sportage PHEV in #17 and the BMW 330e in #18. Will we see the top 20 table with just one or two PHEV representatives soon?

The Audi e-tron has won another top 20 presence, this time in #15, proving that the big Audi is immune to attempts from others, like the BMW iX and Mercedes EQE, to steal its leading role in the full size category.

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Below the top 20, the big news is the production ramp-up of the VW ID.5, the sportier twin of the more family-friendly VW ID.4. The sporty crossover scored 1,447 registrations in July, signaling that the increased component availability for the Volkswagen stable is finally allowing the ID.5 to pursue its delivery ramp-up.

The Tesla Model Y saw 1,725 deliveries in this first month of the quarter, a new personal best for a first month of quarter, which could signal a new record performance for the crossover in September. Will we see it cross 20,000 deliveries/month by that time?

Meanwhile, in the Stellantis stable, the Opel Corsa EV hatchback had 2,369 registrations and the Citroen e-C4 EV had 1,926 last month.

Finally, the Kia EV6 was the best selling Kia BEV last month, with 2,086 units, as it benefitted from the current generation change of the Kia Niro that is causing its BEV version to momentarily slow down.

Looking at the 2022 ranking, the podium positions remained the same, but the Fiat 500e came closer to the runner-up Tesla Model 3, so Tesla’s possible #1 and #2 finish in Europe could be in danger.

Also worthy of mention in the top positions is the three-position jump of the Skoda Enyaq, to #5, which puts two Volkswagen Group models in the top 5 now.

In fact, the German OEM had big reasons to celebrate across the board, as the compact VW ID.3 jumped three spots, to #12, while the Audi e-tron was up two positions, to #18.

Elsewhere, the Mini Cooper EV rejoined the top 20 in #19, kicking out the Mercedes GLC PHEV. Considering that the #20 Volvo XC40 PHEV is facing serious headwinds due to the current BEV takeover and will likely be the prime candidate to have its place in the table taken by the curve-friendly EV, we should soon have a top 20 with only 3 PHEV representatives.

In the automaker ranking, with BMW (9.2%, down from 9.3%) and Mercedes (8.1%, down from 8.2%) suffering from the PHEV sales drop, they have seen the competition get closer to the top two spots.

In 3rd we now have a rising Volkswagen (6.9%, up considerably from 6.4%), which surpassed Tesla (6.8%) last month and is now looking to regain the leadership position in Europe by the end of the year.

Kia stayed in 5th, with 6.3% share, followed by Peugeot and Audi at 5.8% each. So, 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 9.2% share.

Arranging things by automotive group, Volkswagen Group is in first place with 19.4% share, up from 18.6% in June (and 17.4% in April). It looks like the dog days are over for the German conglomerate. Expect it to hover above the 20% share soon.

Stellantis is in second and also rising, albeit slightly (now at 16.7%, up from 16.6% in June). It seems the multinational conglomerate is close to reaching its potential as a comfortable runner-up to #1 Volkswagen Group, something that incidentally (or not) is also its role in the overall market.

The current bronze medalist, Hyundai–Kia, regained some share (11.6%, up from 11.5%). This is especially thanks to good performances from Hyundai (it placed two models on July’s top 20).

On the other hand, PHEV-heavy #4 BMW Group (11.1%, down from 11.2%) and #5 Mercedes Group (9.1%, down from 9.3%) lost share as they struggled to transition into a more BEV-heavy sales model. We could see the rising #6 Renault–Nissan Alliance (8.7%, up from 8.6%) profit from the Renault Megane EV’s introduction and reach the German OEMs soon. We’ll see.

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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 477 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes