Global plugin vehicle registrations were up 55% in October 2022 compared to October 2021, reaching 932,000 units, the second best result ever. That was only behind the record 1,040,000 registrations of the previous month of September.
With such a strong month in October, plugins represented 16% share of the overall auto market. Full electrics (BEVs) reached 11% share of the market! And these numbers could have been even larger if the overall market had not been in “recovery mode.” That, added to the fact that plugless hybrids (HEVs) posted their highest growth rate since last January (+17% YoY), confirms once again the significant correlation between the HEV and pure ICE (internal combustion engine) markets.
In October, the BEV growth rate (+54% YoY) was slightly smaller than that of plugin hybrids (+60%), but if we exclude China from the plugin hybrid vehicle (PHEV) tally, we discover that PHEVs would be up by just 5%. Still, this is the first time since February that plugin hybrids are up without the help of the Chinese market. Much of it can be explained by the fact that a number of European markets, most notably Germany, are going to end incentives on PHEVs by the end of this year. We can expect a PHEV registration peak by year end in Europe, which will help the plugin hybrid numbers globally in the next couple of months.
Year to date, the plugin vehicle share was stable at 13% (9.4% BEV). With the plugin market now consistently reaching two-digit results in market share, one can say that EV disruption is knocking on the global automotive market’s doors. Expect the floodgates to open next year!
That’s all great, but the internet loves lists, so here you go: The top 20 electric car sales leaders in the world!
Best Selling Plugin Vehicles in the World | October 2022
After Tesla’s end-of-quarter delivery peak, which (probably) made the Tesla Model Y the best selling model in the overall auto market in September, the US automaker’s expected delivery slowdown in October allowed for another model to become the best seller in the plugin table. As such, the BYD Song (BEV+PHEV) became last month’s best selling plugin model, with both versions of the model scoring record performances (50,797 units for the PHEV version, 6,124 units for the BEV version). This is a continuation of what seems to be a never-ending ramp-up of the midsize SUV.
Despite ending in the #2 spot, the Tesla Model Y actually had a good month, with the midsize crossover scoring its best first-month-of-quarter ever. So, there is a strong possibility the Model Y will score another record result in December, which could allow it to once again be the best selling model globally in the overall auto market in December!
The little Wuling Mini EV managed to stay ahead of most of BYD’s Fab 5, ending the month in the last place on the podium.
Off the podium, despite losing the #3 spot to the Wuling Mini EV, the #4 BYD Qin Plus (32,201 registrations) ended ahead of some high-profile models, like the #5 BYD Han (31,554 registrations, a new record), the #7 BYD Yuan Plus (27,521 registrations, a second record in a row), the #8 BYD Dolphin (25,408 registrations, 4th consecutive monthly record), the #9 BYD Tang (17,323 registrations, a new monthly record), and … the #5 Tesla Model 3 (28,696 registrations).
Demand for the Tesla midsized sedan is one of this quarter’s question marks, and also an open question for 2023. While Tesla Model Y demand will continue to be strong in the next few quarters, one wonders how the Model 3 will behave in the same time period. We have seen its demand soften recently, due to external and internal competition (ahem, standard range Model Y).
Outside the BYD/Tesla duopoly, the #10 Volkswagen ID.4 was the only legacy OEM model on this table. The German crossover scored 15,429 sales (deliveries). It was not a record month because Volkswagen’s Chinese operations are having a hard time moving units out of dealerships, unlike what is happening in both Europe and the USA, which could be attributed to the fact that China is by far the most competitive EV market in the world.
Below the VW model comes a long list of models in record-breaking mode. That includes GAC’s Aion S (#11, with 14,508 registrations), Changan’s ever expanding Lumin city EV in #13 (12,009 registrations), and the #16 Zeekr 001. With a record 10,119 registrations, the Zeekr model is becoming a force to be reckoned with in the full size category. Will we see the big fastback get close to BYD’s category rulers, the Tang and Han, in 2023? With export plans already being set, one cannot rule out that possibility in the future.
And because BYD hasn’t been mentioned for a while, we have two more BYD models on the rise. The Destroyer 05 is in #19, with a record 9,111 registrations, while its BEV sibling, the BYD Seal, did even better, by jumping into #15 with 11,267 registrations in only its third month on the market! This makes 8 BYDs in the global top 20! 😮
Outside the top 20, as usual, there is a lot to talk about — coming from all over the place.
Looking at models coming from legacy OEMs, BMW saw two models shining. The iX3 reached a year best score of 5,315 sales (if we were to add the X3 PHEV units to the tally, it would reach 6,982 sales). Meanwhile, the fastback i4 scored a record 5,233 sales, its 3rd record month in a row. So, it seems the Bavarian automaker is finally getting serious in ramping up its midsize offering.
Speaking of finally getting serious in ramping up production, the hatchback-that-thinks-it’s-a-crossover Chevrolet Bolt EUV (hey, remember me?) scored a record 5,016 sales, while its older sibling, the more simply titled “Bolt EV” also did quite well. The mini MPV that thinks it’s a hatchback reached 2,161 sales, its best result since June 2021. It seems Chevrolet is back in the game!
Still on the topic of the USA, Jeep saw its hardcore Wrangler PHEV reach 5,775 registrations last month, the 4×4’s best score in over a year. The Wrangler’s success is creating an interesting issue at Jeep: because demand is far higher than the company expected, and battery supply is limited, they had to reduce the launch of the production Jeep Grand Cherokee PHEV to smaller volumes and the Grand Wagoneer PHEV launch was postponed to a later date as Jeep awaits a greater supply of batteries. Interestingly, the Wrangler PHEV was also Stellantis’ best selling plugin last month, outselling the Peugeot e-208 EV (5,215 units) and Fiat 500e (5,225 units).
In the Volkswagen Group mothership, the Audi Q4 e-tron scored 6,828 registrations, its second record month in a row thanks to greater production output and its introduction in relevant markets, like South Korea. It’s MEB-platform relative, the VW ID.3, is also profiting from the higher production output, scoring 7,174 registrations, which is already an okay result but is still far from the promises made at the time of the ID.3 launch (the car that was going to retire the once all-mighty VW Golf). Will we see it reach sustained five-digit performances anytime soon?
Still on the legacy OEM field, Volvo saw its compact SUV XC40 reach 7,582 units, a new year best, mostly thanks to a record 4,902 units from its BEV version while the PHEV version clocked 2,680 units. Highlighting Volvo’s recent BEV ramp-up, Volvo’s cooler cousin Polestar 2 had a record 5,503 registrations in October.
In the Chinese new blood group, the highlight belongs to AITO, with the full size M7 reaching a record 5,503 registrations while its smaller sibling, the midsize M5, got 6,812 registrations. It seems the Huawei-backed automaker has two winners in its hands. Are there more to come? They will need them if they want to fulfill their ambitions….
As for Chinese legacy OEMs, Dongfeng’s Fengshen E-Series (8,315 registrations) continues to be popular among fleets, while the new rising star in this field is Changan’s recent Shenlan SL03. The OEM’s take on the Tesla Model 3 formula (or is it the BYD Qin Plus formula?) scored 8,176 registrations in October. Expect the midsize sedan to soon reach five-digit results, which would make it the 5th midsize car to reach those sales levels, after the Tesla Model 3, BYD Qin Plus, BYD Seal/Destroyer 05, and GAC Aion S. And what about legacy OEM models? (cricket sounds)
Best Selling Plugin Vehicles in the World | Jan–Oct 2022
In the year-to-date (YTD) table, the Tesla Model 3 lost ground to the #3 Wuling Mini EV and#4 BYD Song, but because both competitors are still far away (8,000 units for the Wuling and 23,000 units for the BYD) and Tesla’s end-of-quarter push in December will prevent any surprise, Tesla’s #1 plus #2 finish is guaranteed this year. Despite this, the sign has been given: the Model 3 is no longer untouchable and Tesla’s #1 and #2 rankings will be in danger next year.
More important for this year’s ranking, the #4 BYD Song is 15,000 units behind the #3 Wuling Mini EV, and with the BYD model’s never-ending record streak still happening, expect the midsize SUV to surpass the little Wuling EV by the end of the year. Judging by October’s results, it might already happen in November….
The first change came all the way down at #14 — the GAC Aion S was up two spots, being followed by the #15 Hozon Neta V, which also jumped two spots. Both climbs were thanks to a bad month for the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and the sales sunset of the Li Xiang One.
Speaking of the Chinese startup’s big SUV, another model to profit from the One’s slowdown was the Changan Benni EV, allowing the small EV to climb a position into #17.
After a one month absence, the Ford Mustang Mach-E returned to the #20 position, kicking out the Great Wall Ora Good Cat.
But Ford’s stylish crossover cannot rest too much, because just 91 units behind, the Kia Niro (BEV + PHEV) is profiting from the new generation to climb positions and target a top 20 position.
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