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15% Of New Cars Now Fully Electric In France

Fully battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) continue to rise in France, with last month’s registrations ending at 20,221 units, or 15% of the total market. That means it was another two-digit growth month for BEVs in France (23% growth).

The overall market has been recovering, after a long time in the red. It was up 10% year over year (YoY) in November, but it is still down a significant 23% compared to November 2019 (the market’s last “normal” year). So, one can say with certainty that we are in the demand valley that many were predicting when forecasting EV disruption.

Full electrics were one of the highlights of the market, with two-digit growth and 15% of the overall auto market in November, but other important trends are also taking place. Diesels continue to be in the dog house, dropping 19% YoY. Diesel’s market share dropped from 19% a year ago to its current 14%. (At this pace, diesel sales will be dead around 2025.)

For the first time since February, plugin hybrids (PHEVs) haven’t dropped, getting 12,173 registrations in total (9.1% share of the auto market). Regarding the BEV/PHEV sales breakdown, it remained balanced towards BEVs — 62% in November and YTD 2022.

The year-to-date (YTD) registrations are now over 290,000 units, with the market share for plugin vehicles now at 21% (13% BEV). Expect the market to go up one more percentage point in December.

20 Top Selling Plugin Vehicles in France — November

In November, the Tesla Model Y (2,891 units) won the Best Sellers trophy, with the crossover performing its best off-peak performance ever, allowing it to beat its sedan sibling Model 3 on the way up and reach #10 overall. Despite performing below the Model Y, the Model 3 nevertheless also hit an off-peak record, with 2,809 registrations. That put the midsized sedan in the #11 spot overall and allowed the US automaker to take the #1 and #2 positions in last month’s EV sales ranking.

Will this mean record performances in December for the two Tesla nameplates? It all depends on how much volume Tesla will dump into Germany in the last month of the year in order to profit from the 2022 version of the local incentives.

But getting back to France, the last place on the podium went to the Dacia Spring, with the Sino-Romanian delivering 1,954 units. The best selling domestic model was the Renault Megane EV, in 4th, with 1,783 registrations.

Speaking of compact French EVs, behind the Megane EV we have three Stellantis models. The Peugeot e-208 was in 5th, followed by the #6 Peugeot 3008 PHEV (1,052 units), the best selling PHEV last month. The second best selling PHEV was the Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV (775).

Still on the top 10, the #8 Mini Cooper EV had a year-best performance, 760 registrations, while the other plugin from the British brand, the Mini Countryman PHEV, joined the table in #20 with 404 registrations. The latter was the model’s best result in 23 months. Overall, it was a great month for BMW-owned MINI.

On the other hand, the Fiat 500e was just #10, with 683 registrations, its worst result since January. Is this a case of allocation policies (as in, send all you can to Germany) or is demand waning?

In the second half of the table, the #11 Kia Sportage PHEV scored a record 683 registrations, highlighting the popularity of the Korean SUV in France. Plugin hybrid crossover/SUVs in general are on the rise in France, as the 8 models present in this top 20 can prove. Among them, another highlight is the Mercedes GLE PHEV yacht, which reached #17 in November thanks to 434 registrations, its best result in almost two years.

One of the most significant events of this month is the MG4 compact hatchback’s arrival in the top 20. It got 407 registrations in only its 3rd month on the market! Expect this model to climb several positions in the future, maybe reaching a top 10 position in the not too distant future. This was another great month for the Sino-British brand. Besides the record result of the MG4, the refreshed MG 5 station wagon also hit a record 282 units. (Competitively priced station wagons selling well in European markets. Who would have thought?…) Also, the ZS EV crossover scored a consistent 328 registrations.

Outside the top 20, one should highlight the delivery ramp-up of the new, stylish Peugeot 408 PHEV (215 registrations).

Regarding the Volkswagen Group stable, the Audi Q4 e-tron scored a record 241 registrations, and the Spanish relative of the MEB family, the sporty Cupra Born, scored 209 deliveries, its second record performance in a row.

For some to go up, others have to come down, and Renault’s small EVs had a horrible month. The little Twingo EV got just 343 registrations, its worst result in over a year. The once almighty Renault Zoe had just 312 deliveries, its worst result since the Covid-hit month of April 2020! The 8-time best selling EV in France (from 2013 to 2020) is probably missing a top 20 presence for the first time in 10 years! :0

Oh, how the mighty have fallen….

20 Top Selling Plugin Vehicles in France — January–November

Looking at the 2022 ranking, the Peugeot e-208 kept its leadership position, and with just one month to go, Peugeot can cautiously start to prepare the Best Seller party for its small hatchback. It still needs to keep an eye on its top follower in December. That would be … the #4 Tesla Model 3.

With the #2 Dacia Spring more than 2,000 units behind and the #3 Fiat 500e some 3,400 units behind, these two shouldn’t cause any concerns for the small Lion, as neither are expected to have a sudden leap and peak in December. But the same can’t be said about the #4 Tesla Model 3. The US model’s distance to the #1 spot is 3,555 units. The midsizer would need some 5,500 registrations next month to endanger the e-208’s leadership position. Considering that the Model 3’s current record in France is 5,001 units, set in December 2021, and that last month it had its best off-peak month ever, it is possible the Model 3 will achieve such a record performance. On the other hand … Tesla is focused in delivering the maximum amount of units in Germany next month, which might prevent the Model 3 from scoring a record result in December. Also, Tesla is trying to even out its “peaks & valleys” approach to quarterly deliveries, so the high off-peak results don’t necessarily mean we’ll see high peak amounts — and it could mean the opposite.

The Renault Megane EV is now 5th, having jumped two positions in November at the cost of the #6 Renault Twingo EV and #7 Renault Zoe. That last model, the Zoe, for years the bread and butter of the French automaker, is now only the 3rd best selling EV in its stable.

Despite being more than 1,000 units below the #3 Fiat 500e, the Renault Megane EV should shorten the distance significantly in December. With Renault known for making regular end-of-quarter delivery peaks with some of its models, one cannot even exclude the possibility that the French EV will score a record result in December and surpass the little Italian, allowing the Renault model to end the year in 4th.

With the #8 Peugeot 3008 PHEV the comfortable leader in the PHEV category, it looks like the French brand will take the best seller titles for both BEV and PHEV powertrains.

Renault, and the Alliance it is part of, will bet everything on the Renault Megane EV to win the BEV title in 2023. On the PHEV side, the new Mercedes GLC PHEV, set to land soon, will be the only model able to challenge Stellantis domination in this category. The multinational conglomerate currently owns the whole PHEV podium (Peugeot 3008 PHEV, Peugeot 308 PHEV, Citroen C5 Aircross PHEV).

Speaking of the double chevron model, the Citroen SUV climbed one position in November to #12, at the expense of the Hyundai Kona EV, which is now in the process of a generational change. Another Citroen was also up — the crossover hatchback* e-C4 EV is now #18. (*Yes, apparently, crossover hatchbacks are now a thing.)

We have a new face in the table, with the Kia Sportage PHEV showing up in #20, but with the VW ID.3 only 253 units behind, we still could see a position change here next month. (Of course, this will only be possible if Volkswagen doesn’t allocate all ID.3s to its domestic market in December….)

5 Top Selling Auto Brands for EV Sales in France — January–November

Looking at the brand ranking, the podium didn’t have any position changes. While the leader, Peugeot, lost 0.3% and dropped to 14.8%, runner-up Renault behaved way worse (13.9%, down from 14.7%) due to some lascklutre performances (we’re looking at you, Zoe and Twingo EV). So, there’s now a significant distance between the two rivals. It seems Peugeot can start to prepare the manufacturer title party.

Due to the great performance of its two main models, #3 Tesla gained significant share, jumping from 7% share to 8.2% in November. It will have no trouble holding onto the bronze medal, a bit better than the USA did in the World Cup. (Congrats to Croatia on another podium position.)

#4 Mercedes was stable at 5.9%, thanks to its looong lineup. In #5 we have a position change, with Dacia (5.3%) re-joining the top 5 at the expense of Fiat (5.1%, down from 5.4%).

5 Top Selling OEMs for EV Sales in France — January–November

As for OEMs, Stellantis is the major force in this market, but saw its share drop last month. It now has 29.7% share, compared to 30.7% share the previous month. The #2 Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance is its main rival but also lost share in November, with the current 20.5% being down notably from 21.3% in October. (We’re looking at you, Renault.)

Hyundai–Kia is in 3rd, with 9.4%, followed by rising#4 Volkswagen Group (9.2%, up from 8.8%). Expect the German OEM to put pressure on the Korean group in December as it aims to reach the last place of the podium in the last stage of the race.

Tesla (8.2%) profited from a great month to surpass BMW Group and become the new 5th placed.

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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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