52% Plugin Vehicle Share In The Netherlands! Tesla Model Y #1 Overall!

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December was another strong month in the Dutch market for plugin vehicle sales, with 13,795 plugin registrations. This result translated into a brilliant 52% plugin vehicle (PEV) share, with 42% share from just full battery-electric vehicles (BEV).

These impressive results pulled the 2023 plugin share to 44% (31% BEV), a 9% jump over the 35% (23% BEV) in 2022 and the 30% (20% BEV) of 2021, which itself was a positive increase over the previous year’s result of 25% (21% BEV). Furthermore, these numbers are well above the 15% plugin share of 2019 and the 6% share of 2018. So, while these aren’t Tony Seba–like disruptive numbers, it is consistent growth, so one can’t really complain too much. This should allow the Dutch passenger car market to become 100% BEV before the 2035 100% ZEV mandate from the European Union without a sweat.

BEVs represented 71% of the total plugin market in 2023, a slight improvement over the 2022 result (68%), but still far from the 82% of plugin registrations in 2020. Nonetheless, growth is growth, even if it is just 3%, so the Dutch market continues on the right track.

Looking into 2024, there might be a small sales hangover in Q1, something this market is used to, but expect things to pick up again around Q2, ending 2024 with another great result and probably pulling the plugin share above the 50% mark.

Looking at last month’s best sellers, Tesla was the big winner, with a #1 and #2 win. The Tesla Model 3 was the big surprise runner-up, allowing it to be #2 in December’s overall auto market, just behind the untouchable Tesla Model Y. Meanwhile, the Volvo XC40 took the bronze medal, in both the EV market and the overall market.

With a 100% EV podium and 52% plugin share, the plugin market basically merged with the overall market, as proven by the fact that the overall top 10 included five BEVs (#1 Tesla Model Y, #2 Tesla Model 3, #3 Volvo XC40 EV, #8 MG 4, #10 BMW iX1). And the heavily electrified Kia Niro was in #5. There were only three unpluggable models in the top 10 (the #4 Renault Clio, #7 Toyota Aygo X, and #9 Toyota Corolla). Interestingly enough, two of them are small-sized cars, which is becoming something like the final frontier for BEVs … something for policymakers to think about.

Below the podium, the highlights were the MG4 ending the month in 4th, with 576 units, and BMW’s dynamic duo, the iX1 crossover and i4 liftback, getting into 5th and 8th, respectively. The BMWs continue on the rise, highlighting a strong month overall from the Bavarian make. Other BMW models also contributed significant volumes, like the 150 units of the iX3, the 124 units of the iX, and the 95 units of the i5.

These last two models allowed BMW to be the best selling brand in the full size category. Audi might have its full size throne in danger in 2024. Good timing, then, to introduce that Audi A6 e-tron….

A mention goes out to the Volvo C40, with the sporty SUV ending the month in #13, with 251 units, highlighting a good month for the Swedish make. With the much-awaited EX30 landing in December, with 74 units, expect Volvo to experience a positive 2024.

Outside the top 20, the highlights were the MG ZS EV, with 183 registrations, and the Polestar 2, with 156 registrations. Mercedes also had a positive month, with the EQB scoring 130 registrations in December, followed by its smaller sibling, the EQA (96 registrations) and … the eVito Tourer (86 registrations). Yep, the big van-with-windows MPV has beaten all the other big electric Mercedes in Dutch lands!

In the Chinese newcomers section, while the 109 registrations of the BYD Atto 3 (euro-spec Yuan Plus) are not really surprising, the 112 deliveries of the XPeng G9 are somewhat higher than expected, with the flagship XPeng SUV ending December in 3rd in the full size category, just behind the 124 units of the BMW iX and the 147 units of the Audi Q8 e-tron. Add the Zeekr 001’s December result (79 units) and the Chinese are starting to make themselves felt on the most expensive end of the Dutch EV market….

Looking at the 2023 ranking, the Tesla Model Y took the 2023 Best Seller award. The US crossover also won the best seller title in the overall ranking. (This is the second time that a Tesla topped the overall charts, the first being in 2019 when the Model 3 did it). The Model Y is the 3rd Tesla to win the EV best seller title, after the 2017 & 2018 titles of the Model S and the 2019 title of the Model 3.

Last year’s winner, the Lynk & Co 01 PHEV, took the bronze medal (and 8th place in the overall auto market), while the Volvo XC40 won the bronze medal in the last stage of the race.

The Model Y was the 8th different model to win the best seller title since 2015, the others being the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, the Volkswagen Passat PHEV, the Tesla Model S, the Tesla Model 3, the Volkswagen ID.3, the Skoda Enyaq, and the Lynk & Co 01 PHEV. This diversity says a lot about the balance of this market and the changing tastes/policies here. So, will the Tesla model retain the title in 2024? [Editor’s note: The Netherlands market often feels like the most diverse EV market in the world.]

As seen in the previous paragraph, in this market, one can always expect surprises, so I can’t really say who will win this year’s title, but looking at recent history, the Model Y starts as the strongest candidate.

In Volvo’s stable, this year’s runner-up, the XC40, will be cannibalized by its smaller, cooler, and above all cheaper EX30, which will spend most of the year ramping up. Meanwhile, the Peugeot e-208 EV does not have the consistency to deliver strong performances throughout the year, and the Volkswagen Group MEB models are currently not in demand…. Maybe a price cut would help?

This year’s surprises should come from the MG4, which will surely jump to the top half of the table, while the BMW iX1 will continue to ramp up deliveries and possibly become top 5 material.

But back to the 2023 final ranking, the last month of the year had some last-minute position changes, with the Tesla Model 3 climbing one position, to 6th, while the aforementioned BMW iX1 and MG4 were the Climbers of the Month, with the former jumping to #11 and the latter rising three positions, from 18th in November to 15th in December.

Finally, the Polestar 2 joined the table in December in #20, surely helped by the revised specs of the liftback model.

Looking at size categories, in the city car category, the Dacia Spring had a surprise win over the previous leader, the Fiat 500e, stealing the Italian’s lead in the last stage of the race with 193 registrations vs. just 15, which allowed the Sino-Romanian to surpass the small Fiat. The Dacia had 1,461 registrations, against 1,381 for the Fiat.

The Peugeot e-208 has won its third consecutive category title, with no competition in sight. The runner-up, the Opel Corsa EV, also a Stellantis model, ended the year ten positions below, in #14. In fact, the only two small EVs in this top 20 came from the Stellantis stable, in the form of the aforementioned Opel Corsa EV and Peugeot e-208.

The compact category title went to the Volvo XC40, this time beating its Chinese cousin, the Lynk & Co 01 PHEV. And the Kia Niro rounded out the category podium.

In the midsize category, the Tesla Model Y regained the title, and this time it was a gold and silver win for Tesla, as the Model 3 was the runner-up. The BMW i4 took bronze, but with the BMW liftback still distant from the Model 3. In any case, it is a significant improvement for the Bavarian automaker, as the i4 allows it to have a foot in the door until the Neue Klasse generation of models arrive.

As for the full size category, as always, the Audi Q8 e-tron reigns supreme, but the last months of the year have shown a number of models willing to give it a run for its money in 2024.

In the manufacturer ranking, Tesla went back from nowhere in 2022 (just 4.5% share) to the leadership spot in 2023, with 11.9% share, thus earning its 4th title in Dutch lands after its 2017 to 2019 winning streak. It is currently the strongest candidate for the 2024 title, but Volvo and BMW will be worthy competitors.

Speaking of BMW (9.1%), the German make also had reasons to celebrate, winning its third silver medal, following the ones of 2022 and 2016. Will the Bavarian try to win its first gold in 2024?

As for last year’s winner, Volvo, it ended 2023 in 3rd, with 8.8% share, up 0.3% from the previous month. The Swedish brand could be suffering from EX30-fever, with the XC40 performances dropping after the presentation of its younger sibling. Better luck in 2024?

Off the podium, a lot has gone on in the last month of the year, with Kia (6.8%, up from 6.2% in the previous month) profiting in December from good performances across the board (Niro, EV6, EV9, Sportage…). It jumped two positions and ended the year in 4th, ahead of #5 Volkswagen and #6 Peugeot (6.4%), with the French brand suffering from a horrible December and losing two positions in the last stage of the race (the ramp-up of the refreshed e-208 EV and e-2008 EV is not going well…). Still, although Kia’s 4th position seems like a great end-of-year performance, let’s not forget that the Korean make was #1 in 2021 and #3 in 2022. So … yes, a downward trend is visible.

Top Auto Groups for Electric Vehicle Sales in the Netherlands — 2023

In the OEM table, there was also a significant change, with leader Stellantis experiencing problems with multiple brands, and most importantly, with its star player, Peugeot. The multinational OEM crashed in December, sinking by 0.7% share to 15.1%, which, added to another consistent month from Volkswagen Group (15.6%, up 0.1% share), allowed the German group to win the OEM race in the last stage — its 4th win in a row.

But this was the hardest of them all, and only possible because Stellantis managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory…. So, maybe Volkswagen Group won’t be so lucky in 2024.

Expect Stellantis to have a go again at the title, while #3 Geely–Volvo (14% in 2023) will also be on the lookout for a three-horse race to the top.

Despite the unfortunate accident in December, Stellantis can’t really complain, because its #2 position in 2023 is an improvement over the #3 spot of 2022 and its #5 position of 2021.

Off the podium, Tesla (11.9%, up 0.4%) took the 4th spot in 2023, while Hyundai–Kia ended the year in 5th, with 11.3% (up from 11% in November).

BMW Group (10.3%) ended in 6th this year, but expect it to perform better in 2024. The iX1 will continue to ramp up deliveries, and its British arm, MINI, should see a surge in sales — not only it will have a new generation Mini Cooper EV coming up soon, but there will be two other important models landing: the B-Segment/subcompact Aceman, and the C-segment/compact Countryman EV. Tesla’s 4th position could be in danger….

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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 466 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes