5 Best Selling Electric Cars in Europe — 2 Produced in China, 3 in Germany

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I had a long conversation with Jose Pontes yesterday for our YouTube channel (video coming this weekend). One thing he noted was that the China EV tariffs are the story of the day, and it’s one of three main topics we discussed (the others being EV sales and Tesla). There have been many angles to discuss this, and we’ve got more coming. Also, we publish extensive Europe EV sales reports thanks to Jose. However, one headline jumped out to me this week. JATO Dynamics highlighted that two out of the five best selling EV models in Europe in May were produced in China.

Interestingly, neither of them are “Chinese EVs,” so to speak. One of those China-produced models is the Tesla Model 3. (Tesla produces the Model Y at its factory in Germany, but not the Model 3.) The other one is the Volvo EX30. And, yes, Volvo Cars is owned by Geely, a Chinese company, but most people still think of Volvo as a Swedish automaker.

What JATO Dynamics didn’t highlight but I noticed is that the other three models in the top five were produced in Germany. That would be the aforementioned Tesla Model Y as well as the Volkswagen ID.3 and Volkswagen ID.4.

Digging deeper and looking at the whole EV market in Europe, JATO noted that 19% of all of the BEVs sold in 28 European markets were produced in China. Furthermore, the 28,000 units sold was an increase of about 25% year over year. And note that this was at the same time that electric vehicles produced somewhere other than China saw a 16% decline year over year. As a result: “Last month, the market share of Chinese-made BEVs jumped from 13.2% to 18.5% year-on-year. […] This increase in registrations likely comes in anticipation of the impending European Commission tariffs,” Felipe Munoz, Global Analyst at JATO Dynamics, comments.

“Since the global pandemic, the European car market has only recovered to 75%-80% of its original size. As a result, many factories across Europe are not operating at full capacity, giving Chinese OEMs a unique opportunity to sell across Europe while avoiding tariffs,” Munoz added.

BYD, Volvo, and Smart were the big winners, seeing the biggest increases in BEV registrations, while MG, BMW, Dacia, and Polestar were the biggest losers.

Offering more detail, JATO Dynamics added: “Among new models, the Volvo EX30 performed well in May, with more than 7,500 units registered. Other notable players included the Lexus LBX with over 2,100 units; the BMW i5 with almost 2,000 units; the new Renault Scenic with 1,631 units; and the Mercedes CLE with 1,581 units. Fiat registered 1,515 units of the 600; Volkswagen registered 1,239 units of the ID.7; BMW registered 1,144 units of the iX2; the Mitsubishi Colt registered 1,058 units; and the Renault Rafale and Omoda 5 registered 1,003 and 797 respectively.”

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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