The European electric car market had more than 17,000 registrations last month, 1% down compared to October 2015. This sales slip surely has to do with the incentives-derived sales rush in the last quarter of 2015, so expect this trend to continue throughout the end of this year. In October, we saw a balanced ranking in the top spots:
#1 BMW i3 – Thanks to the massive arrival of the 33 kWh units, the BMW i3 continues to impress, earning another #1 trophy in October, this time with 1,656 deliveries, up 51% YoY. The largest markets to absorb the improved-range Bimmers were Norway (503 units, all BEV), Germany (391 deliveries, of which 117 were REx units), and Austria (164 deliveries, 11 REx).
#2 Renault Zoe – Registrations were down 21% YoY to 1,447 units. It seems the 40 kWh version is already making itself felt, with buyers waiting for the extended-range version. Let’s see if the French carmaker does a Tesla-like stunt in December and delivers its Zoe ZE40 at record levels. It surely has a long enough waiting list to surprise us. Do I hear 3,500 units, Renault? Back to October, besides the French market (844 units), the French hatch also sold okay in Norway (161 units) and Germany (147).
#3 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – After a close race, the Japanese SUV was 3rd in October, with 1,444 vehicles registered, only three behind the Renault Zoe. However, Mitsubishi saw its plug-in SUV sales drop 43% YoY, due to highly inflated sales at the end of last year that resulted from incentive changes in the Netherlands and Sweden. Having lost those two markets, the Outlander PHEV now has the United Kingdom and Norway to hold sales at high levels, but not where they were in 2015.
#4 VW Passat GTE – Besides the usual Sweden and Norway, big-time Passat GTE lovers, Volkswagen’s midsize offering is also gaining traction in the Netherlands, with 250 units registered in October, its best result of the year there. That helped it to reach the 4th position in Europe, with 1,372 cars delivered, its best result in 2016. With the right mix of electric range, space, power, and price, the Passat GTE is destined for success as a company car across Europe.
#5 Nissan Leaf – Sales of the Japanese hatch were surprisingly up 5% YoY, to 1,212 units, with the UK, France, and Norway providing enough sales to keep it up in the running with the best. Prospective sales could be even higher, if Nissan had followed Renault and presented a 40 kWh version of the Leaf. With the 60 kWh second-generation Leaf still a year away, this EV pioneer deserves another update to end its career on a high note, don’t you think? It’s never too late, Nissan. …
YTD Ranking – Renault Zoe & Outlander PHEV Running
Neck to Neck Wheel to Wheel
Looking at the YTD ranking, due to an update to the UK sales (now official through Q3), the Outlander PHEV came even closer to the industry-leading Renault Zoe. With only 12 units separating them, this could be a close race until the end — with the outcome in the hands of Renault and its ability to deliver enough Zoe ZE 40 units in time to beat the Japanese SUV. I would be disappointed if Renault didn’t pulled it off, but then again, lately, many forecasts have been contradicted, so …
Looking below the podium, the rejuvenated BMW i3 keeps on improving, now at 4th place and dropping the Tesla Model S to 5th, while the Renault Kangoo ZE profited from a positive month (557 units, year best) to climb one position to #16.
Now that this report is covering the top 30 models, we can see some interesting events that previously went unnoticed, like the steady climb of the Audi Q7 e-Tron, jumping to #22 thanks to 540 units, or the appearance of the #29 Mercedes GLC350e, which scored a personal best 256 units last month, thus becoming the “Second Best Rookie of 2016,” only behind the media-friendly Tesla Model X (#21). An interesting sign of the times is that all these three rising stars are luxury SUVs. Hmm …
October brought a surprising performance from the Mercedes GLE500e, scoring 180 units, a new record, so it seems that Mercedes is increasing production of its plug-in SUVs, something that also needs to be done to the S500e flagship. The BMW 740e has shaken this rarefied market since it landed 4 months ago, and the Bavarian barge is now only 18 units behind the Mercedes S500e (510 vs 492). It sold 100 units more than its three-pointed-star competitor last month. One could say that BMW can already order the full-size sedan plug-in trophy.
BMW had more good news in the manufacturer ranking, benefitting from the i3’s good momentum, an extensive lineup, and strong advertising across the continent. BMW is the only carmaker doing such strong advertising, helping the Munich-based manufacturer (16%, up 1%) to remove Volkswagen (15%, down 1%) from the leadership position, an impressive feat considering that BMW ended 2015 in 6th, with only 8% share!
In 3rd we have Renault, with 13% share (down 1%), followed by Nissan (11%) and Mitsubishi (10%).
|Europe||October||YTD||YTD Market Share|
|Audi A3 e-Tron||616||5,171||3%|
|Audi Q7 e-Tron||540||2,170||1%|
|BMW 225xe Act. Tourer||510||4,083||2%|
|BMW X5 xDrive40e||423||4,145||2%|
|Kia Soul EV||558||3,798||2%|
|Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV||1,444||17,265||10%|
|Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid||230||2,334||1%|
|Renault Kangoo ZE||557||3,404||2%|
|Tesla Model S||409||10,410||6%|
|Tesla Model X||295||2,213||1%|
|Volvo V60 PHEV||256||2,840||2%|
|Volvo XC90 T8||508||7,184||4%|
|VW Golf GTE||937||9,360||6%|
|VW Passat GTE||1,372||8,818||5%|