The European electric car market had over 16,000 registrations last month, up 20% over February 2016, with YTD numbers up 38% year over year (YoY). The market is set to surpass 300,000 units (on track for 310,00) by year end. While the electric car share is firmly north of the 1% mark in the broader car market, this growth is in no small part due to a refreshed fully electric model, one that’s just gotten a 40 kWh battery.
Looking at the Monthly Models Ranking …
#1 Renault Zoe — After a few months delay on the delivery of the new battery, the French hatch’s deliveries have skyrocketed since December, and February was no exception, with registrations up 74% YoY to 2,828 for the month as a whole. With sales in its domestic market and Norway in full swing, it was the performance in Germany (431 units) that surprised this time, delivering the Zoe’s best result in over a year.
#2 BMW i3 — Proving that there’s no replacement for range when it comes to fully electric cars, the BMW hot hatch is up 85% YoY in Europe, all thanks to the 33 kWh battery kick. Sales in February reached 1,455 units, with an interesting twist: While in the past the extended-range version outsold the pure electric one, the new battery significantly changed the mix. Last month, the fully electric version represented 78% of all i3 deliveries.
#3 Nissan Leaf — If recently upgraded EVs are stealing the headlines, the fact is that the daddy of them all is still around and had another good sales month in February, this time reaching 1,327 registrations in order to take home the silver medal. With sales up 5% this year, the Nissan model is here to stay, with good numbers in many markets, namely Norway (408 units), France (277), and Germany (117).
#4 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV — After a tight race with the VW Passat GTE, this Japanese SUV won 4th place, with 1,130 registrations, becoming also the best-selling plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in February. Once ruler of the European market, the Outlander PHEV’s sales have been slipping for a long time (down another 12% last month). Although registering positive results in a couple of markets, like 164 units in Germany, Mitsubishi hasn’t found a way to stop the bleeding, no doubt derived from an increasingly larger number of competitors and cuts in PHEV benefits in some countries.
#5 VW Passat GTE — This Volkswagen midsize offering continues to have a frequent presence on this list, this time reaching the 5th place, thanks to 1,070 registrations. With the all-important Estate version profiting from almost nonexistent competition, the Passat GTE has a big following in Norway and Sweden, landing 48% of its sales in those two Scandinavian countries. Now, imagine how many sales Volvo is losing by not offering a PHEV version of its V90 estate.
YTD Ranking — Renault Zoe Leads, Mercedes GLC350e Shines
Looking at the YTD ranking, the top 5 positions remained the same, with the Outlander PHEV recovering a little (60 units) and creating a little distance over the #4 Passat GTE.
Below the first positions, several changes occurred, with the Tesla Model S (829 units, up 48% YoY) climbing one position to 6th and the Mercedes GLC350e jumping two positions to #8, all while again breaking again its personal best, with 725 deliveries. (Will we see the GLC350e reach four digits in March?). In the meantime, the GLC350e’s sibling, the C350e, was down to #10, due to a slow month of just 432 registrations, its worst result in 16 months. I wonder where these sales have gone…
Elsewhere, the BMW 330e rose one position to #11, while the Kia Soul EV jumped three places to #12.
On the losers side, we have two recently arrived models. For one, there’s the Hyundai Ioniq Electric (145 units, worst result in four months), which is down three positions to #17. Additionally, the Tesla Model X dropped two positions to #13, with half of the numbers of its Model S sibling.
With reservation deliveries now out of the way, it seems the new Tesla isn’t in so much demand as its older brother, with the SUV only solidly outselling its older brother in three countries (Norway, Switzerland, and Luxembourg).
Looking at the manufacturer ranking, trophy bearer BMW (19%, down 2%) is leading the way, but hot on the heels of the Zoe success, #2 Renault (16%, up 1%) is approaching. Volkswagen (12%) is keeping #3 at a safe margin ahead of Mercedes and Nissan, both with 10% share.
|Audi A3 e-Tron||420||800|
|Audi Q7 e-Tron||201||600|
|BMW 225xe Act. Tourer||664||1,356|
|BMW X5 40e||300||821|
|Hyundai Ioniq Electric||145||633|
|Kia Soul EV||472||894|
|Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV||1,130||2,245|
|Nissan e-NV200 / Evalia||255||587|
|Tesla Model S||829||1,654|
|Tesla Model X||305||886|
|Volvo XC90 T8 PHEV||489||1,558|
|VW e-Golf (VII)||299||572|
|VW Golf GTE||295||687|
|VW Passat GTE||1,070||2,432|