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Europe Electric Car Sales September 2016 — BMW i3 Takes #1

This article is also being published on CleanTechnica, the EV Sales blogspot, and our Electric Car Sales page.

The European EV market had 24,000 registrations last month, up 47% over September last year, being not only the best month of the year but also the second best selling month ever, only behind highly inflated December 2015 (34,000 registrations). With the market set to surpass the 200,000 units (205K? 210K?) by year end, the EV share now stands north  of the 1% frontier (1.1%).

And The Top 5 EV Models In Europe Are …


#1 — BMW i3“There’s no replacement for displacement,” gear-heads used to say in the 20th century. Now it’s more, “There’s no replacement for range.” Not so poetic, but nevertheless true, as the i3 proves. The best score that the BMW’s hot hatch got in Europe in the first 7 months of 2016 was 1,049 units (last March). Now, with the 33 kWh battery version kicking in, September sales more than doubled to 2,189 units, a new record for the little bugger, with an interesting twist: While in the past, the extended-range version outsold the pure-electric one, with the 33 kWh version, it’s the other way around, with the BEV outselling the REx.


#2 — Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV: After a tight race with the BMW i3, the Japanese SUV ended September taking home the silver, with 2,184 units registered and a 23% YoY drop. Although growing in important markets, like Norway and Germany, Mitsubishi hasn’t found a way to replace the average 300–400 units/month it had last year in the Dutch market. It also hasn’t been able to stop the slowing sales in the United Kingdom.


#3 — Renault Zoe: After the summer break, the French hatch sales went back to normal in September, with registrations up 19% YoY to 1,966 units. With sales in its domestic market and Norway back to full swing, the Zoe will be anxiously waiting for the 40 kWh version to land in order to secure the best-seller status in 2016.

Tesla Model X black

#4 — Tesla Model X: The (not so big) surprise of the month, Tesla’s SUV finally spread its wings and flew into the top 5, reaching #4, with 1,825 units registered in its first significant European deliveries month. The result was of course inflated by Norway (601 units), but with good results across the continent. Deliveries of the Model X were generally on par with or better than its older brother, the Model S. With a long waiting list of prospective owners still pining for their winged SUV, expect this model to remain a common sight in the top 5.


#5 — Tesla Model S: Its newer sibling stole the headlines, but the fact is that the Model S actually had a good sales month as well, with deliveries up 40% in September, to 1,679 units, its best performance since March. The Model S had good numbers in a number of markets, namely the Netherlands (227 units), Norway (247), Germany (200), and France (132). Looking ahead, expect deliveries to drop in October and another possible top 5 appearance in December.

YTD Ranking – BMW Charges

Looking at the YTD ranking, this month there were only two significant changes, with the BMW i3 climbing to #5 and the BMW 330e to #10.

In a strong sales month, several models excelled, like the BMW 225xe Active Tourer, which achieved a new personal best (620 units), just like its junior executive relative, the 330e, which for the first time broke into the 4 digits arena (1,193 registrations). The Kia Soul EV scored a year best, with 695 units. Arch rival to the BMW 2-Series MPV, the Mercedes B-Class also scored a personal best, with 577 units.

Outside the top 20, several models also did well relative to their previous results — the Audi Q7 e-Tron again broke its personal best, with 708 deliveries, by far its best month to date; the Mercedes GLC350e delivered a record 251 units; and the Kia Optima PHEV is off to a decent start, with 276 units in its first full sales month.

Underlining a positive month for BMW, the X5 xDrive40e had a year-best performance with 553 units, while the 740e registered 208 units, already leading the Mercedes S550e (53 units) and Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid (20) in September.

Looking at the manufacturer ranking, trophy bearer Volkswagen (16%) is on its way to lose the top spot to BMW, which is only 90 units behind (23,558 vs 23,468) and currently benefitting from a strong lineup, while Renault (14%) is 3rd, waiting for the 40 kWh Zoe to try to pass the frontrunners.

Written By

Always interested in the auto industry, particularly in electric cars, Jose has been overviewing the sales evolution of plug-ins through the EV Sales blogsince 2012, 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 now a partner in EV-Volumes.


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