Editor’s Note: I’m happy to announce that José Pontes of EV-Sales.blogspot.com and EV-Volumes.com has joined our writing team! José will be writing regular pieces on sales in big EV markets, where he has been working hard to aggregate sales data for years. He will also report from some EV/car events for us, and from “EV excursions” in various countries. I imagine you will enjoy his posts a great deal since they are routinely packed with interesting data as well as fun writing.
Outlander PHEV Is Back
The European electric car market had more than 16,000 registrations in March, representing a 28% increase over April 2015, with the market set to surpass 200,000 units by year end.
Looking at the monthly ranking:
#1 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – After a slow start, the Outlander PHEV is back at its usual self, winning its second consecutive “Monthly Best Seller” title, with 1,970 units registered across Europe. However, YTD sales are down 12%, meaning that Mitsubishi hasn’t found a way to replace the average 300–400 units/month it had last year coming from the Dutch market. Although growing elsewhere, like Norway and Spain, the Japanese SUV will have a hard time growing sales and remain #1 for a long time.
#2 Renault Zoe – In its best sales streak since it arrived on the market back in 2012, April signaled the 8th consecutive time the French hatch sold more than 1,000 units, with 1,959 units in April 2016. With Renault finally trying to actively sell the car, including batteries in the initial price and providing friendly discounts, this is one EV with good prospects in the near future, will it get back to #1 soon?
#3 Nissan Leaf – With the availability bottlenecks of the 30kWh Leaf part of the past, sales of the Japanese hatch were up 77% in April, with 3 out of 4 Leafs belonging to the extended-range version. With 1,860 units registered last month, one wonders for how long the Nissan all-electric model remain on the podium, as longer-range BEVs (new BMW i3 with more range, 2017 Opel Ampera-e…) might sway away buyers from the most common EV in the world.
#4 VW Golf GTE – Thanks to the Norwegian result (602 units sold there), Volkswagen’s sporty hatch managed to reach positive ground (up 12% YoY) in April, with 1,225 units registered. This recent turn of Norway to PHEVs was fundamental to offset the sales drought in the Netherlands and continue to improve on the model’s 2015 performance.
#5 VW Passat GTE – The surprise of the month, Volkswagen’s midsize plug-in offering managed to reach the four-digit sales area last month, with 1,012 units registered, a year best. With stringent emission legislation spreading across Europe, many fleet and middle-managers will switch their diesel-burners for this model, flying them through the highway and smashing the accelerator to the ground like their future depended on it. A future best seller?
|1||Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV||1,980|
|4||Volkswagen Golf GTE||1,290|
|5||Volkswagen Passat GTE||1,027|
Looking at the YTD ranking, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is firm at the highest place in the ranking, with two close races behind it. The Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe are running for 2nd place and have only 30 units between them, while the Tesla Model S and VW Golf GTE are fighting for #4, with only 35 units separating them.
If the sprint for #2 is hard to predict, the race for #4 has a foreseeable behavior in the next couple of months: The Golf GTE will surpass the Model S in May, but then in June, the Californian model will make another 2.000-something month and return to the #4 position. It is almost as predictable as the English Premier League used to be….
Talking about Volkswagen, the German brand had a positive month, with the e-Golf up one position to #8, and the Passat GTE did as well, also up one position to #10. In the MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) class, there is an interesting race between the leader, Mercedes B250e (239 units, up one position to #16), and the #20 BMW 225xe Active Tourer, which had a record month, with 292 units.
Looking at the brand ranking, trophy bearer Volkswagen (16%, up 1%) is holding Renault (15% share) at bay, while in 3rd we have Nissan, with 13% (down 1%), trying to keep the #4 Mitsubishi (13%) and #5 BMW (12%) off the podium.
|1||Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV||1,970||8,376||13||1|
|4||Tesla Model S||768||4,315||7||4|
|5||Volkswagen Golf GTE||1,225||4,280||7||3|
|7||Volvo XC90 T8||953||3,466||5||18|
|Audi A3 e-Tron
Volkswagen Passat GTE
|BMW X5 40e
|13||Renault Kangoo ZE||374||1,320||2||13|
|14||Kia Soul EV||325||1,194||2||10|
|15||Volvo V60 Plug-In||243||1,145||2||9|
Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid
BMW 225xe Active Tourer