EV and PHEV sales in Europe have set another record in 2018 with a 22% increase to nearly 345.000 sales of plug-in vehicles, of which close to 190.000 full electric cars and almost 155.000 plug-in hybrid cars. Sales of the former surged 44% while PHEV sales were virtually stable at +3,3%. 2018 therefore marks the first year that battery electric cars outsold PHEVs. Plug-in vehicles accounted for 2,2% of the European car market, up from 1,8% in 2017 and 1,4% in 2016. The rate of growth for EVs in Europe still lags that of worldwide EV sales, which grew by 73% in 2018.
After discussing overall worldwide car sales in 2018, let’s zoom in on the most booming segment of all: that of EVs. Global sales of battery electric cars increased 73% in 2018 to 1.26 million units, after already jumping 86% the year before. That means worldwide sales of EVs jumped more than threefold in just two years time. Of course these are all new records as the market for electric cars is still in its infancy and has plenty of room to grow in coming years. The major factors pushing up EV sales in 2018 were demand from China (partially thanks to government incentives), the launch of the Tesla Model 3 and the diesel crisis in Europe which helped consumers become aware of the available alternative powertrain technologies and the benefits of driving electric. China was by far the largest market for electric cars, with 61% of worldwide sales registered in this market, followed by the USA with 16.6% and then Norway with 3.6%, which is also the country with – by far – the highest penetration of EVs worldwide. At 31.2%, battery electric cars represented almost 1 in every 3 sales in Norway. Including plug-in hybrids, that figure would even increase to nearly 1 in every 2 sales.
EV and PHEV sales in Europe have set another record in 2017 with a 33% increase to top 282.000 sales of plug-in vehicles, of which 132.000 full electric cars and 150.000 plug-in hybrid cars. Sales of the former surged 35% while PHEV sales spiked 31%. This means plug-in vehicles accounted for 1,8% of the European car market, up from 1,4% in 2016.
EV and PHEV sales in Europe have set another record in 2016, but the growth curve has significantly slowed, with just a 7% gain for battery electric cars and 17% for Plug-in hybrid cars, compared to an overall market up 6,2%. As a result, combined sales of all plug-in vehicles grew from 1,4% of the market in 2015 to 1,5% in 2016. While we hit the 100.000 annual sales milestone for PHEVs, EVs missed that target by just 2.500 units, as customers were waiting for the “next generation” EVs with longer range which arrived late 2016 (BMW i3) or early 2017 (Renault Zoe, VW e-Golf). Also, a number of governments, most notably Denmark and Sweden, have dialed back on their EV incentives in 2016 while Germany’s new EV and PHEV subsidy hasn’t made a big impact yet. In The Netherlands, an incentive on PHEV’s as company cars was cut in 2017 so that boosted deliveries of these vehicles in the last few months as customers wanted to benefit from the incentives before they ended. As a result, 2017 PHEV sales are expected to crash and burn in The Netherlands while EVs are expected to show healthy growth there because this will be the only type of vehicle to receive government incentives.
2016 is set to once again break a new record for both EV and PHEV sales in Europe, but mostly thanks to Plug-in hybrid cars. Sales of battery electric cars increased just 7% in the first three quarters of the year to 70.654 units, after improving by almost 50% in both 2015 and 2014. This means we’ll probably have to wait until 2017 to reach 100.000 annual EV sales in Europe, because a number of governments, most notably Denmark and Sweden, have dialed back on their EV incentives in 2016. Sales of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles are also slowing down their growth curve, but still improved by 45% and look set top 100.000 sales this year already. Total sales of plug-in vehicles are up 24% to 151.912, or 1,3% of the overall market, compared to 1,1% in the first nine months of 2015.
As you’ve seen in the Alpine Concept photo gallery yesterday, Renault is relaunching the Alpine brand with a retro-styled sports car that should compete with the Alfa Romeo 4C, the Porsche Cayman and the Lotus models. The production model will arrive in Europe in 2017 and will look very similar to the concept, as about “80% of its style” is reflected in the concept, according to design director Antony villain. The sports car will be a precursor to a full line-up of premium cars and SUVs under the Alpine brand, including hybrids. This is a similar strategy that Alfa Romeo has implemented with its return to the North American market: start with a low-volume halo-car and then follow up with a range of volume models which can than benefit from the sporty image that the sports car has given the brand.
It is reported that the Alpine will be sold in five continents, which had gotten American media all excited, but it isn’t clear whether this concerns the production version of the sports car (perhaps under different brands, for example Infiniti or Nissan in the US, where Renault is not sold), or if it means the Alpine brand with its full line-up. That would actually make more sense, because I don’t really see the point of launching a lightweight driver-oriented sports car in continents outside of Europe, North America and Australia. Car buyers in South-America, Asia and North-Africa are not at all interested in such a vehicle, especially from an unknown brand. And not only because most roads in those places aren’t really suited for it in the first place.
In line with its competitors Alfa 4C and Lotus Elise, lightness is an important aspect of the car’s character, as it will weigh around 1.100 kilograms and is rumored to be powered by a 250 horsepower 1,8 liter four-cylinder engine, derived from the 1,6 liter unit in the Renault Clio RS and which should also power the next generation Megane RS. However, what I consider to be a missed opportunity is that it isn’t a fully electric sports car. [Read more…]
Another year, another record in sales for both the EV segment and the PHEV segment in Europe. Sales of battery electric cars increased 47% in 2015 to 91.326 units, after already improving by 50% in 2014. This means that it is very likely that more than 100.000 EVs will be sold in Europe this year, even though a number of governments, most notably Denmark and Sweden, have dialed back on their EV incentives in 2016. Sales of Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles got an even bigger boost last year, as they surged 177% to 97.985 units as no less than five new entrants were launched and existing models continued to improve. Only three EV models out of 17 showed sales decrease, and only two out of 15 PHEV models, while the majority showed double, triple or even quadruple digit volume gains.
Total 2015 sales of electrified vehicles were a record 189.161, up 94% from a year earlier, and they now comprise 1,3% of the European passenger car market. For 2016, the aim is around 250.000 sales or just above.
Under pressure because of air quality concerns in its major cities, the Chinese government has heavily subsidized the sales of electric cars since 2010 and forced municipal governments to do the same. These subsidies could slash more than half of the price of the car or even more, as CarNewsChina reports the Zhi Dou D2 EV can be bought for just 49.800 Yuan ($7.560) after subsidies, which total an astonishing 109.000 Yuan ($16.550).
Such a scheme is bound to cause a distortion in the market place, but even worse: cause companies to fraud, and that’s exactly what has happened, according to various Chinese news media. The Economic Observer in Beijing and National Business Daily in Shanghai reported that unspecified domestic automakers have over-reported sales of their plug-in cars in order to wrongfully claim government subsidies. Some of them are claimed to have reported sales of EVs to subsidiary “shell” companies, only to remove the batteries and reuse them in the next production run. [Read more…]
Photo credit: Danzei.de
European sales of EV and PHEV continue their explosive growth rate, at +54% for full electric cars and +106% for Plug-in Hybrid electric cars. Both subsegments have already surpassed their 2014 total sales in less than nine months. As ever more brands rush to enter these fast growing segments, even the existing models keep attracting a larger customer base. Of the 18 electric cars in the ranking, only 5 show a decline in sales, and only 3 of the 13 PHEVs face a similar fate.
As we go, we’re on track to sell about 80.000 full electric cars and a similar number of plug-in electric vehicles in Europe this year, which naturally both would be all-time records. This would also mean that the percentage of cars sold with a plug would surpass the 1% mark of total European car sales. Still a trickle, but no less a milestone and an indicator of things to come. [Read more…]
Sales of EV and PHEV keep booming in Europe, up 56% for electric cars and up 106% for Plug-In Hybrids. This is helped not only by new model introductions, but also continued improvement of existing models, as the awareness of electric mobility grows. The perennial leader of the EV segment Nissan Leaf is now under heavy threat from the Renault Zoe, which outsold the Leaf every month in Q2. If their current streak continues, the Zoe will become the best selling EV in Europe as soon as next month. The Zoe has benefited from Renault’s decision to no longer offer the model with battery lease only, and should also get a boost from an optional longer range electric engine, which increases the subcompact EV’s range from 210km to 240km, similar to that of the Nissan Leaf.
The Tesla Model S keeps improving as well, and is on track to sell more than 10.000 units in Europe this year, an amazing performance of an EV in this price range. However, the Model S may not finish the year on the EV podium, as the Volkswagen e-Golf is winning a lot of popularity as well. Just 2% of all Golfs sold in Europe are equipped with an electric motor, but that still adds up to more than 5.600 sales for the e-Golf. [Read more…]