After a 6% growth rate in the first half of 2017, Europe’s largest segment by volume declines 2% in the third quarter. That brings the year-to-date figure to 2,17 million, up 4% on the same period of 2016. Major culprit of this slowdown in Q3 is the former segment leader Ford Fiesta which suffers a 44% decline in Q3 as it is changing over to the new generation. That has dropped the Fiesta to 9th place in Q3 although it holds on to its third place year-to-date, helped by a 17% decline in Opel/Vauxhall Corsa deliveries as a new generation of that car is long overdue as the Corsa is still based on a platform launched in 2006. The Renault Clio continues to sell strong and is the only model in the top-5 to grow in the third quarter, doing so by 11%. That allows it to stay ahead of the Volkswagen Polo which was running on its last legs as it too has a new generation arriving in Q4. The Peugeot 208 holds on to its 5th place while its sister model Citroën C3 stroms up the charts from #9 last year to #6 thanks to the successful launch of the new generation. However, the C3 was outsold by both the Dacia Sandero and Toyota Yaris in the third quarter. The Sandero keeps going from strength to strength even without any major updates, while the Yaris has recently been facelifted.
The subcompact car segment in Europe grew by 6% in the second quarter of 2017 and a similar rate in the first half. It remains the largest segment in Europe by a large margin, with an 18,6% share of the total market, at almost 1,56 million sales in the half. The segment is very dynamic thanks to a number of new and updated models, with plenty more to come later this year. But some of the existing models also show continued strength. At the top of the ranking, the top-3 is back to how it was for the full year 2016 with the recently facelifted Renault Clio in the lead ahead of the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta. The latter two are about to be replaced by completely new generations and should give the Clio a run for its money if it wants to top the segment for a second consecutive year. The new Fiesta is already in showrooms at the moment this article is published and the Polo won’t be long behind. Big loser in the top-10 is the Opel/Vauxhall Corsa with a loss of 16% in Q2 as its 2014 facelift cannot hide that it’s basically already an 11-year-old design. Unfortunately for the model, its replacement isn’t due until 2019. That replacement will be developed on the PSA platform which also underpins the new Citroën C3.
Sales of subcompact cars in Europe grew by 10% in the first quarter of 2017, faster than the overall market growth of 7,8%, and it remains the largest segment in Europe by a large margin, at more than 793.000 sales. This growth is fueled by a number of renewed or facelifted models, but also by continued strength of older models. At the top of the ranking, we have once again a change of guard as the Ford Fiesta reclaims its top position after being outsold by the Renault Clio in the full year 2017. The Fiesta is traditionally strong in Q1 thanks to its popularity in the UK and it therefore benefits from large volumes in March. In fact, this March the Fiesta was even the best selling nameplate overall, even ahead of the VW Golf, even despite being due for replacement this year. The Clio is still the fastest growing model in the top-5 and overtakes the Volkswagen Polo when compared to Q1 of 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.
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.
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…]
The EV and PHEV segments are still the fastest growing in Europe, and the growth rate is even accelerating with sales of full electric cars up 64% and of Plug-in Hybrid cars up 150% on the first quarter of last year. Besides improving sales of most existing electrified vehicles, this is mostly a result of the introduction of new vehicles to these segments.
The Nissan Leaf is still the leader of the 100% electric cars, and the first EV ever to sell over 5.000 units in a quarter in Europe. The much more expensive Tesla Model S reclaims the second place it held in Q1 of 2014 before dropping to third in the full year 2014. The Model S had a blockbuster month in March, when it sold a record 2.363 units, and is likely to fall back into fourth place in the next few months, perhaps even as soon as April. The best selling EV newcomer is the Volkswagen e-Golf with over 3.000 sales, or just 2,4% of all Golf sales in Europe. The Golf outsells the Renault Zoe, which continues its strong monthly volume, which has greatly improved since last September for reasons discussed earlier. [Read more…]
After publishing a few critical articles about hydrogen mobility on this site last year, both by myself and a guest author, most notably about the technology when compared to “traditional” Battery Electric Vehicles, I was given the chance to be among the first to drive a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle in Europe: the Hyundai ix35 FCEV. You would’ve seen the pictures yesterday if you followed me on Twitter. In the meantime, the technology has made progress and looks ever more promising, although there’s still a long way to go before hydrogen becomes a viable alternative to gasoline or diesel for a private car buyer.
While Honda has had a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle available for lease in California since 2008, the FCX Clarity has never been able to reach mass production, with less than 100 cars delivered to customers. Other hydrogen test cars from BMW, Mercedes-Benz and General Motors never made it past the prototype phase. This makes Hyundai the first automaker to start mass production of a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle, when it started production of 10.000 Hyundai ix35 FCEV early this year. The South-Koreans beat Toyota to the honor, as the Japanese brand only recently started taking orders for its Mirai FCEV.
This means the ix35 FCEV is a huge image booster for Hyundai, in the same way the Prius hybrid was for Toyota, helping the brand establish itself as a technology leader and a “green” automaker. Driving the car on public roads in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, the ix35 Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle has convinced me that the technology for this type of vehicle is indeed ready, which solves the chicken-or-egg problem with this new technology. [Read more…]