Having analyzed the Electric Vehicles and the Plug-In Hybrid segments, let’s look at the final Alternative Power segment: regular hybrids. This segment is the most well-established of the three, with sales in the first half of 2017 almost twice as high as sales in the other two segments combined. As a result, the growth in the segment was not as high as for the other two, but 24.9% is nothing to be sneered at, as it was still higher than any non-Alternative Power segment bar the SUV Premium Compact segment.
Having analyzed the Electric Vehicles segment, let’s look at plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, or PHEVs for short. The segment enjoyed a growth rate of 61.6%, the highest of all segments, though its total sales remain below those of pure Electric Vehicles, at just over 40,000 in the first half of the year.
Sales of Alternative Power cars in the United States increased by a substantial 32.2%, a rate of expansion considerably faster than that of the second fastest-growing segment, SUV Premium Compact. Comprising of regular hybrid, PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles) and EV (electric vehicle) segments, Alternative Power cars ended the first half of 2017 with almost 260,000 cars sold, more than the Subcompact segment, and not far off the Minivan segment. For accounting purposes, keep in mind that we classify many of the Alternative Power cars in other segments too e.g. Toyota Prius liftback figures in the Compact segment, while Ford Fusion PHEV figures in the Mid-sized segment. At least part of the reason for this growth is that EVs and PHEVs continue to benefit from Federal and State rebates, which lower their price even before consumers consider the lower cost at the pumps/mains.
First, let us look at the EVs segment, which grew by 41.2% in the first half of 2017, to a total of 45,150 cars.
Sales of Alternative Power cars in the United States increased a hopeful 47.2% in the first quarter of 2017 to 41,132 units, or 1% of the total US market. This is a combination of a 39.4% growth for EVs to 21,379 sales and a 56.7% growth for PHEVs to 19,753 sales. The EV segment is still slightly larger but the PHEV segment grows faster and is catching up, as especially luxury brands are entering this niche of the market before making a switch to full electric models. While regular (non-plug in) hybrids are struggling due to low gas prices, EVs and PHEV continue to benefit from Federal and State rebates that stimulate sales of these vehicles. And new entrants will keep arriving in showrooms this year, so expect the growth to continue.
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…]
The German “Manager Magazin” reports that Kia is re-exporting newly registered Kia Soul EVs to Norway in order to bring down the average CO2 emissions of its fleet.
This alleged manipulation came to light when Kia reported sales of almost 1.000 Soul EVs in Germany in October, 87% of all Kia Soul models delivered in that country, which raised suspicion considering the Soul EV is almost twice as expensive as the gasoline powered version (starting price € 30.790,- vs. € 16.990,-). And also because those 980 units of the Soul EV were in sharp contrast with the 67 units Volkswagen sold of its € 34.900,- e-Golf or the 61 units of the Nissan Leaf, which starts at a much more affordable € 23.060,-.
So what appears to be the case? Well, let’s first explain some background information: the European Union has mandated carmakers to lower the CO2 emissions of their fleet to an average of 130 g/km on average in 2015, with each carmaker getting an individual target, which lies at 131 g/km for Hyundai-Kia. However, it appeared that the South-Koreans weren’t going to meet their target for this year, which meant the carmaker would face a hefty fine from the EU of € 95,- per gram over their target, multiplied by their annual sales. One possible solution to this problem could be to sell more electric cars in order bring down the average fleet emissions. In this specific case, selling an additional 4.000 units of the Kia Soul EV could help to bring down the carmaker’s average CO2 emission down by one gram, potentially saving them € 80 million in penalties. [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…]