EV-segment-European-sales-2017EV and PHEV sales in Europe continue to break records in 2020 with a 142% increase of deliveries to over 1,36 million registrations of plug-in vehicles, which is 11.4% of the total European car market, more than triple the share of 2019! Of this, full electric cars make up 740,000 sales, up 105% on 2019, which gives them a 6.2% share of the car market. PHEV sales surge with a 182% improvement to 573,500 units, which is a share of 4.8%. These impressive growth figures are a result of the new average fleet emissions quota of 95 grams per kilometer which are virtually impossible to be reached for any brand without plug-in vehicles. The latter will be counted double towards the fleet average. Another reason for the fast growth is the continued launch of new nameplates, most notably PHEVs.

Electric cars

In the electric car ranking, the Renault Zoe reclaims the titel of best selling EV in Europe as it continues to break all records, finishing the year just shy of 100,000 deliveries, a new record for annual sales for any electric car. The Tesla Model 3 is down 10% due to supply issues and drops to 2nd place. The podium is completed by the destined best seller of 2021, Volkswagen ID.3. In just four months of sales, the VW manages to deliver 54,500 ID.3s, although nearly half of those “sales” took place in December, as the brand self-registered as many EVs as possible to reduce its emissions penalty. Other brands did the same, but not on such a large scale as Volkswagen. As a result, the ID.3 will have a slow start of 2021 as dealers are selling off those already registered models first. The Hyundai Kona Electric is the best selling non-dedicated EV with sales more than doubling on 2019 and a take rate of 37.6% for the EV version.

Despite being based on the previous generation Golf and being replaced by the ID.3 this year, the e-Golf still manages to improve its sales on 2019, mostly thanks to delays in the launch of its replacement. The Peugeot e-208 has a take rate of 15.7% and narrowly outsells the Nissan Leaf and Kia Niro EV, the latter of which has the highest take rate of non-dedicated EVs at almost 40%. The Audi e-Tron and BMW i3 complete the top-10 of Europe’s best selling electric cars in 2020. The relaunched Volkswagen e-Up! sells nearly 22,000 units, but unfortunately we don’t have exact figures of its siblings Seat Mii electric and Skoda Citigo e-iV. The Smart Fortwo is up 66% to nearly 20,000 deliveries, while its four-door version Smart Forfour is up 139% to 7,600 deliveries. The e-208’s sibling Opel/Vauxhall e-Corsa sells 16,000 copies in its first half year of sales and the DS3 Crossback e-Tense finds 4,800 buyers.

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is up 21% thanks to a larger battery, staying ahead of the Mazda MX-30. Fiat also joined the EV segment with an electric version of its characteristic 500, selling just over 6,300 copies in the first few months of sales. Tesla’s larger models struggle a bit in 2020 but will be updated in 2021 with improved hardware and interiors. Volkswagen registers its first 4,800 ID.4 crossovers in December, while Volvo finds the first buyers of the XC40 Recharge EV. The Honda e lands with its first 4,000 deliveries, and the Dacia Spring is registered 1,700 times in December, although customer deliveries of Europe’s cheapest EV are not expected to start in the second half of 2021. We also welcome the Aiways U5, Skoda Enyaq and Ford Mustang Mach-E to the charts.

In 2021, we expect a number of new entrants, which should help accelerate the growth of EV sales in Europe to double its market share again. In alphabetical order, the most important upcoming new launches in the coming months are: the Taycan’s sibling Audi e-Tron Quattro, Audi Q4 e-Tron, BMW i4, iX3 and iX, Citroën ë-C4, while Hyundai’s Ioniq will become a standalone brand with the launch of the Ioniq 5, of which Kia will also get a version. Also coming are the Jaguar XJ, Mercedes-Benz EQA, EQB and EQS, MG5, Nissan Ariya, Peugeot e-2008, as well as EV versions of the PSA midsized vans Peugeot Traveller, Citroën Spacetourer, Opel/Vauxhall Zafira Life and Toyota Proace Verso and of their small vans Peugeot Rifter, Citroën Berlingo, Opel Combo and Toyota Proace City Verso. The Opel/Vauxhall Mokka-e is already sold out before its launch, the ID.3’s sibling Cupra Elborn should arrive, as well as the long awaited Tesla Model Y crossover. From China we expect the Seres 3, JAC IEV7S and Xpeng G3

2020 EV sales Europe

Electric Car Segment 2020 2019 Change % EV 2020
1 Renault Zoe 99.432 45.129 120% 100%
2 Tesla Model 3 85.979 95.168 -10% 100%
3 Volkswagen ID.3 54.495 0 New 100%
4 Hyundai Kona EV 47.796 22.545 112% 37,6%
5 Volkswagen e-Golf 33.650 28.517 18% 11,8%
6 Peugeot e-208 31.287 0 New 15,7%
7 Nissan Leaf 31.177 31.792 -2% 100%
8 Kia Niro EV 31.019 10.071 208% 39,9%
9 Audi e-Tron 27.713 18.382 51% 100%
10 BMW i3 23.113 31.662 -27% 100%
Others 91.341 17.467
Volkswagen e-Up! 21.942 0 New 100%
Smart Fortwo ED 19.576 11.815 66% 100%
Opel/Vauxall e-Corsa 16.110 0 New 8,1%
Mercedes-Benz EQC 14.645 1.432 923% 100%
Jaguar I-Pace 13.444 12.232 10% 100%
Porsche Taycan 12.332 746 1553% 100%
Hyundai Ioniq Electric 10.325 8.533 21% 39,3%
Mazda MX-30 9.477 0 New 100%
Polestar 2 8.746 0 New 100%
Smart Forfour ED 7.640 3.198 139% 100%
Fiat 500e 6.336 0 New 4,5%
Tesla Model X 6.007 7.861 -24% 100%
Tesla Model S 5.562 8.635 -36% 100%
Renault Twingo ZE 5.106 0 New 6,9%
DS3 Crossback e-Tense 4.828 0 New 24,8%
Volkswagen ID.4 4.710 0 New 100%
Volvo XC40 Recharge EV 4.580 0 New 4,2%
Honda e 4.028 0 New 100%
Opel Ampera-e 2.775 2.510 11% 100%
Citroën C-Zero 1.839 980 88% 100%
Dacia Spring 1.724 0 New 100%
Hyundai Nexo FCEV 468 362 29% 100%
Aiways U5 430 0 New 100%
Peugeot iOn 333 865 -62% 100%
Skoda Enyaq 186 0 New 100%
Ford Mustang Mach-E 185 0 New 100%
Peugeot iOn 333 865 -62% 100%
Citroën E-Mehari 78 154 -49% 100%
Mitsubishi i-MiEV 57 171 -67% 100%
Segment total 740.805 361.092 105%

Plug-in Hybrid electric cars

Plug-in hybrid vehicles had a great 2020 with sales up almost 3-fold thanks to a flock of new PHEV models hitting the market. Stricter government regulations have forced manufacturers to increase battery size and thus range of their PHEVs to reach a decent range on a full charge which helps them get below 50 g/km of CO2, the threshold used by many governments to qualify for subsidies or even to be allowed in some city centers. It’s also the threshold used by the EU in its supercredit system that was be implemented in 2020, which gives automakers extra credits for every car sold that emits less than 50 g/km and fines them for an average above a set limit that will be lower every year (95 g/km in 2020).

With technology improving and automakers increasingly relying on electrified vehicles to keep down their average fuel economy, a wave of new and updated PHEVs were launched in 2020 as manufacturers would have difficulty trying to reach those 95 g/km without any plug-in hybrid vehicles. On the other hand, there’s an increasingly strong countermovement voicing their concerns about real-world emissions of plug-in hybrids being a multitude of the test results. If governments become convinced that PHEVs are not as environmentally friendly as they seem and legislation changes again, sales of these vehicles could plummet just as hard as they climbed.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is no longer the best selling plug-in hybrid in Europe, a title it has held ever since its launch. The Ford Kuga PHEV was the new leader after the first three quarters of the year, but Ford had to halt the production lines at the end of October to first fix an issue with the batteries. Already delivered cars will be recalled starting December. As a result, Kuga deliveries were almost nonexistent in Q4 and the nameplate drops to 6th place in the ranking. The new PHEV champion is the Mercedes-Benz A250e with nearly 29,500 deliveries and a take rate of 18.5%. The Outlander does still hold the highest take rate among PHEVs as nearly 80% of Outlanders sold in Europe are equipped with an additional electric motor. Thanks to its take rate of 24%, the Volvo XC40 Recharge has moved onto the podium, just ahead of the Volkswagen Passat GTE and the BMW 330e. The Volvo XC60 is up 64% on last year and improves its take rate to almost 32%. It outsells the Audi Q5 PHEV and the Mercedes-Benz E300e/de.

If almost 40% of Kia Niros in Europe are fully electric, another 23% are the PHEV version, meaning 63% of its sales have a plug. The Mercedes-Benz GLC 300e/de has a take rate of 21.5%, but the DS7 Crossback does better with one third of its sales plugging in. The Renault Captur PHEV arrived late in 2020 and should be a podium contender in 2021.

2020 PHEV sales Europe

PHEV segment 2020 2019 Change % PHEV 2020
1 Mercedes-Benz A250e 29.427 0 New 18,5%
2 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 26.673 34.597 -23% 79,1%
3 Volvo XC40 Recharge PHEV 26.506 0 New 24,0%
4 Volkswagen Passat GTE 26.421 5.321 397% 16,6%
5 BMW 330e 25.087 9.995 151% 21,2%
6 Ford Kuga PHEV 22.628 0 New 28,2%
7 Volvo XC60 T8 22.531 13.738 64% 31,9%
8 Audi Q5 PHEV 18.682 2.417 673% 34,9%
9 Mercedes-Benz E300e/de 18.549 11.815 57% 26,4%
10 Kia Niro PHEV 17.953 12.297 46% 23,1%
others 280.636 107.164
Mercedes-Benz GLC300e/de 21.286 0 New 21,5%
Renault Captur PHEV 11.754 0 New 6,6%
Volkswagen Golf 8 PHEV 10.849 0 New 3,8%
DS7 Crossback e-Tense 8.013 0 New 33,3%
Hyundai Ioniq PHEV 5.874 4.693 25% 22,4%
BMW i8 592 1.077 -45% 100%
Polestar 1 65 0 New 100%
Segment total 573.526 203.114 182%

If you require any additional data on EV sales (or charging infrastructure) worldwide for your business, please get in touch with us for a quotation. We can supply on request:

  • Monthly registrations on all BEV, PHEV, FCEV and HEV by country and model.
  • Future plug-in (BEV & PHEV) vehicle roll-out calendar 2018-2022
  • Vehicle Specification database on all selling plug-ins (BEV & PHEV)
  • Charging Infrastructure database by Country and Connector Type
  • Battery Shipment Tracker by Chemistry, Battery Maker & to which OEM, in MWh.
  • BEV & PHEV Buses & CV Registrations

Car sales statistics are from the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

Sources: Manufacturers, ANDC, JATO Dynamics, ev-sales.blogspot