EV and PHEV sales in Europe continue to break records in 2020 with a 62% increase of deliveries in the first half to nearly 405,000 sales of plug-in vehicles, which is 7.9% of the total European car market, up from 3.6% in 2019 and 2.2% in 2018. Of this, full electric cars make up 220,320 sales, up 22% on the first half of 2019, which gives them a 4.3% share of the car market. PHEV sales surge with a 165% improvement to 184,454 units, which is a share of 3.6%. 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.
In the electric car ranking, the Tesla Model 3 has lost its top spot as early reservations have been filled and deliveries now reflect actual current demand, resulting in a 12% drop in deliveries. The Renault Zoe has stormed to the top of the charts, helping by being one of the most affordable long-range EVs during a time when government subsidies on electric cars in several EU countries are boosting demand. As a result of these subsidies, a two-year lease for a Zoe would actually be completely free. Sales are up 54% to over 36,000 sales for a 16.6% share of the class. While we’re all waiting for the delayed launch of the VW ID.3, the Volkswagen e-Golf has been kept in production and sold with big discounts. Sales are down 22% but because sales of ICE versions of the Golf are down even more, the take rate for the electric version has gone up to 14.6%. Newcomer Peugeot e-208 is the most important direct rival to the Zoe and lands in fourth place with 13,000 and an impressive 15.5% take rate. That leaves the Nissan Leaf in 6th place behind the Audi e-Tron, with 19% fewer deliveries for the former best selling EV. The Japanese brand will launch the Ariya electric crossover at the end of the year, which promises to blow the Leaf out of the water in terms of specs.
Sales of the Hyundai Kona EV are slightly down but the take rate of 22.1% remains stable, while its sister model Kia Niro EV slightly improves and its take rate is up to above 30%. The BMW i3 and newly launched Volkswagen e-Up! complete the top-10. The e-Up!’s sister models Seat Mii electric and Skoda Citigo-e iV are sold in much lower volumes. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric is at almost 50% take rate with its new specs and larger range. The Jaguar I-Pace stays ahead of the Mercedes-Benz EQC, while the Porsche Taycan is well ahead of the Tesla Model S. We welcome the Honda e, Mazda MX-30 and Polestar 2 to the ranking with their first few sales.
In the rest of 2020, we expect a number of entrants, which should help accelerate the growth of EV sales in Europe to over half a million units for the full year. In alphabetical order, the most important upcoming new launches in 2019 are: Audi Q4 e-Tron, BMW i4 and iX3, Ford Mustang Mach-e, Jaguar XJ, Peugeot e-2008, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa e as well as EV versions of the PSA midsized vans Peugeot Traveller, Citroën Spacetourer and Opel/Vauxhall Zafira Life, Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 as well as the Volvo XC40 recharge.
2020 first half EV sales Europe
Electric Car Segment
% EV 2020
% EV 2019
Tesla Model 3
Hyundai Kona EV
Kia Niro EV
BMW i3 (est.)
Hyundai Ioniq Electric
Smart Fortwo ED
Tesla Model S
Tesla Model X
Hyundai Nexo FCEV
Plug-in Hybrid electric cars
Plug-in hybrid vehicles had a great first half of 2020 with sales up 2.5-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 will be implemented this year, 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 are being launched this year as manufacturers are unlikely to be able to reach those 95 g/km without any plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV stays on top of the European plug-in hybrid ranking as it has done ever since its launch. However, its sales are down 26% on the first half while its take rate of 81.1% is similar to its 2019 full year rate. In second place, wenow find the Volvo XC60, more than a quarter of total XC60 sales, ahead of the updated Volkswagen Passat GTE and Volvo S60/V60, both of which have a take rate of 17.5%.The BMW 330e was in 2nd place in Q1 but has dropped down to 5th place. The Ford Kuga PHEV looks destined to lure the Outlander customers as the brand is leaving Europe this year and the Kuga already has an impressive take rate of 35.5%, outselling the Volvo XC40 and Peugeot 3008, which have lower take rates while that of the BMW X5 is up there again at 36.6%. The Kia Niro is now more popular as a full EV than as a Plug-in Hybrid, just like its cousin Hyundai Ioniq. Like the e-Golf, the Audi A3 e-Tron has made a comeback late in its life cycle, while we welcome the Polestar 1, a high-end coupe from the new performance brand of Volvo, but with a worldwide production of 1,500 units and a hefty price tag it won’t storm these charts.
The rest of this year we expect a wave of new plug-in hybrid models, most notably versions of the Peugeot 508, as well as the 3008’s siblings Opel/Vauxhall Grandland X and DS7 Crossback, Volkswagen will relaunch the Golf GTE with a larger battery pack and Porsche will relaunch the Cayenne and Panamera e-Hybrid as well as a Bentley Bentayga with the same technology. BMW will add the X3 to its PHEV portfolio, while Mercedes-Benz will bring updated plug-in versions of the C- and S-Class as well as the GLC and GLE. Jeep is launching plug-in versions of its Renegade, Compass and Wrangler, Audi of the Q5, A6, A7 and A8.
2020 first half PHEV sales Europe
% PHEV 2020
% PHEV 2019
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
Volvo XC60 T8
Volkswagen Passat GTE
Volvo S60/V60 T8
Ford Kuga PHEV
Volvo XC40 PHEV
Peugeot 3008 PHEV
BMW X5 PHEV
Kia Niro PHEV
Audi A3 e-Tron
Hyundai Ioniq PHEV
BMW i3 (est.)
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Monthly registrations on all BEV, PHEV, FCEV and HEV by country and model.
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