EV-segment-European-sales-2017EV and PHEV sales in Europe continue to break records in 2020 with an 81% increase of deliveries in the first quarter to just about 228,000 sales of plug-in vehicles, which is 7.3% of the total European car market, up from 3.6% in 2019 and 2.2% in 2018. Of this, full electric cars make up 131,261 sales, up 58% on the first quarter of 2019, which gives them a 4.7% share of the car market. PHEV sales surge with a 127% to 97,683 units, which is a share of 2.6%. 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.

Electric cars

In the electric car ranking, the Tesla Model 3 holds on to its top spot, but does so by the skin of its teeth as its 13% gain to 20,512 sales is barely enough to keep it ahead of the surging Renault Zoe, up 83% to 20,438 sales. Its 10% decline causes the Nissan Leaf to be knocked off its podium position by the Volkswagen e-Golf, up 68% and the newly arrived Peugeot e-208. The e-Golf was supposed to be in runout mode to prepare for the arrival of the all-new ID.3, but since deliveries of that model are delayed, the life of the e-Golf is extended for a few months, and is sold with big discounts. And since the Golf is in a model changeover to the 8th generation which causes its sales to drop, the take rate of the e-Golf more than doubles to 14%. The e-208 is the biggest direct rival to the Zoe, together with its sibling Opel/Vauxhall Corsa-e and had a great start of its career with a 17.3% take rate.

After a slow start, the Audi e-Tron has found success with sales tripling to nearly 8,000 for the quarter, more than five times the sales of its main rivals Jaguar I-Pace and Mercedes-Benz EQC. The Hyundai Kona EV sees stable sales and a stable take rate, while its sibling Kia Niro EV is up 30% and improves its take rate to 27%. The BMW i3 drops below those South Korean EVs due to sales down 36%, while the Volkswagen e-Up! returns with updated technology and lands at #10. The Hyundai Ioniq Electric improves its take rate to nearly 38% with sales up 26%. The Smart Fortwo is now an EV only model and while this has caused overall sales of the nameplate to collapse, sales of the electric version are up 20% on last year. The Opel Ampera-e almost quadruples its registrations as the last remaining stock is being sold at generous discounts. Expect near-zero sales in the remaining quarters as the Ampera is now almost sold out. The same goes for the Citroën C-Zero. The Porsche Taycan is closing in on the Tesla Model S despite its far higher price tag.

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, Honda e, Jaguar XJ, Mini Cooper SE, 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 Volvo XC40 EV.

2020-Q1 EV sales Europe

Electric Car Segment 2020-Q1 2019-Q1 Change % EV 2020 % EV 2019
1 Tesla Model 3 20.512 18.204 13% 100% 100%
2 Renault Zoe 20.438 11.153 83% 100% 100%
3 Volkswagen e-Golf 10.506 6.244 68% 14,1% 5,7%
4 Peugeot e-208 8.765 0 New 17,3% 0%
5 Nissan Leaf 8.509 9.484 -10% 100% 100%
6 Audi e-Tron 7.987 2.692 197% 100% 100%
7 Hyundai Kona EV 6.077 6.014 1% 22,5% 23,7%
8 Kia Niro EV 4.366 3.364 30% 27% 22,2%
9 BMW i3 (est.) 4.330 6.814 -36% 83% 83%
10 VW e-Up! 3.947 0 New
11 Hyundai Ioniq Electric 2.662 2.117 26% 37,9% 24,5%
12 Smart Fortwo ED 2.451 2.040 20% 100% 13,1%
13 Jaguar I-Pace 2.106 2.903 -27% 100% 100%
Others 20.155 7.261 178%
Opel Ampera-e 2.006 543 269% 100% 100%
Mercedes-Benz EQC 1.505 29 +++ 100% 100%
Tesla Model S 1.396 1.576 -11% 100% 100%
Tesla Model X 1.227 1.592 -23% 100% 100%
Porsche Taycan 1.195 61 +++ 100% 100%
Citroën C-Zero 783 286 174% 100% 100%
Peugeot iOn 149 373 -60% 100% 100%
Hyundai Nexo FCEV 107 55 95% 100% 100%
Citroën E-Mehari 50 47 6% 100% 100%
Polestar 2 19 0 New 100% 100%
Mitsubishi i-MiEV 13 68 -81% 100% 100%
Segment total 131.261 82.920 58%

Plug-in Hybrid electric cars

Plug-in hybrid vehicles had a great Q1 of 2020 with sales more than doubling 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 5% on the first quarter while its take rate of 81% is similar to its 2019 full year rate. In second place, we find the BMW 330e and the Volkswagen Passat GTE, followed by the Volvo XC60 and Volvo S60/V60, both of which have a take rate of over 25%. We welcome the Peugeot 3008 in 6th place with a take rate of 11%. The BMW X5 is the best selling plug-in large SUV with a take rate of nearly 39%. Sales of the Mini Countryman PHEV are down 12% but its take rate is up to over 30%.

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-Q1 PHEV sales Europe

PHEV segment 2020-Q1 2019-Q1 Change % PHEV 2020 % PHEV 2019
1 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 9.284 9.747 -5% 81,0% 71,8%
2 BMW 330e 5.804 n/a n/a 16,6%
3 Volkswagen Passat GTE 5.070 n/a n/a 15,7%
4 Volvo XC60 T8 4.687 4.469 5% 26,5% 22,1%
5 Volvo S60/V60 T8 4.639 n/a n/a 28,4%
6 Peugeot 3008 PHEV 4.077 0 New 11,1% 0%
7 BMW X5 PHEV 3.789 n/a n/a 38,6%
8 Mini Countryman PHEV 3.472 3.932 -12% 30,2% 26,7%
others 50.016 n/a
Kia Niro PHEV 3.399 3.054 11% 21,0% 20,1%
Mercedes-Benz E300e/de 3.303 n/a n/a 17,7%
BMW i8 143 368 -61% 100% 100%
Segment total 97.683 43.080 127%

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