Monday, May 23, 2016

Portugal April 2016



Leaf Confirms Leadership 

EV Sales continue with a fast pace, with 123 registrations last month, a 86% increase YoY, with the EV Share steady at 0.77%. Year-to-date sales are now at 572 units, up 136%.

The all-electric Nissan Leaf held the leadership, with 25 registrations in April, while the Mitsu Outlander PHEV surpassed the Mercedes C350e and is the new Second Place. 

A significant jump was made by the Renault Zoe, up three positions to #6, closer to the Fourth Position claimed last year.

Good month for the LCV segment, with both the Renault Kangoo ZE and Nissan e-NV200/Evalia registering 5 units, a year best, while the Citröen Berlingo EV had its first delivery of the year.

In the manufacturers ranking, Nissan (21%) managed to distance itself from Mercedes (19%), while Mitsubishi (17%) is a close Third.

Pl
Portugal
April
2016
%
Pl '15
1
2
Nissan Leaf
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV
25
20
113
100
20
17
2
1
3Mercedes C350e139717
5
4BMW i3 *
6
67
12
3
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
11
13
14
14
16
16
16
16
16
16
22
22
Volvo V60 Plug-In
Renault Zoe
Volkswagen Golf GTE
Volvo XC90 T8
Tesla Model S 
Nissan e-NV200 / Evalia 
Renault Twizy
Renault Kangoo ZE
Porsche Cayenne Plug-In
Mercedes B250e
BMW i8
Mercedes S500e
Toyota Prius Plug-In
BMW 225xe Active Tourer
BMW X5 40e
Volkswagen Passat GTE
Volkswagen e-Golf
Kia Soul EV
Volkswagen e-Up!
6
22
4


5
1
5

1
1


1
2
2
3
1
1
46
31
16
11
10
9
8
8
6
5
5
4
4
4
4
4
4
3
3
8
5
3
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
9
4
11
28
16
10
6
12
18
15
20
20
8
N/A
25
N/A
16
25
14
22
22
26
27
27
Peugeot iOn
Audi A3 e-Tron
BMW 330e
Citröen Berlingo EV
Smart Fortwo ED
1
2

1

3
3
2
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
6
18
N/A
30
22

TOTAL123572100

Source: ACAP

* - 6 BEV + 0 REX


Plug-Ins Versus Regular Hybrids

PlModel April 2016
1Toyota Auris Hybrid98
2Toyota Yaris Hybrid40
3Mercedes C300 Hybrid32
4Nissan Leaf25
5Renault Zoe22

If we combine regular hybrid sales with plug-ins, the two Toyota Best Sellers, the Auris Hybrid (#1) and the Yaris Hybrid (#2), continue to rule the ranking, with this month the Mercedes C300 diesel hybrid overcoming the Nissan Leaf, in the race for the Third Spot. 

In Fifth we have another plug-in, the Renault Zoe, two units ahead of the Sixth Place, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

FCEV's: Fools Cells?

The Three Fuel Cell Musketeers: Mirai, Clarity and Tucson/ix35

2016 was heralded by many as the "Year of the Fuel Cell" because it will be the first full year of regular production of the Toyota Mirai and the introduction year of the Honda Clarity, which, adding to the already existing Hyundai Tucson/ix35 SUV, makes three models to choose from for prospective buyers interested in this kind of technology.

Unlike many detractors, which call them Fools Cells, i actually envision a future for this kind of technology, but also unlike the promoters of FCEV's, i just don't see them facing Battery Electric Vehicles head to head in the mainstream passenger cars, for me, Fuel Cells will be a niche player for larger, heavy-duty vehicles, a bit like Diesel is now in the USA and other markets outside diesel-loving Europe.

Let's see which are the main reasons for this assumption:

  • Oil and Gas Industry are closely connected with Fuel Cells.
Unlike BEV's, where Electricity Utility companies are not actively lobbying, the almighty Oil and Gas industry are promoting heavily FCEV's as a way to keep their business running in a future with reduced revenue from oil, so it is expected for this technology to be more subsidized than BEV's, because of intensive lobbying and "high powers that be" will to keep on running business as usual.

  • Fuel Cell technology does have its strong points.
The most important of them being fast refueling (Compared with a BEV) and reduced emissions (Compared to a gas car), so FCEV's can make a strong case for themselves when compared to regular ICE cars and even compared to BEV's in some specific niches, like long-range buses or heavy-duty trucks (Or even airplanes), where vehicles are used almost continuously, without time to stop and recharge for long periods, these advantages are key for the future for FCEV's. 

  • But they also have downsides.
Besides the debatable question of reduced emissions, as it depends on which side of the wall you are in, there are unquestionable downsides to the technology, not only it is much more complex (And expensive) than a pure electric car, but it also uses a lot of space, which is another area where BEV's excel, comparing with regular cars. Add that to the fact that FCEV's are 6 to 7 years behind in economies of scale, regarding BEV's, and you have the main reasons for Fuel Cells losing the mainstream passenger car market to all electric cars.

toyota-highlander-ev
2009 Toyota Highlander FCEV prototype
The foreseeable future for FCEV's

As seen before, FCEV's are a valuable replacement for regular ICE vehicles, but can't compete head on with BEV's, so they are left with niches where all-electric vehicles will have more difficulties to enter and Fuel Cell downsides are less determinant, like long range heavy-duty vehicles (Buses, Trucks, etc) and some of the larger Vans, Minivans, SUV's and Pick-up Trucks. 


Big Mistake

But instead of focusing on the technology strengths and go for larger vehicles, Fuel Cell promoters, like Toyota, Honda or Hyundai, are trying to sell the FCEV concept to the wrong market segments, be it midsize cars, like the Toyota Mirai or Honda Clarity, or compact SUV's, markets where BEV's will have it easier to win market share and Fuel Cells have a harder time disguising their weak points (Higher price and poorer space-efficiency), with this losing precious time to defend their possible niche markets from plug-ins. 

Also, in the Toyota case, giving the Mirai some Aztec-rivaling challenging aesthetics didn't helped much either...


Losing Ground

The disruptive force that Tesla is becoming, pushing plug-ins out of their niche and into mainstream, stealing sales from established ICE automakers like BMW (28%), Toyota (23%) or Audi (20%), it is also becoming increasingly menacing to the newborn Fuel Cell technology, as range of the Model S now touches 300 miles, it is close to the 312 (502 kms) announced by the Mirai, while eclipsing the 2014 Honda FCX Clarity (231 miles) and Hyundai Tucson/ix35 Fuel Cell (265).

True, the almost 300-mile Model S 90D is more expensive than the Mirai, but the difference isn't that significant (102.100€ vs 78.540€ in Germany) if you consider the Tesla is a car from a segment above, better in almost every aspect AND has lower running costs. Besides, the base Model S costs around 80.000€ and apart from range, it continues to be a far superior vehicle.

But the car segment is not where FCEV's are at their best, large SUV's and Pick-up trucks are markets where Fuel Cells could easily replace ICE models, but it seems that automakers are reluctant to make a Toyota Sequoia or Honda Ridgeline FCEV, preferring to keep their high margins in those cash-cow markets.

Only...If they don't hurry up, Tesla will (again) eat a slice of their cake, the Model X 90D has 257 miles of range, little less than of a possible Mirai SUV would have, and as the case of the Model S, it would be a more expensive but far better product than a hypothetical Mirai SUV.

As consequence, big SUV's could be already a lost market for FCEV's, so as the possibilities narrow down, the urgency for these automakers to shift priorities and launch Fuel Cell technology where it can be competitive (Pick-ups...) is increasing, as Tesla and others (BYD buses and do not forget the upcoming Chrysler Pacifica PHEV in the Minivan market) expand into new segments, FCEV's chances for success start to look increasingly smaller, not because the technology itself, but because of greed and mistakes made by the automakers committed to promote it.

Fools Cells? Not yet. But the odds are against them.





Saturday, May 21, 2016

Belgium April 2016

Volvo XC90 T8: Belgian EV Favorite.

The Belgian Alps Edition

After a record March, April was another great month, with 848 EV's registered, up 156% YoY, with the EV Share now at 1.55%, being currently one of the fastest growing markets.

As was the case throughout this year, in April the Volvo XC90 T8 (153 units) continued to lead the way, this time followed by the BMW X5 PHEV (122) and Nissan Leaf (77).

Looking at the YTD ranking, there are some peculiarities to it, like the fact that the three positions in the podium belong to high-end SUV's, looking down, five out of the Top 10 positions are also to SUV's and what's more, only three models in the Top 10 aren't AWD, which proves the impact that the snow-heavy climate of the Belgian Alps have in consumer needs...

Looking at the changes in the ranking, they all occurred behind the #7 BMW i3, the Mercedes GLE500e climbed one position to #8 (One position away from its best position in the world, #7 in Finland, a country with similar climate as Belgium), the BMW 225xe Active Tourer jumped 8 positions to #9, while its 330e relative climbed four positions to #11, making these two the best Rookies of the Year by far.

In the manufacturers ranking, Volvo (24%) still leads, but BMW (24%, up 4%) is just 20 units behind, so it will be a matter of days until the German brand profits from its strong lineup and becomes the best selling brand. In Third we have Porsche, with 11% (Down 1%), but Mercedes (10%) is becoming increasingly threatening, so another interesting race is developing for the Bronze medal.

There was an additional Toyota Mirai registered last month, elevating the Fuel Cell tally to six units this year, five Mirai's and one Hyundai ix35 FCEV.

PlBelgiumAprilYTD%'15Pl
1Volvo XC90 T8 1537482413
2BMW X5 40e 1224021315
3
4
Porsche Cayenne Plug-In
Tesla Model S
62
32
310
270
10
8
2
1
5Nissan Leaf7724788
6Mercedes C350e32136416
7BMW i3 *2812943
8Mercedes GLE500e3699327
9BMW 225xe Active Tourer73983N/A
10Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV269136
11BMW 330e47823N/A
12
13
14
15
Renault Zoe
Audi A3 e-Tron
Volkswagen Golf GTE
BMW i8
26
10
14
10
77
53
50
46
2
2
2
1
18
7
5
9
16
17
18
Mercedes S500e
Mercedes B250e
Porsche Panamera Plug-In
13
6
13
41
40
38
1
1
1
14
11
10
19
20
21
21
23
24
25
26
27
28
28
30
31
31
33
33
Volkswagen Passat GTE
Volvo V60 Plug-In
Renault Kangoo ZE
Nissan e-NV200 / Evalia **
Volkswagen e-Golf
Renault Twizy
Toyota Prius Plug-In
Citroen C-Zero
Kia Soul EV
Peugeot iOn
Volkswagen e-Up!
Smart Fortwo ED
Peugeot Partner EV
Opel Ampera
Citroen Berlingo EV
Mercedes GLC350e
11
9
5
8
11
5
10


2
6




1
35
29
24
24
21
19
15
13
12
9
9
5
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
33
4
N/A
21
17
15
25
24
23
20
21
19
N/A
28
N/A
N/A

TOTAL8483.178100



Source: FEBIAC


* - 14 Bev + 14 Rex

** - 3 Pass + 5 LCV


Plug-Ins Versus Regular Hybrids

PlModel April 2016
1Toyota Yaris Hybrid203
2Toyota Auris Hybrid194
3Volvo XC90 T8 153
4BMW X5 40e 122
5Toyota RAV4 Hybrid83

If we combine April regular hybrid sales with plug-ins, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid is the surprise #1, followed by the previous leader Auris Hybrid, down to only 194 units, this slow month might have an explanation with the good performance of its SUV brethren, the RAV4 Hybrid, managing to reach #5, making three SUV's in the Top 5. Here too, SUV's reflect Belgium's Alpine climate...

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Austria April 2016




Records Edition


More than 400 new EV's were registered in Austria last month, up 84% YoY, with 1.660 units sold this year, last year record of 2.091 sales will probably fall in June(!) May, with the EV Share at 1.52%.

Looking at the monthly models ranking, the Renault Zoe won its fourth consecutive Best Seller trophy, with 98 units, increasing its advance over the runner up Tesla Model S to over 100 units (349 vs 234), while the yearly record for a single model, set last year by the Californian (492 units), will probably be beaten by the french hatch as early as June...

Looking at the rest of the competition, there weren't that many changes, with the main news being the three positions jump of the Renault Twizy, from #16 to #13, a sign that Spring and warmer weather is upon us.

In the manufacturers ranking, Renault is #1 (22% Share, up 1%), with Tesla (14%) losing the Second Place to Volkswagen (17%). 

PlAustriaAprilYTD%'15Pl
1Renault Zoe98349213
2
3
Tesla Model S
BMW i3 *
38
46
234
178
14
11
1
2
4Nissan Leaf53177115
5Volkswagen e-Golf53167106
6
7
8
8
10
Kia Soul EV
Audi A3 e-Tron e)
Mercedes B250e
Volkswagen Golf GTE e)
Mitsu Outlander PHEV e)
23
15
16
20
15
95
75
72
72
60
6
5
4
4
4
4
9
8
16
9
11Volvo V60 Plug-In e)1040
 2
9
12
13
14
15
16
16
18
Volkswagen e-Up!
Renault Twizy
Mercedes C350e   e)
BMW i8
Peugeot iOn
Nissan e-NV200 / Evalia
Porsche Cayenne Plug-In  
9
12
5

2
5

35
21
20
12
11
11
10
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
12
7
N/A
12
20
15
17
19Citröen C-Zero
8
0
19
20
21
Smart Fortwo ED
Porsche Panamera Plug-In


6
5
0
0
14
18
22
Volkswagen XL1
1022
22Mitsubishi I-Miev
1022

TOTAL4201.660100

Source: http://myampera.wordpress.com; 

* - 41 Bev + 5 Rex

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Germany April 2016

The Renault Zoe holds on to #1 in Germany


Before Incentives...

Sales were down 8% YoY, to 1.622 units, with the EV Share dropping 0.68%, which should be explained by the fact that many consumers are waiting for the incentives scheme to finally kick in.

Looking at April models ranking, for the first time the Renault Zoe was the Best Seller of the month, with 221 units, followed by a group of local players, with the surprising VW Passat GTE (160 deliveries) leading the pack.  


PlModel
Sales  
1Renault Zoe221
2Volkswagen Passat GTE160
3BMW i3 *159
4Volkswagen Golf GTE117
5Audi A3 e-Tron94


Despite being a slow month, that didn't stopped the German EV market to present several changes to the YTD ranking, for example, if the Renault Zoe keep for the time being the leadership (No small feat in this EV market), below it the were moves aplenty: The BMW i3 rose one position to Second Place, the VW Golf GTE also climbed one position to #3, while the Nissan Leaf dropped out of the podium and fell two positions to Fourth. In a good month for Volkswagen, the Passat GTE and even the e-Golf climbed one position, to #7 and #11, respectively.

In the lower part of the ranking, a mention to the 74 deliveries of the Renault Twizy, its best performance in almost two years, allowing it to jump seven positions to #15, while the BMW 330e is picking up pace, having registered a record 47 units, climbing one position to #19, but more significantly, beating for the first time the monthly result of the Mercedes C350e (43 units).

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, Volkswagen continues in the Top Spot, with 20% share (Up 1%), followed by BMW (17%, up 2%) and in Third we now have Renault (14%, also up 2%).

PlGermanyApril YTD%'15 Pl
1
2
Renault Zoe
BMW i3 *
221
159
822
690
11
9
6
2
3Volkswagen Golf GTE11760484
4Nissan Leaf53586810
5Audi A3 e-Tron9458185
6Tesla Model S8648267
7Volkswagen Passat GTE16047569
8Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV3841663
9
10
11
Mercedes C350e   e)
Volvo XC90 T8 
Volkswagen e-Golf
43
79
67
287
270
235
4
4
3
13
28
8
12BMW 225xe Active Tourer
75
215320
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
24
26
27
28
29
30
31
31
33
34
35

Audi Q7 e-Tron
Volkswagen e-Up!
Renault Twizy
Kia Soul EV
Porsche Cayenne Plug-In
Mercedes GLE500e
BMW 330e
BMW X5 40e
Mercedes B250e
BMW i8
Mercedes S500e   e)
Renault Kangoo ZE e)
Porsche Panamera Plug-In
Volvo V60 Plug-In
Smart Fortwo ED
Nissan e-NV200 / Evalia
Citroen C-Zero
Peugeot iOn
Toyota Prius Plug-In
Citroen Berlingo EV e)
Porsche 918
Ford C-Max Energi
Peugeot Partner EV  e)
Others
16
46
74
24
17
16
47
25
38
23
27
10
11
2
11
4
6
1
3
5
10

5
9
189
187
142
132
131
128
124
119
116
94
87
55
55
53
51
37
26
22
20
20
18
12
10
24
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
 0
0
24
12
15
1
17
29
32
22
14
16
19
N/A
23
18
11
25
36
36
26
33
30
N/A
33

TOTAL
1.622
7.515
100


Because of the increasing number of models present, from now on the ranking is limited to the Top 35 best selling models

* - 41 Bev + 118 Rex

e) Estimate

Source: kba.de



Tesla Model S vs The Others (*)

Pl
Model
 YTD 2016
1
Audi A7
1.465
2
Mercedes CLS
1.239
3
BMW 6-Series
637
4
Tesla Model S
482
5
Porsche Panamera
363

If the Audi A7 and Mercedes CLS seem out of reach, the Third Placed BMW 6-Series is perfectly attainable by the Californian, all while the Panamera desperately waits for a new generation to get back into the game.

An interesting statistic is that the Model S is the only model in the ranking with YoY growth (+27%), while every other model is having a two digit sales drop, with steep dives in some cases, like the Merc CLS (-30%) or the Panamera (-41%!).

Tesla is being disruptive, even in the cut-throat German Premium market...

(*) - Considering that the German market is one of the hardest for Tesla to crack, the models we are comparing are not the volume sellers like the Audi A6 or BMW 5-Series, but those that are closer in concept and price to the Californian Sports Sedan.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

China April 2016




BAIC's new BYD-fighter: The EU260 EV


Size Up Edition


The Chinese market had nearly 20.000 EV's new EV's zooming the streets last month, a 99% increase over the same month last year, inline with the YTD growth rate (100%) with the EV market share around 0.9%.

Looking at the models ranking, the leader BYD Tang SUV continued in the 3.000-something trend in April, delivering 3.145 units, it seems the leading EV-maker in China is happy with this level of sales for its flagship plug-in, with production being distributed across lesser models. like the e5 taxi sedan, with a year best 706 units.

The BAIC E-Series continued in Second Place, but with only 1.415 units in April, its lowest performance in eight months, and now has the JAC i EV only 257 units behind.

This drop in sales of the E-Series hatchback might be connected to the sudden rise of another BAIC model, the EU260 EV sedan, which recorded a record 599 units last month, something that should be connected with a fundamental change happening in this market: Once known for small, slow and cheap electric cars, local EV manufacturers have seen BYD take off with their Qin's and Tang's "mainstream" cars and now are playing catch up, all launching BYD-fighters in order to get a piece of the pie.

As consequence, local manufacturers are launching plug-in versions of their not-so-compact sedans (Think Chevrolet-Cruze-sized cars), all trying to replicate BYD's recepe, and that is already visible on the 15 Best Selling models, with only four city cars (Chery eQ, JMC E100, Zotye Cloud EV & Zotye E200), with the highest placed being the Chery model, only in #7, whereas there are seven sedans (Eight, if we also count Tesla) in the ranking, so if we had to typify a chinese EV right now, it would have to be a not-so compact all-electric sedan. 

But we digress, back to the Top 15 performances, we can see the Chery eQ (1.518 units, best yearly result) grow five-fold regarding April '15, and jump three positions to #7, while the Nissan Leaf chinese cousin, the Venucia Morning Wind, registered 304 units (Personal best), allowing it to reach #13, followed by the aforementioned BAIC EU260 EV.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, BYD is a firm leader (40%, up 1%), followed in Second Place by BAIC (13%) and JAC (11%, up 1%) in Third.

PlChinaAprilYTD%
1BYD Tang3.14512.36620
2BAIC E-Series EV1.4156.99811
3JAC i EV2.3316.74111
4BYD e62.0895.8969
5
6
7
8
BYD Qin *
SAIC Roewe 550 PHEV
Chery eQ
JMC E100 e)
1.470
2.110
1.518
600
4.422
4.184
3.115
3.009
7
7
5
5
9Tesla Model S e)150
2.146
3
10Zotye Cloud EV
1.7193
11BYD e57061.5042
12
13
14
15

Geely Dorsett EV
Venucia Morning Wind
BAIC EU260 / D50 EV
Zotye E200
Others
693
304
599
459
2.060
1.461
778
777
749
6.678
2
1
1
1
11

TOTAL19.64962.543100

* - 1.225 PHEV + 245 BEV

Now we will see the Top 5 models individual performance:


BYD Tang: The chinese Cayenne continues to rule the EV market with iron fist, with the SUV being the best selling model for the fifth consecutive time, but somehow we get the feeling that it could reach even higher sales levels if BYD wasn't production constrained...




BAIC E-Series EV: Sales of BAIC's B-Class electric hatch are a mish-mash of good and bad results: On the one hand, if YTD sales are up 150% YoY, on the other hand, comparing April sales with the previous month, numbers were down 40%. Another manufacturer with production constraints? It depends on how you see the half-glass...



JAC iEV: Thanks to continuous improvements, above the latest (And good looking) iteration, JAC's all-electric sedan(s) made a record performance, registering 2.331 units, up four fold YoY, with this model now trying to reach the Second Place for the first time since 2013, when is was the runner-up, with 2.500 units. In the whole year. Different times... 



BYD e6: Thanks to the new 82 kWh version, with an impressive 400 kms of range, the veteran e6 MPV is back at the top positions, having registered 2.089 units, up 161% YoY. 



BYD Qin: The most common plug-in in China, with over 50.000 units registered, the Qin has received recently a 100% electric version (245 units last April), but BYD's production constraints is keeping it from repeating last year performances (2.625 units in April 2015).