The Leaf almost tripled sales in 2018
BMW 530e wins 2018 title in transition year
A total of 661 passenger plug-ins were registered last month in Belgium, down 53%(!), this being the 8th drop in the last 9 months, with the 2018 tally ending in the red zone (-8%) in once a fast growing market.
As consequence of this sales drop, the PEV share ended at 2.5% share, below the 2.7% of last year.
Although at first sight it's all doom and gloom, looking at numbers in detail, we see that PHEVs are the ones to blame for this drop, as they are down 18% in 2018 and an astonishing 72%(!) in December, while BEVs are recovering significance, with sales growing 38% this year, and the BEV/PHEV sales breakdown becoming more balanced (72% PHEV, 28% BEV - In 2017 PHEVs had 82%), and in December fully electrics have even surpassed plugin hybrids (53% / 47%) for the first time in years.
But the Nissan Leaf didn't surprised just in December, in the final ranking of 2018, the Japanese hatchback ended in Second Place, with 977 units, although i suspect that if the year had 13 months, the Nissan nameplate would end stealing the trophy from the #1 BMW 530e (993 units). In any case, it was the first time that a BMW won the Models trophy.
This is the result of the changing times in Belgium, once known for its addiction to expensive PHEVs, the start of the WLTP-standard, added to incentive changes that made short-range PHEVs less competitive and the general feeling that fossil-fueled vehicles are modern-day dinosaurs, is tilting the market in BEV favor.
Regarding last minute changes, the Tesla Model S managed to reach #10, thanks to 53 units, while the current SUV in the spotlight is the the Land Rover Range Rover Sport PHEV, a land yacht almost as long as its name, that climbed to #12.
Finally, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was up one position, to #19, making it the 11th SUV in the ranking. The Belgian Alps will surely have plenty of pluggable SUVs this winter...
In the manufacturers ranking, BMW won the 2018 title, with 23% share (down 2%), being its third in a row, while the runner-up Volvo (12%) ended the year in Second place, improving on the 2017 result (Third spot), while Porsche (9%, down 2%) held to the last place of the podium.
In the main sub-categories, the Best Selling BEV was the Nissan Leaf, breaking a 5 year rule from the Tesla Model S (-19% in 2018, is it already feeling the Model 3 long shadow?), while Volvo recovered the Best Selling SUV title, with its XC60 PHEV, and in the LCV category, the Renault Kangoo ZE profited the most from the fast growing sales (+105%), to recover the title from the hands of the Nissan e-NV200, doubling sales (125 vs 57) regarding the Japanese van.
Regarding manufacturers, Tesla should take the trophy too, but the race should be closer than in the models side.