The European passenger plug-in market registered 84,000 registrations in March (+41%), a great performance consindering the effect that the several lockdowns across the continente had, with the overall market crashing (-52% YoY), inflating last month plugin share to an amazing 9.9% share (6% BEV), and pulling the 2020 PEV share to 7.5% (4.3% for BEVs alone), well above the 3.6% result of 2019.
Will we see Europe's plugin market hit two digit share this year?
The big news in March is the peak month of the Tesla Model 3, that delivered 16,121 registrations, while the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV returned to the podium, thanks to 3,551 units, while below it, we have two Volkswagen Group models, with the VW e-Golf in #4 and the Audi e-Tron in 5th.
Looking at March Top 5 Models:
#1 Tesla Model 3 – The usual end-of-quarter flood came for the electromobility posterchild, with 16,121 deliveries, with the sports sedan winning its first European Best Seller title in 2020. The rabbit out of Tesla's hat last month was the UK, with the Californian registering a record 4,718 units there, but that wasn't the only 4-digit performance, with 2,034 deliveries being recorded in Germany, 1,385 units in France (new record), 1,339 in the Netherlands and a best ever 1,084 units in Sweden.
#2 Renault Zoe – The 4,334 deliveries of March were ever so slightly below last year result (4,361 units a year ago), but once the market returns to normal (June?), expect the French hatchback to return to the growth path. As for individual market performances, the Renault EV continues strong in its domestic market (1,744 units), and in Germany (945 units), with the surprise coming from Sweden, with 310 units.
#3 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV– Last month, the Japanese SUV had its first podium in 9 months, thanks to 3,551 units, incidentally also its best score in 9 months, with the Mitsubishi workhorse benefitting from its unbeatable formula (plenty of utility and space for the money) to continue running with the best BEVs, being the only plugin hybrid able to do so. Looking at individual countries, the UK (1,000 units) and Germany (582) were its largest markets, with Norway also helping significantly, thanks to 481 registrations.
#4 Audi e-Tron – Thanks to a number of impressive performances, the big Audi is becoming the talk of the town, with March registering 3,522 units, winning its first Top 5 presence this year. And while many of them (1,681 units) went to Norway, the fact is that the e-Tron has great prospects for 2020, thanks to the success of the new (and cheaper) 71 kWh battery version and the launch of the interesting Sportback version, that adds a bit of flair to the
dull exterior design of the regular e-Tron. But it wasn’t
just Norway pulling the e-Tron’s (very) heavy weight, as the Audi EV is also becoming popular in Germany (721 units, new record) and the UK (500 units, personal best).
#5 VW e-Golf – The evergreen German model reached 3,428 units last month, apparently immune to the long shadow of the ID.3, with Volkswagen milking everything it can from it, at least until its successor effectively lands (whenever that is). Regarding March, the e-Golf main markets were Germany (1,524 units, new record), Norway (650) and the Netherlands (403).
Looking at the 2020 ranking, the big news is the Tesla Model 3 jumping into the leadership, having seen its deliveries grow 8% YoY this year, but despite this positive outcome, the market share regarding the same period shrank from 16% in Q1 '19, to the current 9%, as the market has been growing at a much faster (+82%) rate.
Another example of this apparent contradiction is the #14 Kia Niro EV, that is seeing its sales grow 30% YoY this year, and yet, by this time this year, it was #11...
The other change on the top positions was the Mitsubishi Outlandet PHEV climbing to #4, being by far the Best Selling PHEV on the table.
In the second half of the ranking, there were plenty of changes, the most relevant being the BMW i3 and VW Passat GTE climbing two positions each, to #10 and #11, respectively, but despite the BMW EV recovery, it is far from last year results, as the quirky hatchback a year ago was 5th, having seen its sales drop 36% YoY. Is the i3 showing its first wrinkles?
The Volvo S/V60 PHEV twins jumped to #13, thanks to 1,703 units, with the Swedes now looking to surpass their stablemate, the #11 XC60 PHEV and become the brand Best Seller.
Besides what has been said before, there were other good news for the VW Group, the VW e-Up! was...up to #16, thanks to 1,480 units, if we add its Czech Citigo EV (1,011 units) and Spanish e-Mii (491) twins, the triplets would have 2,982 units, which would place it in #6 on last month ranking.
We have a new face in the Top 20, with the #20 Mercedes E300e/de replacing its arch-rival BMW 530e in the table, underlining a positive month for the three-pointed star plugins, as the C300e/de also scored a 4-digit performance, the new A250e delivered over 700 units, and even the EQC registered a record result, with 668 units (yeeey!...), so while the Mercedes EV is finally moving the needle, this is just a half good score, after all, the Tesla Model X and Jaguar i-Pace, hardly hot sellers at this moment, both scored 800-something performances last month...
Outside the Top 20, we should also notice the good performances of the veteran Gen. 7 VW Golf GTE, with 832 registrations last month, its best score since 2018, which promises strong demand for the upcoming Gen.8 Golf GTE, while there are a plethora of newcomers landing with a bang, here's a couple of them: Opel Corsa EV (955 units) and Mini Cooper EV (1,375), while on the PHEV side, we should mention the Ford Kuga PHEV (911 units), Skoda Superb PHEV (1,131) or the Volvo XC40 PHEV (1,254).
In the manufacturers ranking, there was a complete reshuffle, with Tesla (11%, up 5%) jumping into the leadership, being immediately followed by BMW (10%, down 2%), with Volkswagen (9%, up 1%) and Renault (9%, down 2%) following suit.
Not far off, we also have Volvo and Peugeot, both with 7% share each, this year being possibly the most balanced race ever in this category.
BEV D-Segment / Midsize category
Tesla's midsizer sales are in another galaxy, and won't have significant competition for at least another year, as the Polestar 2 will remain a niche player and once the BMW iX3 lands, the German maker would already be happy if it got a third of sales of the current Model 3.
The real competition will only be when the Tesla Model Y lands, not only it will drain the Model 3 sales, but will also outsell it, so...Enjoy the throne while you can, Model 3.
As for the remaining podium, the Jaguar i-Pace is (still) the silver medalist, but has seen its sales drop 27% YoY, while the #3 Mercedes EQC production ramp up is slooowly happening, so it will be a matter of time until Merc's SUV reaches Silver.
BEV E-Segment / Full size category
The e-Tron recent domination of the segment is proof that Teslas aren't unbeatable, you just need competitive products.
Granted, the e-Tron is just half competitive, as it lacks decent range, but if even half good is enough to beat (both) Teslas by a mile, imagine what an efficient e-Tron could have done...
Your turn to up the ante, Tesla.
One of Audi e-Tron's trump cards is its wider price range, that helps to catch more buyers, something that the still in ramp-up mode Porsche Taycan (1,168 units) will in no doubt benefit too, once Porsche decides to put all its usual 356 variants (Turbo S / Turbo / 4S / GTS / Sport Turismo / Cross Turismo / ...) into the Taycan.