Thursday, June 28, 2018

Europe May 2018

Image result for 2018 Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe
"Keeping it in the Family"

Leaf and Zoe ahead of the pack

The European passenger plug-in market continues pushing forward, by registering some 29,000 registrations, up 38% regarding the same period last year and pulling the Year-to-date count to over 146,000 deliveries (+44%), while keeping the 2018 market share at 2.1% (2.0% in May), BEVs and PHEVs grew at the same pace (+38%) in May, with plug-in hybrids now having an advantage of 6,000 units. Will we see all-electrics bounce back in the second half of the year?


May repeated April’s Top 5, with BEVs continuing to own the top positions, the new Nissan Leaf leads the way, but this time the Renault Zoe came close, while the BMW i3, VW e-Golf and Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV made up for the rest of the Best Sellers lineup.

After racing with the VW Passat GTE and the BMW 530e, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV managed to score another Top 5 presence, while at the same time being the bestselling PHEV.

Looking at the Monthly Models Ranking:

Image result for 2018 white Nissan Leaf

#1 Nissan Leaf –The 2.0 version of the most common plug-in in the world won another Best Seller title in Europe, its third in a row, by registering 2,814 units (Up 90% YoY), and with the orders list still to be satisfied in a few countries, expect the Leaf to remain in #1 for the coming months. But back at May performance, the main markets were Norway (644 deliveries), UK (450), France (331), The Netherlands (264) and Portugal (220 units, new all-time record for a single model).

Image result for 2018 white Renault Zoe

#2 Renault Zoe – May’s 2,534 deliveries meant a 22% YoY growth for the French hatchback, giving its Japanese cousin something of a fight for the leadership, as Renault runs to satisfy all the Zoe orders, now that LG has enough batteries to provide the French automaker. As for individual market performances, the domestic market did the usual heavy lifting, by registering 1,085 units, with other positive numbers coming from Germany (507 units), and Norway (167).   

Image result for 2018 white BMW i3

#3 BMW i3 – The German Hot Hatch sales have found their cruise speed (+2% YoY) in May, with 1,713 units being delivered, and with the Leipzig factory expected to grow output towards the end of the year, thanks to the upcoming 44kWh version, do not expect the Bavarian carmaker to be worried with its quirky looking EV sales performance in the short term. Looking at individual countries, Norway is once again leading sales (407 units), with Germany (320) and France (204) remaining as big absorbers of the BMW electric model.

Image result for 2018 white VW e-Golf

#4 VW e-Golf – The German hatchback continues to suffer from a common disease (Not enough batteries), but despite that, the BEV Golf collected another Top 5 presence, thanks to 1,547 deliveries, up 87% YoY. Looking at individual countries, besides Norway’s usual large contribution (622 units), Germany (366 units) became also a major contributor, with Austria (121 units) and The Netherlands (119) being significant contributors to the tally. Looking ahead, expect sales to continue strong until the end of the year, but after that, VW will probably place it in Sunset-mode, as a certain ID/Neo will be already in the oven...

Image result for 2018 white Outlander PHEV 

#5 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – Solid as a rock, the Japanese SUV managed to outsell the more resourced (VW Passat GTE) and company car-friendly (BMW 530e) competition, thus securing another Best-Selling PHEV of the Month award and a Top 5 PEV presence in May, thanks to 1,483 registrations. Sales in May were down 13% YoY, but fear not, as a (slightly) revised version will arrive on Q3 2018, so the Mitsubishi plug-in SUV will continue to offer its unique mix of space, AWD and affordability (40.000€), with the added bonus of a larger electric range (28 mi/45 kms real world range) and more power (+15 hp) at hand, keeping it popular in markets like the UK (500 units in May), Norway (360) or Sweden (239). Going forward, the Japanese SUV is expected to keep wearing its Europe’s Best-Selling PHEV crown in the foreseeable future.

Image result for 2018 white BMW 530e
Winter is Coming for diesel luxo-barges

Looking at the 2018 ranking, the top positions remained the same, with the headlining news being the BMW 530e climbing to #9, thanks to 1,135 units, its third consecutive 1,000-plus performance. Underlining a positive month for BMW plug-in hybrids, the 330e midsize sedan jumped three positions, to #13, with 1,019 deliveries, up 61% YoY. It seems the Tesla Model 3 long shadow isn’t yet affecting the BMW midsizer, but how about 6 months from now?

Other changes in the Top 20 were the #17 Porsche Panamera PHEV climbing two positions, while the Mercedes C350e joined the Top 20, in…#20.

Outside the Top 20, the Mercedes E350e (705 units, new record), is climbing, with taxi drivers breaking their diesel addiction with the Mercedes PHEV. 

All these PHEV models (BMW 530e & 330e, Porsche Panamera PHEV, Mercedes E350e...) underline a growing trend, where diesel luxo-barges are being replaced by their PHEV relatives. 

A final reference for the revised BMW i8, that with 215 deliveries, had its best result in 26(!) months. 

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, last year winner BMW (18%, up 2%) is in the lead, thanks to the aforementioned good performances of its PHEVs, with the runner-up Volkswagen (14%), losing a bit of ground to the leader, while Nissan (10%) is keeping the Bronze medal, with its cousin Renault (9%) close to the podium positions.


  1. The Renault Group is absolute leader in BEVS, and Leaf is expected to make a big difference from the second to the next few months.

  2. AnonymousJune 28, 2018

    Is there any I-Pace data?

    1. Numbers are really low, a couple of dozens.

      Interesting are the Range Rover PHEVs, already over 100 units/month.

      Worldwide, Jaguar-Land Rover is already above PSA and close to FCA. Not bad for a rookie...

  3. Renault is planning to accelerate production until the end of the year. Interesting if they beat Nissan Leaf in Europe.

  4. AnonymousJune 28, 2018

    Different data here for Leaf sales:

    1. BSCB covers 27 markets for the Europe tally, EVS covers 31 markets for its own count.

      Also, the Renault Zoe and Nissan Leaf EVS numbers were confirmed by their respective OEMs.

  5. The growth of BMW is interesting. I had read a couple of years back that they planned to sell 5% electric cars in Europe by 2020 to meet the EU emmission targets. They were close to 5% last year and at this pace should exceed 7% this year, still two years ahead of the new rules entering into force.

    1. Many car companies were relying pm diesels, which theoretically have lower emissions, to help them hit the 2020 targets. With a lower percentage of diesel sales, plugins need to do more of the heavy lifting. Could partly explain the increase in BMW electric sales?