Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Netherlands February 2020

Resultado de imagem para Opel Ampera-e Netherlands

Opel Ampera-e #8 in the overall market.

The Dutch PEV market grew 51% in February, to 3,685 plugin registrations, which means that after a light hangover (-2% YoY) in January, the Dutch plugin market is back on the growth track, with last month PEV Share at 12%, pulling the year to date PEV share to 9.4%, so by March we should see it back at two-digits.

Breaking down registrations between each plugin powertrain, BEVs are back in black (+4%), thanks to a 36% growth rate last month, while PHEVs continue flying off the shelves, jumping 139% YoY...Still, BEVs are recovering their mojo, and are now responsible for 69% of the plugin market, still far from the 93% of last year, but expect them to recover ground, as the year advances.

If we only consider BEVs, the EV share last month was 9.5%, with the 2020 share now standing at 6.4%. 

In February, the leader Opel Ampera-e (Euro-spec Chevy Bolt) is profiting from its end-of-career sell-off, to score a second record performance in a row, this time with 647 units,
allowing it even to win a Top 10 spot in the overall market (#8, to be precise).

(It does make you wonder how successful this small hatchback could have been, if it had been properly marketed in Europe, doesn't it?) 

Back at last month Best Sellers, if the 2nd place of the VW e-Golf is not surprising (insert deep discounts comment), the 3rd spot of the Kia Niro EV is, with the Korean crossover scoring a record 483 units, which could mean that Kia has (finally) more batteries available to increase the production output of its popular EV. 

Another surprise is the 5th spot of the small Skoda Citigo EV, with 153 registrations in its first full sales month, which provides great prospects to the Czech EV. 

In fact, if we add all three of the Bratislava-made triplets (VW e-Up, Seat e-Mii, Skoda Citigo EV), we get 226 units, which is a significant volume in the city car category. 

Who would think that competitive specs and pricing would move EV metal in the cheapest end of the market? (sarcasm off)

A final mention to the 147 Volvo XC40 PHEV registrations made last month, making it the Best Selling plugin hybrid in February, is Volvo's compact SUV headed for success?

Opel Ampera-e
VW e-Golf
Kia Niro EV
Hyundai Kona EV
Skoda Citigo EV

Looking at the 2020 ranking, there were plenty of changes, with the Korean models shining above everyone else, as the Kia Niro EV joined the podium, in 3rd, while its Hyundai cousin, the Kona EV, jumped 3 spots, to #4, and the good news didn't ended there, with the Kia Soul EV jumping to #15, and the Hyundai Ioniq Electric rejoining the table, in #20. 

One European
model climbing was the Renault Zoe, jumping 3 spots, to #12, while its arch-rival, the BMW i3, after a slow selling January, rejoined the Top 20, in #18.

We have two new faces in the table, with the Skoda Citigo EV jumping immediately to #9, while the Volvo XC40 PHEV joined the Top 20 straight into #10

Highlighting Volvo's good moment, the S/V60 midsize twins surpassed the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and are now the Best Selling plugin hybrids, with the Swedish maker now having 4 models in the Top 10.

We now have 13 BEVs vs 7 PHEVs in the Top 20, and outside the table we have other BEVs trying to reach it, like the Mercedes EQC, that after spending several months in the Nine Circles of Production Hell, is finally starting to pick up pace, having registered 80 units in February, being last month the Best Selling plugin midsize SUV.

In the manufacturers ranking, Opel (15%, up 3%) is the surprise leader, while Volvo, Volkswagen and Kia, all with 11%, run for the remanining podium seats.


  1. Dont expect linear growth numbers in the Netherlands. It's just come to pass that come 1 July, there'll be a €4000 government grant towards private sales of new BEVs (€2000 for second-hand, through approved dealerships). I would expect an absolute dirth of EV sales between now and 1 July, and then an explosion of sales afterwards.

    1. There is a price cap on that though, right? And most EV sales have been company cars thus far as I understand -- i.e. they shouldn't be affected at all...

  2. Maarten VinkhuyzenMarch 10, 2020

    Hi José, I am less nice to the new group of PHEV. I consider them a group of Hail Marys to battle the evil CAFE.

    In my expectations of the influence of the December end-of-incentive spike I was too pessimistic. I expected a bigger and longer lasting influence of the pull-forward. Now I think Q2 will be normal again.
    The trailing twelve months curve is just flat, and will be climbing again in Q2.

    My interest is now shifting to the Mediterranean markets. They are the fastest growing group.

    So please, many more sunny reports from Southern Europe.

    1. Ha ha ha, yes things are moving fast here, and even Spain and Italy are gearing up, let's hope Covid19 doesn't disrupt too much these countries and we can resume the growth path soon.

    2. The effect of the pull-forward is pretty visible, looking at Zoe, Leaf, i3 etc. -- it's just that there are several other models not affected, because they weren't available last year, or at least not available in sufficient numbers to satisfy demand...

      (Or in the case of the Ampera-e, not available at the current fire-sale prices.)

  3. I doubt the sudden surge in Niro deliveries is a result of a sudden production increase. Rather, I suspect that when they decided to delay European deliveries into the new year for the new emission regulations (apparently ignoring the incentive step-down in the Netherlands...), they redirected production to other markets, and only now have new shipments arrived in Europe again.

  4. Most PHEV models are actually down compared to January. (Except for the XC40 only ramping production now...) I guess that might be explained by orders being delayed into the new year and then delivered in a burst, because of the new emission regulations. Not sure it's pronounced enough to call a trend, though... Might just be random noise.

  5. While most BEV models are flat, and pretty low, still in the expected post-incentive-change hangover, we see some significant growth from new/refreshed models, as well as models that have been supply-constrained. This prompts some optimism for the remainder of the year, as more new models are introduced, and production of others continues ramping -- in addition to existing models presumably also slowly recovering from the hangover as the year goes on :-)

  6. Regarding the Ampera-e being "properly marketed": we all know that this is just a compliance model, that is only attractive when sold below costs in certain markets, since taking the loss is cheaper than paying compliance penalties. When selling at an actually profitable price -- as the Ampera-e has been after GM got rid of Opel -- it is considerably less competitive.

    (Though there was a short window of opportunity before the introduction of the Kona, Leaf+, and Model 3, where it could have seen some decent sales even at the higher price, if they had shipped them in meaningful numbers back then...)

    1. Yeah, i know it's not price competitive, but the car itself is quite good, such a shame it didn't got the success it deserved.

      I had one for a week and it was everything i ever wanted in an EV: small, but with plenty of space, powerful, interesting interior, nice multimedia system…

      If it had the same charging specs (and network) as the Tesla Model 3, i would even say that i would prefer it to the Tesla!

    2. What about the Kona? It has pretty much identical form factor / size, similar specs, but better charging speed...

      As for Model 3, is that just because of form factor, or are there other things you preferred in the Bolt?

    3. I never been on a Kona, but i don't like its exterior design, and the inside looks inferior to the Bolt.

      Charging speed is the same, around 80 kW.

      As for the Model 3, the form fact plays a big role, i would see myself using the Bolt as the only car, while the Model 3 would be just for weekend trips, as the Bolt is far more practical for daily commuting/shopping.

      Ideally, i would have a Bolt, or something similar, for weekly commutes, and the Model 3 for weekend trips.

      Also, i find the interior of the Bolt superior to the Model 3...

      I know this last sentence might shock some, but i find the Model 3 interior to be the weak point of the car.

      (Maybe Tesla's blue pill have no effect on me, idk)

    4. The charging speed is *not* the same. The Bolt documentation mentions 80 kW, but that just means you need a charger with at least 80 kW nominal capacity to reach the Bolt's maximal charging speed; while the actual charging speed tops out at some 54 or 55 kW -- and what's worse, it tapers very badly as well. There is *plenty* of information regarding that out there.

      The Kona on the other hand reaches some 70 kW on a 100 kW charger, and has less tapering. Along with somewhat better efficiency, this all adds up to the Kona being *significantly* more practical for road trips...

    5. I don't know about others: but for me at least, my appreciation of the Model 3's interior has nothing to do with some sort of "blue pill": I have always been fond of minimalistic elegance. In other areas, such as high-end audio equipment, minimalistic designs have been a staple for a long time. The busy designs of premium cars have rather been an anomaly -- which seems to be getting rectified now...

  7. BenedictusMarch 10, 2020

    Sadly the Skoda Citigo e IV + Seat Mii electric + Volkswagen E Up are sold out in the Netherlands for 2020. So the sales are production constaint, not demand constraint.

    Deliveries are slow with a lot of delay. I would have expected better from a large manufacturer like VAG.

    1. I can't say that I'm entirely surprised: they are pretty much the cheapest BEVs available (along with the much inferior Smart); while after the upgrade, they have similar range as other models costing almost 10,000 Euro more...

      So the question is, didn't VW expect the demand? Or maybe it's that because of the delays with the ID.3, they have to continue producing e-Golf longer than planned, and thus can't shift the capacity to other models as originally intended?...