Sunday, February 28, 2021

Global Top 20 January 2021

Models: Wuling Mini EV new #1 in hot market

Registrations were up 112% YoY in January, to over 321,000 units, marking the 4th straight month with doubling sales, with China's market being the main drive for growth.

Sharewise, 2021 started with 5% share, already above last year final mark (4%), so we could end this this year at around 7-8%, which would mean that the global automotive market would reach the Disruption Zone already in 2022...

Last month, BEVs jumped 132% YoY, while PHEVs grew 80%, mostly thanks to the BEV-friendly Chinese market, that represented 54% of all global sales in January. 

With the current surge in China, while 12 months ago we only had 2 Chinese EVs in the table, we now have 9 representatives in the Top 13 spots!

And the most amazing of them all was the little Wuling Mini EV, that thanks to another record performance (its 7th in a row), and after several runner-up spots behind the Tesla Model 3, it has finally beaten the sports sedan, winning its first monthly Best Seller trophy on a Global level.

As i previously mentioned in the China article, what started as a credits compliance model, is becoming a major disruptor in China, and SAIC might have found the Holy Grail of City EVs. And its success begs the question: When will we start to see it outside its native market? I mean, both SAIC, through MG, and GM, are well established across the world...

But despite losing the models leadership, the Californian maker actually had a good result coming from the Model Y, that was 3rd last month, with Tesla placing two models in the podium.  

(Just) Outside the podium we have the full size BYD Han EV, that lost the 3rd spot by just 300 units, although if we were to add the 2.805 units of the Han PHEV, BYD's flagship would be the Bronze medalist...Better luck next time? 

The BYD Han EV leads a pack of 6 Chinese EVs, between #4 and #9, 3 of them being small EVs, while the other two are the Li Xiang One barge, in 8th, which is the highest placed model of the Chinese startups, and also the leader of the PHEV category, and the GAC Aion S sedan, that last month scored its best result in over a year. 

The best representative of the Legacy OEMs were the #10 BMW 530e/Le and #11 BMW X3 PHEV, that that helped by their Chinese volumes, have managed to keep the pace with the best selling Chinese EVs. 

A mention to SAIC's models in the table, with the small Roewe Clever EV, in #9 with 5.176 units, and the #12 Roewe eRX5 PHEV, with 3.779 units, both hitting record results, highlighting the good moment of the Shanghai maker.

Another model scoring a record result was the Xpeng P7, that had 3.710 units last month, just beating the once leader Nissan Leaf, that started the year in #14.

The BMW 330e was 20th, thus making 3 BMW's in the Top 20, the only maker with such a score.

Outside the Top 20, a reference for the #21 Changan Benni EV (3.240 units), with its new generation pulling the city EV to record results, and a Top 20 spot is right around the corner.

Manufacturers: SGMW wins January

January saw SGMW win the monthly Manufacturers title, thanks to some 39.000 units, mostly thanks to the resounding success of the Wuling Mini EV. 

Tesla was pushed to the Second Spot, but overall it was a good month, with tripling sales YoY, and the margin to the #1 is not very significant for now (5.833 units), and if February might not see it return to the leadership, the #1 spot should become theirs by March,  but the most striking aspect of last month Manufacturers table is return to form from the Chinese makers, that have 3 brands among the Top 5, besides the aforementioned SAIC-GM-Wuling joint venture, we also have BYD in 4th and SAIC in 5th.

BMW managed to start the year in 3rd, thanks to several good results across its (long) lineup, while its arch rival Mercedes was #6, some 6.000 units behind, with the three pointed star brand starting the year as the second best selling Legacy brand, just ahead of Volkswagen(!), but expect this last one to jump in the table by March. 

Coming down in the table, a mention to the Chinese Startups, with 3 of them already in the Top 20, with NIO leading the pack, in #14, ahead of Renault(!), thanks to a record 7.225 units, with Xpeng in #17 and Li Xiang in #19, so it seems they have surpassed their infancy survival tests, and are now ready to scale up production (and portfolio).

The tumble of the month went for Hyundai, that dropped from #11 last year, to #20, with only 4.623 deliveries. That Ioniq 5 is now needed more than ever...

With February said to be a slower sales month in China, expect a couple of Legacy Brands to rebound in the Top 20 next month.

Finally, if we look at Shanghai Auto as an OEM (SAIC+SGMW), the Chinese maker is in a commanding position, with a commanding 17% share, 7% above Tesla (10%) and 8% above the VW Group (9%), so these last two will have their work cut out for them in the next few months, if they want to remove SAIC from the top spot.

Friday, February 26, 2021

Europe January 2021

PHEVs shine in disrupted market

The European passenger plug-in market registered 112,000 registrations in January (+50% YoY), with PHEVs (+85%) growing faster than BEVs (+18%), with PHEVs starting the year ahead of BEVs  (42% BEVs / 58% PHEVs). 

Last month positive result, added to a crashing overall market (-26% YoY), allowed the 2021 plugin share to start at 14% (5.6% for BEVs alone), already above the final 2020 PEV (11%) and doubling the result of January 2020 (6.6%).

With the plugin share already starting firmly above 10%, disruption is here to stay and the 20% mark for 2021, that i expected a month ago, now not only looks reasonable, but one can even imagine it ending above that score!. 

In January, PHEVs were the stars of the show, not only winning the Best Seller trophy for the first time in years, thanks to the surprising Volvo XC40 PHEV, but also by placing 2 models in the Top 5, for the first time since last August, as the BMW 330e(!) reached the 4th place last month.

And the surprises do not ended there, as the Kia Niro EV won the last place of the podium, although the 3,123 units weren't enough to beat the #2 Renault Zoe, that lost the leadership race by a mere 23 units, while the VW ID.3, said to be the favorite candidate to win the 2021 title, was only 5th.    

In a month where the overall market saw the perennial leader VW Golf drop to 4th(!), behind the #1 Toyota Yaris(!!), #2 Peugeot 208 (!) and #3 Dacia Sandero (!!!), and the usual runner-up Renault Clio starting only in #7, added to the fact that plugins are becoming increasingly mainstream, the European automotive market is definetely into little known waters, although for now we shouldn't read too much into these early results, but i believe by March we should have a clearer view of what's going on, and the if disruption is indeed hurting the previous status quo.   

Also important to know, will be if the possible weakness of the VW Golf and Renault Clio is due to buyers directly flocking to their EV counterparts (ID.3 and Zoe), or are they moving into other options on the market.

Bring on the popcorn, because the next few months will surely be fun to watch!

Looking at the Monthly Models Ranking:
#Volvo XC40 PHEV – With electrification high on Volvo's priorities list, the Swedish brand is, along with Porsche, the two most electrified legacy makers in Europe, the PHEV version of the compact SUV hit 3,543 units last month, winning for Volvo its first monthly trophy, highlighting the good growth prospects in 2021 for the brand, especially considering that its BEV sibling (1,027 units last month) is only just starting, with a number of markets still without units delivered. While the XC40 PHEV major market was Germany (573 units), there were several others also helping in significant volumes, like the Netherlands (367), France (357), the UK (350), Belgium (434) and Italy (399).

#2 Renault Zoe– The 3,520 deliveries of January haven't allowed it to start in the lead, but with only 23 units separating if from the leadership, it really doesn't mean anything for future prospects. Back to January, Germany (1,166 units) and France (1,013) pulled the usual heavy lifting, with Italy a distant 3rd, with only 255 registrations.

#3 Kia Niro EV – The Korean crossover scored 3,123 units last month, a 137% surge regarding the same month last year, although this might not mean that the Niro EV will have an outstanding 2021, as it might be just the result of Kia's allocation policy. To be continued... Looking back at January results, the two main markets were the UK (950 units), followed by France (748 units, a new record), with Germany being a distant third (350 registrations).
#4 BMW 330e– Now this was a surprise. The German midsizer joined the Top 5 and became the leader in its category, with 3,058 units. With BMW's plugin hybrid profiting from a fortuity of circumstances, like the fact that the Tesla Model 3 was in an off month, and the Mercedes C-Class arch-rival being close to a generational change (the new PHEV version has 100 kms (62 mi) electric range! and CCS!), the BMW plugin hybrid managed to pull off this good result, although one wonders for how long with BMW's model manage to keep this status. Looking at individual countries, the UK (1,100 units) and Germany (763), were its largest markets, with the following being Belgium (263) and Sweden (244).

#5 Volkswagen ID.3– The German model hit a meh 2,978 units last month, which is somewhat disappointing, but with production still ramping up, we should see a very strong March, with the following months being the real test to the VW EV demand and/or production priorities, as the German maker might prioritize the more profitable ID.4 over the ID.3... Regarding January performances, the Volkswagen hatchback registrations were heavily concentrated in Germany (1,799), being followed from a far by Austria (199), and France (142). Interesting that they focussed January deliveries in markets close to the factory, isn't it?

Peugeot 508 PHEV

Looking at the remaining ranking, BMW and Peugeot impressed, with the German maker placing 4 models in the Top 20, while Peugeot had 3, with one of them, the 3008 PHEV, even scoring a record result (2,680 units), and while BMW Top 20 line-up was all PHEV and SUV-heavy (3 SUVs), Peugeot had had two BEVs, while looking at the broader Stellantis line up, the new conglomerate also placed 4 models to the table, because on top of the 3 Peugeot's, the Opel Corsa EV also managed to find a spot in the table, in #20.

Regarding fresh faces, a mention to the 12th spot of the Mercedes GLE350e/de barge SUV, after a looong production ramp up, it seems to be a tradition now in Mercedes, the long range SUV is finally living up to its specs (31 kWh battery and CCS charging) and being delivered in large numbers. Coincidentally, its BMW arch rival, the X5 PHEV, is also back at the Top 20, which underlines a recent trend, big SUVs are being electrified faster than the rest of the market. 

Outside the Top 20, two recent models deserve a mention, the Toyota RAV4 PHEV continues its deliveries ramp up, clocking an already relevant 1,253 units last month, while the Citroen C4 EV is also ramping up, having registered 536 units in January.

In the manufacturers ranking, BMW profited from strong results from its (long) lineup and started the year in the lead, with 10% share, followed by a pack of competitors, leaded by Volkswagen, Peugeot and Mercedes, all with 7% share each, with Renault and Volvo following immediately, both with 6%.

BEV D-Segment / Midsize category

Tesla's midsize sedan sales started in the low end, with 1,499 deliveries, only 11 less than a year ago, but expect the sports sedan deliveries to jump significantly in March, thus distancing itself from the #2 Mercedes EQC (1,354 units) and Polestar 2 (1,297).

Tesla's midsizer won't have significant competition in the near future, at least until its Model Y sibling lands, as the Polestar 2 is still too expensive to reach higher volumes and the EQC...Well, that one is just happy to keep Silver while it can.

The upcoming Ford Mustang Mach-E production levels are still a question mark, and as for the BMW iX3, i believe the Bavarian maker will already be happy if it comes close to the the Mercedes EQC...

BEV E-Segment / Full size category

The e-Tron domination continues to grow, with the Big Audi scoring 2,621 units last month, with its sales growing 16% YoY, considering the already significant sales volumes of the Belgian-made Audi, one wonders for how long will the growth rates will be sustained, and when will the peak e-Tron moment arrive...Maybe when the Q4 e-Tron is presented?

With the #2 Porsche Taycan (1,094 units last month) accelerating its sales, the main interest is now the 3rd spot, where the luxury van with windows Mercedes EQV (168 units) has managed to beat both flagship Teslas.

2021 will se a lot of action in this category, not only with several models landing (Audi e-Tron GT, Mercedes EQS, BMW iNext...), but with also the flagship Teslas redesign and the Porsche Taycan lineup expansion (RWD, Cross Turismo...), the Audi e-Tron will have a harder time keeping the full size crown.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

China January 2021


The Rise and Rise of the Wuling Mini EV

After the December sales peak, one would expect a sales hangover in January, didn't happened, as the market had some 173,000 passenger NEV units, an impressive 223% jump YoY, and the highest growth rate this market have seen in 3 years! 

Of course, January 2020 was impacted by the Chinese New Year holidays and the Covid pandemic, but still, even comparing with the remaining months of 2020, it outsold every other month of last year, with the exception of November and December, usually the two strongest months in this market... 

As a consequence of this, the PEV share started the year at a high 8.4% (7% BEV), already a step above of the 6.3% of 2020, so unless the local government decides to remove the subsidies to this booming market, we might see it reach two digit shares already this year! And with the much awaited Tesla Model Y and VW ID.4, right around the corner, i wouldn't even rule out record months in the first half of this year(!)....

In January, plug-in hybrids growth (+94% YoY) was outshined by pure electric models (+276%!), allowing BEVs to tighten their hold of the market, as they represented 83% of sales, up 3% share regarding 2020 and 12% regarding the same month last year.

Illustrating the current trends of the Chinese EV market, on last month Top 5 we have one full size sedan (BYD Han EV), two midsize sedans (Tesla Model 3 and GAC Aion S), one tiny four seater (Ora Black Cat) and the leader, the incredibly small 4 seater Wuling Mini EV.

Here’s January Top 5 Best Selling models individual performance:

#1 – Wuling Mini EV 

This model was something of a shot in a dark for the SGMW joint-venture, as until this model launch, city EVs depended heavily on accessing subsidies to be successful, but it has paid off, as the nameplate became an instant success, and while it was initially intended as a credit enhancer, allowing them to counter balance their ICE offerings, if sales continue rising like they have been so far, in January it hit 36,762 units, its 7th record in a row, the tiny vehicle might even reach the break even point by the end of this year and actually make a profit in future years! Turning cheap city EVs into a profitable business has been a ellusive target for everyone in the EV business, but it seems SGMW is the only one close to get it... 

#2 – Tesla Model 3

The poster-child for electric mobility delivered 13,843 units, and while this isn't the disruptive result that many would expect from Tesla's sports sedan, let’s remember that local production is now being exported to other markets (wether that was intended from the start because of cheaper production costs or it's a way to compensate for lower than expected demand in China is another discussion) and the midsizer now has internal competition, coming from the Model Y, but expect the Model 3 to continue cruising at around 15k-20k units per month.

#3 – BYD Han EV

The rise and rise of BYD’s luxury sedan in China is impressive in more than one way, first the steady increase in demand, with the big BYD scoring its 6th record result in a row, with 9,298 units, and second, the full-size sedan is running in the top positions with models that sit lower in the food chain, as the 2nd best selling full-size model (Li Xiang One) had almost half of its sales. Winning its first podium position last month, the current poster-boy for BYD continues to thrive, and if we were to add the PHEV version to its tally, we would have over 12,000 units, which getting mighty close to the #2 Tesla Model 3...Now i ain't sayin' it's a Tesla killa, but no one's messing with this fella...

#4 – GAC Aion S

Things continue to go well for the Aion S, with the sleek sedan securing another Top 5 presence, thanks to 6,092 units, it's best result in over a year. But before the GAC fans out there (“Everybody from Guangzhou, put your hands up, put your hands up…”), say that the S sedan is just the start and the upcoming Y people mover will be another resounding success, let's remember that the other Aion launches, that followed the S landing, have either bombed (the LX midsize SUV is selling in two digits), or have had "meh!" results (the V compact crossover is selling a third of the S sedan). 

#5 – Great Wall Ora Black Cat

The Chinese moniker from Great Wall had 6,090 units delivered last month, confirming its role of the bread and butter model for the brand, at least until the other cats (the White and the Good) do not end their production ramp up, which in the case of the White Cat, is already allowing the small people mover to join the table, in #17.

Resultado de imagem para lixiang automotive
Li Xiang One

Outside the Top 5, we have several models shining, like the good behavior of the local EV Startups, with 8(!) representatives in the Top 20, with the Li Xiang One full size SUV leading the pack in 7th, with 5,379 units, with the model being the SUV category leader and also the #1 in the PHEV race, while Xpeng placed its two models on the table, with the P7 sedan in #10, with a record 3,710 deliveries, and the G3 crossover in #16, and NIO did even better, by placing all of its 3 models in the table, with the EC6 crossover in #12 (with a record 2,845 units), the ES6 SUV in #14 and even the full fat ES8 barge joined the table in #20...Besides these, the small crossover Neta V from Hozon joins the Top 20, in #18 with 2,076 units, its 3rd record in a row, and the Weltmeister EX5 compact crossover was #19.

But this wasn't only about startups, others also had reasons to smile about, especially SAIC, because on top of strong perfomances across its long lineup, two have joined the table with record performances, the Roewe eRX5 PHEV compact SUV was #9 with a record 3,779 units, while its own iteration of a city EV, the Roewe Clever EV, jumped to #8, thanks to a record 5,172 units.

(Could this jump in the Clever EV production possibly be related to the Baojun E-series sudden disappearance from the table? Mmmm...)

Another small EV climing to stardom is the new generation Changan Benni EV, that joined the table in #11, with a record 3,240 units, while on the other side of the spectrum, the BMW 530Le had its best result since June, with 2,516 units, allowing it to start the year in #15, being only the second foreign moniker in the table…

Outside the Top 20, a mention to another Chinese startup, with Leap Motor placing its small T03 EV close to the table, with 1,476 units, while Buick had its Velite 6 PHEV station wagon scoring a record 1,632 units, and we celebrate the landing of the Tesla Model Y, with 1,641 units in January.

Looking at the manufacturers ranking, things started this year how they ended the previous, with the SGMW joint-venture hovering above anyone else, with an amazing 23% share, followed by a distant BYD, with 12% share, while the 3rd spot is being hardly fought by Tesla and SAIC, both with 9%, with the Californian currently ahead by 600 units.

A couple of steps below, we find the #5 Great Wall, with 6% share, thanks to its cat pack, followed by GAC (4%), that is holding its 6th position from NIO (also 4%), by just 100 units. 

Looking at OEM level, SAIC's domination is unquestionable, with the Shanghai maker now having 32% of the market, a truly astounding number in such a fragmented and competitive market.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Germany January 2021


22% Share!

The German PEV passenger car market started the year like it ended the last one, ie, on fire, with doubling sales, to 36,903 registrations, so it seems there's no stopping to the German EV locomotive.

While BEVs jumped significantly (+118% YoY), PHEVs did even better (+138%), allowing plugin hybrids to continue ahead of full electrics (44% of registrations were BEV and 56% PHEV).

This brilliant performance, added to the steep fall of the overall market (-31% YoY), allowed the PEV Share to jump from the 6.6% in January '20, to the current 22%(!), with 
BEVs alone hitting 10%

Interestingly, this 22% score is frankly above the 14% of the year 2020, so we might see 30% months in Germany this year...and 50% months by 2023?

Looking at January Best Sellers, we have the Volkswagen ID.3 leading the way, with 1,799 units, with the German maker making a 1-2 win in January, with the VW e-Up winning the 2nd place, and only a few units prevented VW from having all podium spots to itself, as the VW Passat GTE lost the Bronze medal by just 14 units.

Nevertheless, VW had reasons to smile about, as it placed 5 models in the Top 10, with the new Golf PHEV in #9, and the e-Golf (?!?) in #10.

It is amazing that the previous generation Golf (VII) had its BEV version selling at almost the same level as the current generation Golf (VIII) PHEV...

But it wasn't only Volkswagen shining, BMW also placed models in the table, with 2 of them even having record months (X3 PHEV and X5 PHEV), while Mercedes had 4 representatives, leaving just 2 real foreigners in the table, the #7 Hyundai Kona EV and the #8 Renault Zoe (Smart Fortwo EV belongs to Daimler Group, while Ford has factories in Germany, so the Kuga PHEV can be seen has partly German). 

Outside the Top 20, a mention to the #21 Skoda Octavia PHEV, that is sure to become a familiar face in the table, once the ramp up is complete, while 2 Best Sellers had (expected) slow starts, with the Tesla Model 3 registering 422 units, while the VW ID.4 had 325. Expect both to join the table next month, and jump to the top spots in March.

In the start of VW's Year 1 of its Plan to become #1 in the EV World, the Volkswagen Group had a strong January, with 35% share, with Volkswagen (19%) in the front, while Audi started in 4th, with 8% share, below Mercedes (14%) and BMW (13%), while Renault and Smart are tied in 5th, both with 5% each.

With its domestic market in the bag, Volkswagen can now look to expand its lead in the European market, but Herbert Diess priority for 2021 lies elsewhere, China is the priority for Volkswagen this year, as it tries to recover ground not only from Tesla, but also to some of the strongest Chinese OEMs, like BYD or SAIC. 

And then in 2022, the German maker will finally look seriously at the US market and become the #2 brand there (for 2021 the goal is to be the #2 OEM, having been #3 in 2020, only behind GM).

Thursday, February 18, 2021

France January 2021


Resultado de imagem para Peugeot 208 EV

Peugeot beats Renault! 

After months of record sales, the French PEV passenger car market hit the brakes in January, dropping 1% YoY, with the blame falling in the all-electric models, that fell a steep 41%, to 6,471 units, while plug-in hybrids continued their surge (+115% YoY), to 8,220 registrations, allowing plugin hybrids to have 56% of plugin sales, a new record for the technology, in what is traditionally a BEV-friendly market.

Despite this slow start, because the overall market drop was more pronounced (-6% YoY), this allowed the 2021 PEV share to start at 12% share (5.1% for BEVs alone), which is already above the 2020 score of 11% (and miles away from the 3% of 2019), so it all points that this year we will see the French market go north of the 15% mark, and maybe even reach 20%...

Has disruption hit the French market for good?

Looking at January Best Sellers, the Peugeot 208 EV has beaten the Renault Zoe for the first time since last April, and adding insult to injury, it wasn't the only Peugeot model to beat the Renault model!

The crossover Peugeot 3008 PHEV became the first plugin hybrid to win the Monthly Best Seller trophy in France, by beating both the Zoe and its 208 EV sibling, all thanks to a record 1,410 registrations, making it an historic 1-2 win for Peugeot at home, and relegating the Renault EV to the 3rd spot for the first time in 8 years!

But one shouldn't read too much into these numbers, as it had more to do with allocation issues than actual demand, after all, in January, the Renault Zoe deliveries were exhausted by the "all hands on deck" effort of December, as Renault did everything to keep the Zoe on the last year European leadership, while on the other hand, because PSA had already complied with the EU 2020 emission rules, Peugeot delayed some December deliveries into January, allowing them to have a peak last month.

This highlighted Peugeot's great month, with 4 models in the top 13 spots (the 2008 EV crossover was #11 and the 508 PHEV midsizer was #13), while Stellantis, the new group that resulted from the fusion between PSA and FCA, had 8 models in the Top 20(!), besides the Pug models, Citroen's C5 Aircross PHEV midsize SUV was 6th, the premium SUV DS 7 Crossback PHEV ended January in 8th, the cute Fiat 500e was 9th, and the Opel Corsa EV reached 15th last month.

And with the Citroen C4 EV and Opel Mokka EV in ramp up mode, we could have even more Stellantis models in the table...

But January wasn't only about the newly formed Stellantis, as Hyundai-Kia also had reasons to smile about, with the #5 Kia Niro EV scoring a record 748 registrations, becoming last month Best Selling Foreigner, while the Hyundai Kona EV registered 475 units, ending the month in #7.

Towards the end of the table, a reference to the Mercedes GLE350e/de in 16th, highlighting a new trend in France, because plugless high end SUVs are seeing their taxes being increased significantly, due to the French CO2-based bonus/malus system, buyers of these kind of vehicles have to go PHEV (or BEV) in order to dodge the heavy taxes, so in the future it won't be a surprise to see several models in the table, besides the big Mercedes, we also have the BMW X3 PHEV in #17, Volvo XC60 PHEV in #18, and another Mercedes in #20, with the midsize GLC PHEV closing the table.  

With Stellantis going full speed in January, Peugeot (24%) has started the year in the lead, displacing Renault (16%) from the lead for the first time in 90 9 years(!), so it seems Renault's  walk in the park in its home market could be nearing the end, with Stellantis as a Group now having a commanding 37% share.

In 3rd place, and far from the two French arch-rivals, we have Kia, with 7%, much thanks to the success of the Kia Niro EV and XCeed PHEV, followed by Citroen (5%) and Volvo (4%). 

And all of the sudden, the French EV market has become one of the most interesting to follow...

Monday, February 15, 2021

Netherlands January 2021


Volvo XC40 PHEV wins January in reshuffled market

After the usual sales rush in the last days of 2020, one would imagine January would bring a big hangover for the local plugin market...But turns out, it hasn't, because it grew 40% YoY!

But the story is more nuanced than that, in the context of a falling market overall market (-21% YoY), remember, 12 months ago Covid hadn't yet disrupted the market (remember that long gone era?...), BEVs experienced in January the expected sales hangover (-34% YoY, to 1,336 units, or 3.8% market share), after a feverish end of the year, but the surprising fact of last month was the registration surge of PHEVs, that actually had their best January ever, with 3,347 units (or 9.5% market share), effectively beating the previous record of 2,099 units, set in January 2015, when the Netherlands were a PHEV paradise...Will we see plugin hybrids experience a ressurgence? 

The answer could be positive, because they are not influenced by incentive changes, unlike BEVs, the recent uptick from plugin hybrids comes from organic demand, so i wouldn't be surprised if they regained decent volumes in this market, and because the BEV Company Car Benefit in Kind reduction is being reduced every year, maybe because of that, some buyers are moving away from BEVs back into PHEVs? 

With this i am not saying that PHEVs will overshadow BEVs, because these last ones should continue to grow fast, possibly starting already in March, but what could happen is that both technologies will continue to grow throughout the year, at the expense of the other fuels.

And that is already visible in the January PEV Share (13.3%), because while it was lower than the 2020 mark, with 25% in the whole year (21% BEV), it held steady in the two-digit are, while almost doubling the share of 12 months ago (7.2% in Jan. '20). 

So, in a moment of weakness in the BEV field (-34% YoY), plugin hybrids rose to the occasion and allowed plugins to continue growing, leading to a BEV vs PHEV breakdown of 29% - 71%, but nevertheless, the important is that the market continues to be electrified. Fast.

With the EU's CO2 emission rules distorting the market, added to the effective sales hangover of a number of last year Best Sellers, it lead to a complete reshuffle of the Top 20, with the shock headline of a PHEV starting the year in the lead, with the Volvo XC40 PHEV beating the competition and winning the January trophy, ahead of a true armada of plugin hybrids, with this technology taking 15 of the Top 20 places, a stark contrast with the December table, when BEV had 19 representatives and PHEVs only managed to place the Renault Captur PHEV in the table...and in 20th.

Another proof that January registrations have more to do with allocation policies than actual demand and we shouldn't read much from it, is the fact that BMW and Volvo together have 9 models in the Top 13 spots, because both didn't needed to make make a year end rush to meet the CO2 emissions, they opted to delay late 2020 deliveries into 2021, allowing them to earn early points this year and take January's top spots, in some cases even with record scores, like are the cases of the BMW X3 PHEV (163 units), BMW 5-Series PHEV (107) and BMW X1 PHEV (102), with two other BMW's having their best scores in several years, with the 330e (169 units, best score since December 2016) and X5 PHEV (258 units, best score since December 2015), back when the Netherlands was in the Jurassic era a PHEV driven market.

Speaking of Dinosaurs...the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was 3rd last month, with 202 deliveries, while in #8 we have two surprising models, with the Ford Kuga PHEV delivering 117 units, so it seems Ford's SUV deliveries are starting to recover, while the Porsche Cayenne PHEV had its best score since December 2015, also with 117 registrations.

On the BEV side, the winner was the MG eZS EV, with 115 registrations, being the only all-electric model on the Top 10, as the remaining BEVs on the Top 20 were displaced to the last positions of the table, and while the faces of the #17 Kia Niro EV, #18 Polestar 2 and VW ID.4 aren't surprising to see in this Top 20, as they are expected to be Top 10 contenders this year, the Nissan Leaf showing up in #20 is something of a surprise, so the deep discounts are helping the veteran hatchback to recover some of its mojo.

With so many new models showing up, two famous models got kicked out of the table, with the Tesla Model 3 having just 14 deliveries and the VW ID.3 not much better, at 58. But do not worry, for different reasons, these poor performances are allocation-related  and both should jump to the top of the table in March.

Outside the Top 20, a mention to the landing of the BMW iX3 (57 units), while the other models shining were all plugin hybrids: 

- The hatchback-desguised-as-crossover Kia Xceed PHEV had a record 55 units;

- The Skoda Octavia PHEV ramp up continues, with the popular Czech model registering 62 units in January;

- Finally, the Mercedes GLE350e/de yacht registered 51 units last month, the big SUV best score since December 2015.

In the manufacturers ranking, BMW started the year in the lead, with 17% share, closely followed by Volvo (16%), while a distant Kia (5%) closed the podium, ahead of Mitsubishi (4%) and Mercedes, also with 4% share.