100% Electric Vehicles = 10% Of New Car Sales In Europe In January - CleanTechnica (2024)

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The European passenger plugin vehicle market scored 158,000 registrations in January (+3% YoY), with BEVs (+14%) continuing to grow despite the drop in EV incentives in a number of markets. On the other hand, PHEVs were more affected, dropping by 10% YoY. Indeed, BEVs started the year solidly ahead of PHEVs (59% BEVs vs. 41% PHEVs). That’s a significant difference compared to the same month last year (53% vs. 47%). With the beginning of the year usually being the time when PHEVs are stronger, it looks like plugin hybrids are set to drop significantly compared to their 2022 score (39%). Are we in a inflection point where PHEVs start losing significant sales to BEVs?

Because the overall market has recovered faster (+11% YoY) than the plugin vehicle market, to over 910,000 units (much thanks to the never ending rise of SUVs and crossovers, which represented 51% of sales — the first time they were above the 50% threshold), the 2022 plugin vehicle share started the year at 17% (10% for BEVs alone). That’s 2 percentage points below January 2022 and 6 points below the full-year 2022 market share (23% PEV, 14% BEV).

Regarding other powertrains, plugless hybrids were up from 24% share in January 2022 to 26%, while petrol remained at 38% and diesel continued its slow drop into the abyss, falling from 18% a year ago to its current 16%. This meant that 43% of all passenger vehicles sold in January in Europe were electrified (to some degree).

Still, with the BEV share starting at 10%, expect the plugin market to quickly recover from January’s incentives blues and end the year with 30% plugin share, with BEVs having two thirds of that, or 20% share of the overall auto market.

In January, with Tesla starting the year at full speed and some of the heavyweights (BMW, Mercedes …) still hung over from the end-of-year peak, it was time for a few surprises at the top of the table. One interesting fact is that 4 out of the top 5 models were crossovers, which says a lot about what is hot right now.

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

Looking at the monthly model ranking:

#1Tesla Model Y — Tesla’s crossover scored 7,626 registrations last month, thanks to the ramp-up of Made-in-Germany production and recent price cuts, which boosted the large number of units that had transitioned from December into January without a buyer and allowed Tesla to have inventory when demand picked up again. Looking back at January’s results, the main market was by far Germany (4,108 registrations), representing 54% of deliveries. It was followed at a distance by the Netherlands (492 registrations), Denmark (481), and Belgium (430).

#2 Volvo XC40 (BEV+PHEV) — With electrification high on Volvo’s priorities list, the Swedish brand is, along with Porsche, one of the two most electrified legacy automakers in Europe. So, it’s no wonder the XC40, it’s only model with BEV and PHEV versions, became the brand’s sales champion. The compact SUV hit 5,876registrations last month, with most of them coming from the E version (3,219 units), highlighting the growth prospects of the brand — especially on the BEV side. Not only do the XC40 BEV and the fully electric and sporty C40 have much potential, but the second half of the year should witness the arrival of the much anticipated Volvo EX90, the brand’s first dedicated BEV. And that’s when fun begins…. Back to the XC40, the major markets were the UK (950 registrations), Belgium (871), and Sweden (836).

#3 Dacia Spring — The Romanian Made-in-China crossover joined the podium, with 4,239 registrations. With production constraints apparently a thing of the past, Spring deliveries are starting to become more regular. Although, with the production side of the equation now solved, one wonders how demand will behave, especially in the second half of the year when new, cheaper BEVs from local manufacturers (Citroen e-C3 EV, Renault 5, etc.) become more real and Chinese brands launch their own cheap, small models. Will Dacia have enough margin to lower prices in order to continue being the “low price king?” Looking at individual countries, sales were heavily based in France (1,911 registrations), followed from afar by Germany (669 registrations) and Romania (497 registrations).

#4 Audi Q4 e-tron— The German model hit3,566 registrations last month, making it the best selling model based on the MEB platform. With production still ramping up, the compact Audi is benefitting from Volkswagen Group prioritising the more expensive/profitable MEB models. Regarding January performances, the Audi crossover’s registrations were mainly distributed over the following countries: the United Kingdom (1,050 units), Germany (738 units), and Belgium (341 units).

#5 Volkswagen ID.3 — The3,432 deliveriesof January didn’t allow it to start the year on the podium, but this is nevertheless a good score, and the upcoming refresh should only bolden the model’s future prospects. Regarding January, the UK (999 units) and Germany (805 units) did the usual heavy lifting, with Belgium a distant 3rd with only 353 registrations.

Outside the top 5, a mention is due for the strong month Volkswagen Group had. It placed 6 models in the table, with the first highlight being #17 Porsche Taycan leading the full size vehicle category, benefitting from the transition at Audi going from the old e-tron to the refreshed Q8 e-tron. Nevertheless, the big Audi landed in the 19th spot. Expect the flagship SUV to soon recover the category leadership position.

The second most represented OEM was Geely–Volvo. Besides the aforementioned Volvo XC40, it also placed the Volvo XC60 PHEV in #13 and the Chinese Lynk & Co 01 PHEV in #15, with this last model’s performance being even more impressive when we consider that the SUV model is not even present in a number of important markets — meaning that its margin for progression is still significant.

Regarding fresh faces, the MG 4 is already showing its pointy and distinctive face, in #18, with 2,285 registrations. And as production ramps up in China, it should continue to climb the rankings for the next few months.

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Looking at the rest of the ranking, the Ford Kuga PHEV once again held the leadership position in the PHEV category, with 3,056 registrations, while the Renault Megane E had a somewhat disappointing performance, ending the month in 11th, with 2,781 registrations.

Outside the top 20, a few models deserve a mention, like the good results of the BMW i4 and iX3, which had 1,996 and 1,863 registrations, respectively. Expect the fastback to return soon to the best seller table.

In the Geely-Volvo stable, the Polestar 2 and Volvo C40 helped the OEM get good results. They had 1,828 and 1,710 deliveries, respectively. On the Volkswagen Group mothership, the highlight was the sporty Cupra Born (1,756 registrations) and Stellantis getting the e-2008 electric crossover to 1,881 registrations.

Some final food for thought for policymakers in Europe: while the most common body in the plugin top 10 is the compact-to-midsize crossover/SUV, with 7 representatives, in the overall ranking, out of the top 10 sellers, 7 are small hatchbacks or crossovers, like the Dacia Sandero, Renault Clio, and Toyota Yaris Cross. And only the Fiat 500 shows up on both rankings. That means there is a disconnection between the most popular models on the overall market and those on the plugin market.

Which reminds me of a recent comment from a reader on the France EV sales report article about vehicle bans in the city of Paris:

“1/3 of the cars in the greater Paris don’t comply with the future norms and need to be replaced by 2024. The issue is the populations that the people who own most those car are modest people. That is a big problem since this ban is hitting the poorest the most. 1/3 is a massive proportion and the fact that the most models are hit the hardest is an issue. I expect massive protests and postponing of the application of the law yet again.”

While I welcome any measure to speed up EV adoption, we still have to remember that EVs are seen by a significant part of the population as “something that xxxx are imposing on the people and that only benefits the rich, not the average Joe (or Jules).”

And because policymakers try to base their measures on the expectations of large segments of the population, including those that do not share their points of view, it is important to move forward with these bans, but at the same time, have in consideration the issues that those people have.

As such, to counter the”EVs are for the rich” argument, I think it is time for policymakers to consider reducing EV incentives on vehicles below 30,000 euros but start taxing big, heavy EVs so that the argument that it only benefits the rich becomes muted.

And to compensate the usage ban, it is crucial to have better, cheaper public transportation, to help people who cannot buy or do not want to buy an EV to continue making their daily commute to the big city.

Will cutting EV incentives to €30,000 mostly benefit Chinese automakers? Maybe at an initial stage, but it will also force local OEMs to fast forward their production plans for cheap EVs (Volkswagen ID.2, Renault 5, Citroen C3 EV, etc.).

In the manufacturer ranking, balance is the word. BMW and Mercedes profited from their long lineups and started the year in the lead, with 8.6% and 8.2% share, respectively. They were followed closely by Volvo (7.8%), which gained 1.1% share YoY, and #4 Volkswagen, which jumped from 6.2% in January 2022 to its current 7.7%.

Expect the German make to climb a few positions soon. Although reaching the #1 spot will be tough, as #5 Tesla (6.2%) should profit from its March peak to jump into the highest position in the ranking.

Just outside the top 5 we have #6 Audi, with 6.1% share. Far behind it is #7 Peugeot, with just 4.9% share.

We will have to wait until March to get a sense of the real trends for this year, but it all seems to point to another close race in 2023.

As for OEMs, Volkswagen Group started the year in front (unsurprisingly), with 20.7% share. That’s up slightly from 20.3% in January 2022. Runner-up Stellantis is at a distant 14.1%. So, the German conglomerate looks poised to have another easy win in 2023.

Geely–Volvo (10.7%) started the year in a surprising 3rd position, up 2.4% share compared to its January 2022 standing. That meant kicking BMW Group (10.3%) off the podium to 4th. Below those OEMs, Mercedes–Benz was 5th, scoring 9.1% market share, and it had a mere 30 unit advantage over #6 Hyundai-Kia (9.1%). Meanwhile, #7 Renault–Nissan Alliance (8%) is far behind.

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100% Electric Vehicles = 10% Of New Car Sales In Europe In January - CleanTechnica (2024)


What percent of new cars in Europe are electric? ›

There has been a steady increase in the number of new electric car registrations from 600 in 2010, to about 1,74 million in 2021, accounting for 18% of new registrations. These figures continued to grow in 2022, when almost 22% of newly registered passenger cars were electric.

Which country has the highest percentage of new car sales going to electric cars? ›

Sales, market, and usage share
Country or regionPEV stock/ cumulative sales (2022)Market share (2022)
United Kingdom950,00022.9%
9 more rows

What percentage of car sales are fully electric? ›

So far, the increased market share for electric vehicles means California is moving toward hitting its goals: Electric vehicles in California made up 25% of the new car market last year, up from nearly 19% in 2022.

What percentage of new car sales in Germany are electric? ›

In Germany, the sales share for electric cars fell from 30% in 2022 to 25% in 2023. This had an impact on the overall electric car sales share in the region. In the rest of Europe, however, electric car sales and their sales share increased.

Which country in Europe has the most electric cars? ›

Top 6 countries with the highest market share for pure electric car registrations in 2023 in Europe are Norway (81.8%), Iceland (57.9), Sweden (38.3%), Denmark (36.2%), Finland (33.9%), and the Netherlands (30.52%), followed by Austria (19.9), Belgium (19.6%), Germany (18.2), and UK (16.5%).

What is the highest selling electric car in the world? ›

The Tesla Model Y is #1 again in the electric vehicle market. Registrations were up 63% year over year (YoY) in January, to over a million units. China's market was the main driver of growth. Share-wise, 2024 started with plugin vehicles getting 16% share of the global auto market (10% BEV).

Which country has the highest use of electric vehicles? ›

As of 2024, China is the country with the most electric cars in the world – and by a long shot. In 2021, there were 417 million registered vehicles in China, 319 million of which were passenger cars. Of that, 13.1 million were “new energy vehicles” – those with electric, hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell powertrains.

Which country has the highest demand for electric vehicles? ›

China is by far the biggest player when it comes to EVs. In 2022, 22% of passenger vehicles sold in China were all-electric, which adds up to 4.4 million sales.

Which country is leading in EV technology? ›

China dominates the rest of the world in the race for the most EV battery manufacturing, with nearly 66% of global Li-ion manufacturing capacity. Although China is leading the way, its share of worldwide capacity could drop as other countries accelerate battery production.

Why are EV cars not selling? ›

Firstly, and most importantly, EVs are expensive. An EV's average price in the U.S. for 2023 was around $60,000. Even as the variety of EV models available rises and prices fall, and the U.S. brings in tax credits, EVs remain much more expensive than their gasoline-powered counterparts.

Why are Americans having second thoughts about electric cars? ›

Analysts point to affordability issues and lack of confidence in charging infrastructure as the main drivers, but car manufacturers also face another challenge to convince consumers to ditch the combustion engine: US drivers don't believe a new electric auto could be a wholesale replacement for their current car.

Why are electric car sales declining? ›

More competition and flagging demand for electric vehicles has led to declining sales at Tesla. As sales of Teslas drop and demand for electric vehicles cools — even as more models enter the market — an increasing number of automakers are competing for a slice of a shrinking pie.

What percentage of new car sales are electric in China? ›

New energy vehicles (NEV) including all-electric models and plug-in hybrids made up 41.5% of overall passenger car sales in March, which jumped 5.7% to 1.71 million vehicles. Authorities have joined automakers in trying to convince consumers to buy cars to help jumpstart a sluggish economy.

What percentage of new cars sold in Norway are electric? ›

Over 80 percent of new cars sold in Norway were electric in 2023. New figures released by the Norwegian Road Federation say 82.4 percent of new cars sold in the country last year were electric, up from 79.3 percent in 2022.

Are Germans buying electric cars? ›

Germany's transition to battery-electric cars slowed in 2023, data on new registrations by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) show. With a share of about one fifth of all new cars, 524,219 new fully electric cars were registered last year - an increase of 11.4 percent over 2022.

What percentage of new cars are electric in UK? ›

Despite their increasing popularity, electric cars accounted for around 17.8% of all new cars sold in the UK in 2023. Petrol was the most popular fuel type, with a 40.7% market share (774,484 new car sales), with diesel taking a 3.8% share or 71,501 cars (excluding hybrids).

What percentage of new cars are electric? ›

In 2023, the EV share of the total U.S. vehicle market was 7.6%, according to Kelley Blue Book estimates. That is up from 5.9% in 2022. EV sales in the fourth quarter set a record for both volume and share: 317,168 and 8.1%, respectively.

What percent of new cars in Europe are manual? ›

Surprisingly, over 80% of cars sold in Europe run on manual transmissions. As per the latest reports, the numbers of automatics have been increasing though. The change is occurring gradually. While you may be all perplexed as to why the transition is delayed, let's spill the beans for you.

What is the share of electric cars in the EU? ›

Last April, battery-electric cars maintained nearly 12% of the EU car market, while hybrid-electrics rose to 29.1% from 24.9%. The combined share of petrol and diesel vehicles dropped to less than half the market, at 48.9%, down from 52.8%.


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