The European market for plug-in passenger vehicles continues to grow. There were over 159,000 plug-in vehicle registrations in April and 616,000 since the start of the year (YTD). This is + 136% year on year (year on year). The share of plug-in vehicles in the overall automotive market in April was 15% (7.1% fully electric vehicles), keeping the 2021 plug-in vehicle (PEV) share at 15% and the share of fully electric vehicles ( BEV) at 6.7%.
Interestingly, although the overall market was up 23% year-on-year in April, which was to be expected (after all, 12 months ago the markets were all disrupted by the Covid pandemic), if we compare April 21 to April 19, the the overall market was down 25%, which says a lot about the current disruption / electrification process.
Growth came from both plug-in areas, with BEVs recovering slightly in the plug-in vehicle portion of the market (46% of sales in April vs. 45% year-to-date). This was mainly thanks to the Volkswagen Group’s BEV push, allowing the eponymous marque to celebrate a 1–2 victory in April, a first for the German manufacturer.
Last year’s winner, the Renault Zoe, was only 5th last month, its lowest over 3 years (!) – So, after the Nissan Leaf (bestseller in 2018, 7th in 2020, 16th now) and the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (3rd in 2019, 12th in 2020, now below the top 20), the last bastion of Renault-Nissan Alliance success is also suffering. Warning sirens must sound at the Alliance’s European headquarters.
# 1 Volkswagen ID.4 – Sitting in the vortex of the two hottest trends (plugins and crossovers / compact SUVs), a lot is expected from the new Volkswagen, especially since its sibling ID.3 has yet to set the market on fire. … The ID.4 doesn’t have much margin for failure, and so far it hasn’t disappointed. After the 5,000 units of March, April saw it reach 7,565 registrations and win its first monthly bestseller award, but one wonders what its cruising speed will be and when it will hit it. Interestingly, the fiercest ID.4 competitor comes from inside the Vw galaxy, and it is not the ID.3 … (more on that below). The German EV had 3 different four-digit country markets, with Norway (1,824 registrations), Germany (1,446 registrations) and Sweden (1,444 registrations) each recording 4-digit performance.
# 2 Volkswagen ID.3 – After the rush to register at the end of 2020 and beyond hangover, the German sedan is slowly coming back to shape, marking 5,941 deliveries last month, his best score in 2021. This allowed him to return to the podium and give Volkswagen a gold and silver medal. Regarding the month of April, the high score of ID.3 was strongly based on its domestic market, with Germany accounting for almost 40% of registrations (2264 registrations), followed far behind by the United Kingdom (815 units). ) and Sweden (469) at # 2 and # 3.
# 3 Ford Kuga PHEV – After some battery issues last year, the compact Ford crossover, known as the Escape in the US, is back in great shape, having been the best-selling plug-in hybrid last month. He ended the month with 4,300 entries, ending the 3-month winning streak of the Volvo XC40 PHEV. As Ford now launches the highly anticipated Mustang Mach-E in Europe, one wonders if the Kuga PHEV will suffer from internal competition in the months to come. In April, Germany was by far the cheapest for the Ford nameplate, with 1,196 deliveries, followed by the United Kingdom (612 units) and Denmark (630 units). The popularity of Kuga PHEV in Denmark is a real case study – it was already the bestseller of the overall Danish car market on more than one occasion.
# 4 Volvo XC40 PHEV – The smallest of the Volvo PHEV lineup continues its road to success, as does the popularity of the XC40 in the European market as a whole (compact SUVs / crossovers are all the rage now). The Swedish manufacturer sold its plug-in hybrid version as just another cut in Europe, and the XC40 PHEV has become a hot seller across Europe as a result. The approach is visible in the distribution of sales. In April, the Belgian-built Volvo marked 4,118 registrations, several markets obtaining similar results. These markets included Germany (540 units), the United Kingdom (562), Italy (532), France (487) and Belgium (474). Without production constraints and experiencing strong demand, the compact Volvo remains the best candidate for the title of Best Seller PHEV 2021.
# 5 Renault Zoe – The 4,083 deliveries show that the French sedan has not yet recovered from the peak effort at the end of 2020, and we now wonder if demand will ever recover. This is particularly worrying when one considers the context of doubling sales on the European BEV market. In all cases, the main markets in April were the usual ones, with Germany in the lead (1,268 units), followed by France (1,265) and Italy (721), distant 3rd.
Looking at the remaining April table, we must highlight the Peugeot e-208 ending less than 500 units behind its great rival, the Renault Zoe. the Pug Could very well win the monthly trophy for the best subcompact / B segment seller soon, which would be a first for the little Peugeot and also a mark in the rise of Stellantis as a major force in the market.
Still on Stellantis, the # 6 Peugeot 3008 PHEV and # 10 Fiat 500e had their best rankings this year, with 3 Stellantis models in the top 10, a new record for the conglomerate.
But looking at the top 20, the OEM with the most models was the Volkswagen Group, with 5 models, all BEV. Besides the aforementioned ID.3 and ID.4, the Audi e-tron was 12th, the VW e-Up was 15th and in # 19 we have the Skoda Enyaq, which joined the table in its first month on sale. full. Regarding the latter, do not be surprised if the Break-Czech-who-thinks-it’s-an-SUV reached the top 10 in May. The Skoda EV is currently the most competitive SEM-based model one of the best electric vehicles on the market, and maybe even the best reasonably priced family electric vehicle on the market. It has competitive prices, space and practicality, without wasting much premium-ness to its Volkswagen counterparts. In fact, I believe the only thing preventing it from being even more successful is the badge itself. If it had a more popular / ‘ambitious’ badge, it could become the best-selling electric vehicle in Europe.
Another OEM with a good month was Daimler, with 2 Mercedes models and 1 Smart model on the table. The popular GLC PHEV returned to the top 10, while the Smart Fortwo EV continued to deliver strong results, despite its disappointing specs.
Apart from the top 20, a mention goes to 4 BEV near a top 20 – 2 from Stellantis, the Opel Corsa EV (2,272 units) and the Peugeot e-2008 crossover (2,122); while the other 2 are from the BMW group, with the Mini Cooper EV (2,283 units) ahead of the veteran BMW i3 (2,043).
Expect the Opel and Peugeot to hit the top 20 spots in the coming months, which the Mini is expected to achieve as well. As for the German EV … come on, BMW, put a 55 kWh battery in it. The i3 deserves to end its career on a high note, and a new, bigger battery would be the perfect excuse to do so. After all, its design continues to be fresh and it is still the best small premium electric vehicle on the market … and a future classic.
Looking at the 2021 ranking, the main news came from the ID family, with the Volkswagen ID.3 jumping two places to second while the ID.4 joining the table at # 8 – undoubtedly a temporary position, as Volkswagen’s crossover is expected to joining Summit 5 in May, and from now on, a podium spot shouldn’t be that far away.
Now… will it be enough to move the Model 3 from its leading position? I doubt. With the production delay of the Model Y, demand is expected to remain strong over the next two quarters, and with 15,000 units separating it from the # 2 ID.3, I just don’t see how either. other of the ID models can reach within firing range of the Tesla. sports sedan.
Another question concerns sales by brand or by OEM. Currently, Tesla in Europe is a one-ride pony fighting against brands / OEMs with increasingly long queues. But more on that later….
Elsewhere, the climber of the month was the Ford Kuga PHEV, which climbed 3 places to 9th place. The Spanish-made crossover is now aiming for a top 5.
The Mercedes GLC300e / de also had a good month, climbing to 12th place, overtaking the Volvo XC60 PHEV and becoming the new bestseller in mid-size SUVs.
Also in the second half of the table, the Audi e-tron climbed one position, to 18th place, but the big Audi is below the performance of last year, when it finished 5th.
Just below the top 20 we have the Smart Fortwo EV # 21, with 9,846 registrations. So we have three models (# 14 Volkswagen e-Up; # 20 Fiat 500e; # 21 Smart Fortwo EV) separated by less than 2000 units, which should make the city car category one of the most exciting races in the world. ‘year.
Unlike the models, where we already have a clear favorite, in the ranking of automakers balance is the word, but Volkswagen (11%, up 1 point) managed to gain a significant advantage over Mercedes and BMW, each with 10% share. April may have marked the departure of the Wolfsburg brand for a victory in the constructor race.
Below these three we have Volvo n ° 4, with 8%, and in 5th we have Peugeot (6%), now with an advantage of 1000 units over Renault n ° 6 (also 6% share). In the race between the two French brands, the Lion seems to be gaining momentum at the expense of its rival.
With regard to the automotive groups, the Volkswagen group is far ahead, with 23% of share, clearly ahead of Stellantis (14%), Daimler and BMW, each with 12% of share.
Don’t expect the Volkswagen Group to lose its dominant position in Europe anytime soon, because neither Stellantis (not enough firepower at the top of the market), nor Daimler or BMW (not enough firepower at the bottom of the market). market) are only in a position to challenge the VW Galaxy.
As for Tesla, even if the Model Y becomes a smash hit next year and the refreshed Model S and X are also successful, I don’t see them surpassing 14% to 15% plugins market share here. 2022, which is significantly more than its current 5%. Even in this optimistic scenario, the Volkswagen Group would still hold an 18% share by the end of next year.