Analysis
27 Feb 19

And the best-selling EV in Europe is…

Actually, it all depends on how you define EV. Last week, BMW spread a press release stating it had sold the most EVs in Europe in January, but that only holds true if you include PHEV, meaning plug-in hybrids. Without the 225xe Active Tourer, 330e, 530e and BMW’s other plug-in hybrids, the Bavarian carmaker does not wear the EV sales crown.

But who does, and how have pure EV sales evolved on the Old Continent between 2017 and 2018? We asked automotive consultancy Dataforce for some figures to have an objective view on the market.

Total market and True Fleet sales

Electric Passenger Car Top 5 in Europe – Total Market  (30 countries covered by Dataforce)

2017 2018
Renault Zoë Nissan Leaf
BMW i3 Renault Zoë
Nissan Leaf BMW i3
Tesla Model S VW e-Golf
VW e-Golf Tesla Model S

 

The Nissan Leaf is doing great in Europe and has kicked the Renault Zoë from the throne. The BMW i3 comes in third but could fight back now it has a bigger battery.

The top 5 is slightly different if you look at only the True Fleet Market:

Electric Passenger Car Top 5 for Europe – True Fleet Market  (19 countries covered by Dataforce)

2017 2018
Renault Zoë Renault Zoë
BMW i3 Nissan Leaf
Tesla Model S BMW i3
Tesla Model X Tesla Model S
Nissan Leaf VW e-Golf

 

Regional differences

Interestingly, there are some noticeable differences between the EU’s top 4 EV markets, Norway, Germany, France and the Netherlands. Looking at the True Fleet market, the Nissan Leaf grabbed the gold last year only in Norway. It is the Renault Zoë that is Europe's fleet favourite.

German fleets are fond of the BMW i3, but it is the Renault Zoë that gets the cigar in 2018. That is also the case in France – who would have questioned that. The electric Smart ForTwo is also a hit in these countries, but not so much elsewhere.

The electric landscape is entirely different in the Netherlands. Thriving entrepreneurs are clearly the ones that switch the most to EVs, considering the number one and three position for the Tesla Model S and Model X, respectively. The silver medal goes to another premium crossover: the Jaguar I-Pace. This ‘premium’  top three is unquestionably also the consequence of the change in BIK taxation that took effect in January, pushing many prospective buyers to register their expensive EV before the end of 2018.

Electric Passenger Car Top 5 for Norway – True Fleet Market

2017 2018
BMW i3 Nissan Leaf
VW e-Golf BMW i3
Tesla Model X VW e-Golf
Nissan Leaf Renault Zoë
Tesla Model S Tesla Model S

 

Electric Passenger Car Top 5 for Germany – True Fleet Market

2017 2018
BMW i3 Renault Zoë
Renault Zoë BMW i3
VW e-Golf VW e-Golf
Smart ForTwo Smart ForTwo
Tesla Model S Smart ForFour

 

Electric Passenger Car Top 5 for France – True Fleet Market

2017 2018
Renault Zoë Renault Zoë
BMW i3 Nissan Leaf
Tesla Model S BMW i3
Smart ForTwo Smart ForTwo
Nissan Leaf Tesla Model S

 

Electric Passenger Car Top 5 for Netherlands – True Fleet Market

2017 2018
Tesla Model S Tesla Model S
Tesla Model X Jaguar I-Pace
VW e-Golf Tesla Model X
BMW i3 Nissan Leaf
Hyundai Ioniq VW e-Golf

 

The most enthusiast e-adopters

How have EV sales in these and other European countries changed in the past two years? We let the numbers speak for themselves.

Total Market (Passenger Cars) Increases for Electric Cars 2018vs2017 (Five-digit registration markets)
Norway: 46.161 registrations = + 39.5%
Germany: 37.525 registrations = + 40.4%
France: 32.038 registrations =  + 23.0%
Netherlands: 23.983 registrations =  + 200.5%

Total Market (Passenger Cars) Increases for Electric Cars 2018vs2017 (Four-digit registration markets)

Sweden: 7.182 registrations =  + 59.5%
Portugal: 4.462 registrations =  + 157.6%
Spain: 6.415 registrations =  + 50.2%
Belgium: 3.955 registrations =  + 31.3%

Top 5 True Fleet Markets for Electric Cars for 2018

Netherlands: 19.452 registrations
Germany: 11.078 registrations
Norway: 10.873 registrations
France: 10.518 registrations
UK: 6.186 registrations

Photo credit: Ionity, 2019

Authored by: Dieter Quartier
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