Fleets help EVs overtake diesel in new car market
Sales of zero emission cars have outstripped sales of diesel cars for the second consecutive month across Europe as fleets and private motorists transition rapidly to alternative power trains.
Figures from JATO Dynamics reveal that 302,587 pure electric (BEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), hybrid (HEV) and mild hybrid (mHEV) cars were sold in October, accounting for a 27% market share, compared to 26% for diesel.
Mild hybrids sales soar
Sales of mHEV drove the growth, increasing their year-on-year registrations by 427% to account for 32% of EV registrations in October. BEVs had a 25% market share, PHEVs stood at 24% and HEVs at 19%.
“Mild-hybrid cars… have become the preferred vehicle for carmakers and consumers looking for greener cars with a more accessible price tag than offered by pure electric and hybrid vehicles,” said JATO.
It identified the Volkswagen ID.3 (pictured top) as the best selling pure electric car in Europe-27 during October, with 10,590 registrations, more than half going to businesses and fleets.
Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, said: “Similar to the demand seen for the Tesla Model 3, the Volkswagen ID.3 is another example of how appetite for competitive and stylish electric cars continues to grow day by day”.
Total BEV sales reached 71,800 units in October, up 197% year on year. In Germany, Europe’s largest new car market, plug-in cars accounted for over 17.5% of sales in October, a combination of 8.4% BEV and and 9.1% PHEV. In a market that was -4% down year-on-year, petrol sales tumbled by -30% and diesel dropped by -19%.
Overall, total new car sales in Europe reached 1,127,624 units in October, down 7% year on year, but the same level as October 2018. The impact of the pandemic is clear in sales figures for the first 10 months of the year, with registrations down by 27% to 1,127,624 units.
Renault's record sales
Fast-forwarding a month, Renault has enjoyed a particularly strong year, recording almost 100,000 electric vehicle sales in the first 11 months of 2020, including more than 84,000 ZOE, as well as the Kangoo ZE (pictured above), which accounts for about one in every three electric van sales.
Gilles Normand, SVP Electric Vehicles and Mobility Services, Groupe Renault, said: “After the fleets of large groups such as La Poste, SMEs and craftsmen are now opting for electric vehicles, which are ideal for last-mile delivery. We support them through our new subsidiary Elexent, which offer them turnkey services ranging from advice to the installation and rental of recharging stations on their premises. We are lifting the obstacles on the switch to electric power.”
However, the French Government is cutting the grant available for electric vehicles by €1,000 to €6,000 in 2021, with a further €1,000 reduction expected in 2022, at which point there will be no subsidy for PHEVs.
UK, Italy and Spain go green
Launching a major green initiative, the British Government has announced a ban on petrol and diesel sales from 2030. In November, sales of petrol cars were down by -42%, diesel by -56%, while BEV, PHEV, HEV and mHEV soared by 74% to record a 37% market share. Drilling down into the detail, BEV registrations were up by 122% year-on-year to 10,345 units and PHEV sales rose by 77% to 7,717 sales.
In Italy, sales of plug-in rechargeable cars rose by 369% in November, compared to the same month in 2019, with BEVs up 342% and PHEVs up 399% for a combined market share of 7%. Their registrations have risen by 196% for the first 11 months of the year.
It was a similar story in Spain, where sales of electric cars rose by 127% in November, although the 2,171 registrations represented only 2.3% of the market.
Photos: Volkswagen, Renault, JATO