15 May 19

After Netherlands, Belgium and Spain show big appetite for EVs

As the interest in electric vehicles continues to grow, and as more and more restrictions and/or legislation concerning the use of traditionally-powered vehicles emerge in Europe, it is worthwhile looking at some hard facts.

Dataforce has compiled electric vehicle registrations in the ‘Big 5’ European markets plus Belgium and the Netherlands, for the first quarter of 2019, and compared these to the same period last year.

First of all, taking all seven of these markets together, total sales of electric cars and light vans amounted to 51,263, compared to 32,135 the previous year. This represents an increase of some 19,000 units, which is 59.5% up on 2018. 
Of these overall figures, true fleet accounted for 23,756 units, up by almost 10,000 units and 70% on last year. Sales of EVs into true fleets therefore represent almost half (46%) of sales of all EVs in these markets. Again, the Netherlands are a long way out in front with EVs accounting for over 9% of the true fleet market, while Italy lags at 0.6%.


Where the overall market is concerned, three markets have proved to be particularly enthusiastic this year so far, all more or less doubling their overall sales compared to last year. These are Belgium (+ 117% to 2,242 units), the Netherlands (+ 100% to 8,176 units and Spain (+ 97% to 3,118 units). Germany was up by 71% to 17,204, the UK by 57% to 7,162, while France and Italy put on ‘only’ 23% and 31% respectively.

Despite these impressive figures, the EV market shares (overall market)  remain extremely low, with the exception of the Netherlands. Here, EVs now account for almost 6% of the market, whereas in all of the other six markets analysed, shares are generally around the 1-2% mark. Again, Italy fares worst, at just 0.23%.


While Dataforce does not give individual sales figures for models, it has ranked the best-sellers in each of the markets. The ‘Tesla Model 3’ effect has indeed been as spectacular as predicted. This car has immediately topped the EV sales lists in Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands during the first quarter, and came in second place in Spain and third in France. The Renault Kangoo ZE light van appears in the top ten best sellers in all markets, bearing witness to an appetite from trade users. The Nissan Leaf and Renault Zoe also performed well across the markets.

Image: Tesla flagship store, Barcelona


Authored by: Tim Harrup