25 Mar 22

BEV demand in Europe surged while PHEV lost popularity

While the total registrations of new vehicles in Europe are down due to the prolonging chip shortage and the impact of the Ukraine-Russia war, BEV demand has surged by 77% in 26 European countries in February, according to JATO. 

In February 2022, new vehicle registrations shrank by 5.4%, totalling 794,576 units, recording the lowest level of demand in Europe in the last four decades. New vehicle registrations faded 3.8% on a year-on-year basis, representing 1,607,321 units. 

Conversely, the demand for battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) peaked by 77% in February with 87,400 unit sales, representing 56% of the demand of all low-emission-vehicles. In this category, plug-in-hybrid-vehicle (PHEV) sales saw a slight increase of 6%, totalling 67,400 units. 

Rise of SUVs 

According to JATO, the upward trend in BEVs mainly relies on OEMs' increasing investment in electric SUVs, which pushed BEVs out of the boundaries of a niche market. SUV registrations in February 2022 represented 51% of total demand in BEVs, increasing from 27% from the same period of 2021. SUVs, in general, are driving the growth in the automotive market, accounting for 49% of total demand in all segments. 

BEV sales in February represented 11% of all SUV registrations. 

Europe has witnessed a remarkable shift towards electric vehicles in the last two years, with registrations increasing from 6% in February 2020 to 20% in February 2022. During the same period, gasoline-fueled vehicle registrations fell from 60% to 56% and diesel from 32% to 21%. 

Tesla tops the BEV market 

The European BEV market displays fierce competition as the demand goes up. Tesla leads the market with an 18.1% share, followed by Volkswagen Group with 17.6%. The third and fourth positions are held by Hyundai and KIA, respectively. 

Tesla Model 3 is the best selling BEV in Europe, with 9,061 sales in February and a +67% year-on-year increase in demand. The second best selling model is the newcomer Tesla Model Y with 6,279 sales since the deliveries began in August 2021. Fiat 500 and Kia Niro took third and fourth places on the BEV list, with 3,796 and 3,455 unit sales. 

Tesla Model 3 is the most popular choice in Spain, France and Germany, while Model Y made quick gains in Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark and the UK. 

However, the competition is not limited at the top, as Hyundai IONIQ5 outsold Volkswagen ID.4, which has witnessed an increase of +591% on a year-on-year demand and, in return, sold more than another newcomer, Skoda Enyaq. 

Peugeot 3008 appeared on the top of the list in the PHEV market with 3,611 sales in February, increasing +41% year-on-year. Ford Kuga and BMW Series 3 took the second and third positions with 2,898 and 2,891 unit sales. 

Volkswagen Golf claims back its throne 

In the general model ranking in Europe in February 2022, Volkswagen Golf placed back on the top list with sales of 15,041 units. The demand for Golf has faded 36% since February 2020. Peugeot 208 appeared in second place with 14,666 sales, while Dacia Sandero was in third place with 13,105 sales. 

In the top 10 list of Europe, only Peugeot 3008 and Hyundai Tucson witnessed growth in sales, being +6% and +20%, respectively, compared to February 2021. 

Image of Tesla Model 3, courtesy of Tesla.

Authored by: Mufit Yilmaz Gokmen