The Dutch plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market is back at year-end-rush mode, doubling sales in November to 7,205 registrations. That translates into a PEV share of 18% in November, and pulls the 2019 PEV share to a record 11%.
With incoming fiscal changes on January 1st reducing the financial benefits of EV ownership, the last months of 2019 are seeing another demand peak in this market. Interestingly enough, different OEMs have profited on this in various degrees:
Tesla received thousands of orders in a short time, so it had do some allocation engineering, starving remaining European markets (UK and Ireland being the exception) in order to satisfy the demand peak. Hence the outlandish 3,973 units registered in November, with December possibly witnessing an out-of-this galaxy record. (Do I hear 6,000? More?)
Hyundai and Kia continue to be battery constrained, but because they were already planning to starve most European markets in the last months of 2019 (because of upcoming EU CO2 rules), they had enough units to provide some extra deliveries in the Netherlands. That allowed the Kona EV to be #2, with 535 units registered (its best result since January), and the Niro EV ended the month in 3rd, with 425 registrations, a new record in this market. Even the Ioniq Electric ended the month in #5, thanks to 277 units registered, its best score in 22 months.
Nissan also pulled a good result last month, with 418 LEAFs registered, a new year best, allowing it to end the month in #4. Although I presume here the limitations aren’t either in batteries or product allocation, but demand itself.
Looking at other EV model results, while some are also experiencing demand peaks — like the BMW i3 (262 registrations, a new year best), the US-Korean-German Opel Ampera-e (wait, what?!?) scoring a record 155 registrations, or even the Tesla Model S & X registering new year highs — others either can’t (production constrained Renault Zoe, demand constrained Jaguar I-PACE) or won’t (Volkswagen e-Golf, Audi e-tron).
The Volkswagen Group model results are interesting, because while they are flourishing elsewhere, they are not surfing the current wave in this market.
This seems to be part of a larger strategy by the German maker, as 2020 will be Year Zero of it Plan to Rule the (EV) World. So, among the major European EV markets, Volkswagen Group seems to focus on Germany — soon to be the largest EV market in Europe, and where the VW e-Golf still hasn’t managed to win a best seller trophy — and Norway, where the German brand was the best selling plug-in vehicle producer for four years in a row, but was overtaken by Tesla in 2019. Volkswagen Group appears to be discarding France (Renault country) and the Netherlands (Tesla country) while leaving the UK for a later stage.
Looking at the 2019 ranking, the most important change was the Nissan LEAF climbing to 4th, relegating the Volkswagen e-Golf to #5 while the revised Hyundai Ioniq Electric was up to #8.
In the lower half of the top 20, the Opel Ampera-e was up one spot, to #11, while the Jaguar I-PACE climbed to #15, and to finish a series of BEV climbs, both the Tesla Model S and the X jumped two positions, with the first jumping to #17 and the second ending the month in #18.
Outside the top 20, a mention is due for the new BMW 330e, which had 48 units registered. With the German midsizer just 50 units behind the #20 Smart Forfour EV, the BMW model could still join the ranking in December.
A final reference is warranted for Shanghai Auto’s MG eZS crossover. With 48 registrations last month, the British-accented but Chinese-born model is shaping up to become the first Chinese EV to sell in significant volumes in Europe.
In the manufacturer ranking, Tesla (43%, up 3 points) is the clear leader, followed by Hyundai (14%), while the other Korean, Kia (8%, down 1 point), is in the last place on the podium, ahead of BMW (7%), Nissan and Volkswagen (both with 6% share).
You might have read plenty of articles about how the Tesla Model 3 is kicking ass butt in the Netherlands, but to what extent is that showing in the overall market?
Well, it’s not only by far the best selling plug-in vehicle in the country, but also in the overall market, where the Tesla midsizer has a 5,000 unit lead over the #2 VW Polo, a gap that is actually equal to 42% of the model’s sales in the first 11 months of the year. In other words, the Model 3 is already celebrating its 2019 win.
Interestingly, in the top 5, there are two more electrified models, with the Kia Niro (37% BEV, 1% PHEV, and 62% HEV) in #4 and the VW Golf (30% BEV) in #5. Not bad, eh?
Midsize Car Best Sellers
The Tesla Model 3 is the undisputed leader in the midsize car segment, with the electrified BMW 3 Series (35% of sales belonging to the PHEV version) in second, but far, far, FAR behind.
The Volvo S/V60 twins are in 3rd, with 326 units, but have a low degree of electrification, with just 13% of sales belonging to their PHEV versions.
Finally, we have the unplugged Mercedes C-Class and Audi A4 off the podium, and while Mercedes doesn’t seemed interested in launching its PHEV versions here, that could soon change if the upcoming PHEV midsizers (VW Passat GTE, Skoda Superb PHEV, Peugeot 508 PHEV…) start to gain traction. I wouldn’t be surprised if sometime in the first half of next year, all of the top 5 became electrified.
Midsize SUV Best Sellers
This SUV category is also being quickly electrified. Although the unplugged Mercedes-Benz GLC sits at the top (for how long?), the electrified Volvo XC60 (33% of sales belonged to the PHEV version) is 2nd, with 151 units registered, while the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV was in 3rd place last month, with 136 units registered (86% of all Outlander registrations). The fully electric Jaguar I-PACE showed up in #5.
With the #4 BMW X3 said to have a PHEV version soon, we could see a fully electrified top 5 sometime next year. Not bad, eh?
Full Size Car Best Sellers
While the midsize SUV is getting electrified fast (even without the Tesla Model Y and VW ID.4x), in the full size car category, things are less advanced. Only the Audi A6 remains unplugged, but only the fully electric Tesla Model S has a large degree of electrification. The #1 BMW 5 Series (22% of registrations belong to the PHEV version) and the #5 Volvo S/V90 twins (16%) have a moderate degree of electrification, but are still well above the Mercedes E-Class, which has only a 2% electrification rate.
The Porsche Taycan will be a welcome addition to this category.
Full Size SUV Best Sellers
The full size SUV category seems to be the most advanced segment when it comes to electrification. Not only do we have two BEV nameplates in the top two positions and a fully electrified top 5, but the #4 Volvo XC90 already has 75% of its registrations coming from its PHEV version. Also, while the Porsche Cayenne has only a 2% electrification rate, expect it to grow significantly in the coming months.
Add this to the fact that the #5 BMW X5 (18% of registrations are PHEVs) is ramping up production of its interesting PHEV version, and the electrification rate should only go higher!
And don’t forget that the Mercedes GLE PHEV, with 100 km of electric range and fast charging, is also coming soon!
This are surely welcome news in one of the most polluting vehicle segments.