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European Alternative Fuels Observatory
News article3 December 2022

Europe Electric Car Sales Report — 13.6% Of New Cars Fully Electric


The European automotive market is back in the black, with a 14% growth rate in October, its third growth month in a row. So, it seems the worst of the automotive component crisis is over. Although, with an energy-derived recession knocking on the door, this uptick might not last for long….

Looking at the plugin vehicle market in particular, things are also better. Approximately 211,000 plugin vehicles were registered in October, 14% growth compared to the same month of 2021. Plugins grew at their highest growth rate since last February.

Unlike previous months, PHEVs got out of the red, with plugin hybrids growing 10% in October. That’s their first positive month since last February. Keep in mind that this has more to do with a year-end peak in a number of countries, namely Germany, due to the end of incentives for PHEVs than any revival of consumer interest in the powertrain.

BEVs grew 17% year over year (YoY) in October (+25% YTD) to some 124,000 registrations. BEVs represented 59% of plugin sales in October, inline with the yearly average.

With greater BEV availability in the coming months and more stringent incentives for PHEVs next year in many European countries, expect this ratio to continue improving on the BEV side next year. We could possibly reach something like 80% BEV vs. 20% PHEV by the end of 2023. This would be a great improvement over the 54% BEV vs. 46% PHEV ratio that we had in both 2020 and 2021.

October’s plugin vehicle share of the overall European auto market was 23.2% (13.6% full electrics/BEVs), keeping the 2022 plugin vehicle (PEV) share at 21% (12% for BEVs alone).

A highlight last month was the gold + silver leadership of Volkswagen, something that hasn’t happened in over a year.

Top Selling Electric Vehicles in Europe — October 2022

Let’s look closer at October’s top 5 plugin vehicles in Europe.

#1 Volkswagen ID.4 — The star of Volkswagen Group ended the month on a high note again, by getting 6,158 registrations. With its production constraints mostly surpassed, the USA allocation being produced locally, and the start of Emden production, expect higher production output for the European ID.4 in the coming months. Volkswagen is hoping to reach 10,000 units a month by December, a necessary threshold to cross in order for the crossover to remain relevant globally, as regular 5-digit performances in Europe will be needed to add to the Chinese 5-digit(ish) performances. It could then reach between 200,000 and 300,000 deliveries in 2023. Regarding October deliveries, the Volkswagen EV had its best score in Germany (1,701 units) and Norway (1,014 units), followed by the UK (800 units) and Sweden (618 units).

#2 Volkswagen ID.3 — The EV that was supposed to follow in the footsteps of the best selling Volkswagen Golf seems to have finally recovered its form this year. The ID.3 had its best performance so far this year in October, with 5,507 registrations. The German OEM’s production constraints are easing, and Volkswagen now has enough room to increase the ID.3’s production rate. For a while, it seems that the ID.3’s production was being strangled in favour of other, more expensive (and profitable) members of the MEB family. Regarding October deliveries, the compact Volkswagen EV had its best score in Germany (2,160 registrations) and the UK (830 registrations), followed by France (602 units) and Norway (473 units).

#3 Fiat 500e — The little Italian seems to have found its cruising speed, clocking 5,204 registrations in October. Is demand starting to slow down, though? Then bring on that Abarth hot hatch version! It won’t move much more metal itself, but the halo effect will be important to pull the cheaper version’s sales upwards. Last month, the 500e’s main markets were the usual — Germany (2,363 registrations) and France (1,276 registrations) in the lead, with its native Italy (397 registrations) also providing a significant contribution to the tally.

#4 Peugeot e-208 EV — Peugeot’s star player continues to deliver consistent performances, replicating in the B-segment/subcompact category the leadership that its Italian cousin has had in the city car category. This allows Stellantis to lead in the two smaller size categories in Europe. With a competitive price and specs, added to a attractive design, the small EV got another top 5 presence in September thanks to 4,887 registrations. With a revised e-208 coming soon, including a more efficient powetrain allowing longer range, expect the Pug to continue featuring among Europe’s EV best sellers. Regarding October deliveries, the French EV had almost half of its deliveries in its native market — 2,350 registrations — followed from afar by Germany (781 registrations) and the UK (590 registrations).

#5 Ford Kuga PHEV — The Euro-spec version of the Ford Escape PHEV had another great month in October, with 4,683 units registered. Ford is milking everything it can from the crossover before the sunset of PHEV incentives in Germany. This is visible when looking at October deliveries, with the crossover having by far its best score ever in Germany (2,394 registrations). This market alone is responsible for over half the model’s deliveries in October. The next best markets were the UK (1,310 registrations) and Denmark (in third with a surprisingly low 187 registrations).


Model October
1 VW ID.4 6,158
2 VW ID.3 5,507
3 Fiat 500e 5,204
4 Peugeot 208 EV 4,887
5 Ford Kuga PHEV 4,683
6 Renault Megane EV 4,665
7 Skoda Enyaq 4,486
8 Volvo XC40 BEV 4,139
9 Polestar 2 3,885
10 Audi Q4 e-tron 3,839
11 Opel Mokka EV 3,416
12 BMW i4 3,351
13 Mini Cooper EV 3,337
14 Hyundai Kona EV 3,208
15 Tesla Model Y 3,167
16 Tesla Model 3 3,084
17 Cupra Born 2,994
18 Hyundai Tucson PHEV 2,982
19 Volvo XC60 PHEV 2,957
20 BMW 3 Series PHEV 2,787
  Others 150,201
  TOTAL 210,966

Looking at the rest of the October table, there are several record results to celebrate. The stylish Renault Megane EV ended the month in #6, with 4,665 registrations, its second record month in a row. The French hatchback sooner than later will join the top 5. Its current success is critical for the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance, as the remaining lineup failed to post positive results. The hatchback-that-thinks-it’s-a-crossover was the only representative of the Alliance in October’s top 20.

Still on the top 10, we have two Swedes reaching personal-best performances. The #8 Volvo XC40 EV scored 4,130 registrations, and the Polestar 2 reached 3,885 registrations. These two results helped contribute to a great month for Geely–Volvo Group. Additionally, the XC40’s sportier sibling, the C40, scored a record 2,279 registrations, and its Chinese cousin, the Lynk & Co 01 PHEV, reached a record 2,728 registrations.

This strong month was even helped by Volvo’s PHEV lineup, with the #19 Volvo XC60 PHEV scoring 2,957 units, a new year best for the midsizer. The smaller XC40 PHEV had 2,573 units, its best result since March. Also, if we were to add both versions of the Volvo XC40 together (BEV+PHEV), the compact Swede would have been #1 this month, with 6,712 registrations.


In the second half of the table, there was also plenty to talk about, from the record scores of the #11 Opel Mokka EV (3,416 units) and #12 BMW i4 (3,351 units), to the best first-month-of-quarter results of both the Tesla Model Y (#15, with 3,167 units) and Tesla Model 3 (#16, with 3,084 units). Does this mean both Teslas will get record results in December?

Well … yes. And no. It’s complicated. I’ll try to explain. The Tesla Model Y will surely score a record result in December, allowing it to be the #1 model in the overall European market that month. A contributing factor is the production ramp-up of the made-in-Germany units, which added to the massive deliveries of the Standard Range version will allow an unprecedented delivery peak for the crossover in December.

On the other hand, while the Model 3 will have a delivery peak in December, the fact is that demand for the sedan has been dropping lately, due to increased external and internal competition, a trend only strengthened by the European landing of the Standard Range version of the Model Y. That cheaper Model Y is being priced in a number of markets lower than the similar version of the Model 3 (normally it’s reversed). Given the choice between a cheaper Model Y and a more expensive Model 3, one can easily imagine Model 3 demand tanking even further from now on, to the profit of its Model Y sibling.

Below the top 20, there is also a lot to mention. The big news is the production ramp-up of the VW ID.5, the sportier twin of the more family-friendly VW ID.4. The sporty crossover scored 2,255 registrations in October, its sixth record score in a row. This signals that increased component availability for the Volkswagen stable is allowing the ID.5 to continually pursue its delivery ramp-up. It could join the top 20 as soon as next month. By the way: When will we see the ID.5 being launched in China?

Speaking of German OEMs, slowly but surely, BMW and Mercedes are pursuing their transitions into BEVs. The Bavarian had two models with record scores, the previously mentioned i4 fastback as well as the iX SUV (2,280 units). That’s still not enough to reach the Audi e-tron (2,717 units), its top competitor if you don’t count the Model Y, but it’s getting there.

Mercedes is also ramping up its BEVs, with the EQA (2,258 registrations) scoring a new year best. Meanwhile, its loooong PHEV lineup profited from the recent plugin hybrid uptick in Germany to increase its numbers. The highlight model is the compact A250e PHEV, which ended October in #21 with 2,766 registrations, its best result in the past 15 months.

In other news, SAIC’s MG 4 celebrated 1,325 registrations in only its second month on the market. One has to wonder how fast the Sino-British compact model reach the top 20, and how high it will go. Should the VW ID.3 and Renault Megane EV be worried? (In a word: YES.)

Top Selling Electric Vehicles in Europe — January–October 2022

Looking at the 2022 ranking, the top positions remained the same. Tesla is now preparing its party celebrating the capture of 1st and 2nd place in this market. Fiat would like to start doing the same for its 500e star player in 3rd, but…

One does now know what kind of pre-registration tricks Volkswagen might be preparing for December. With just 5,000 units separating the Fiat 500e from the #4 Volkswagen ID.4, the little Italian is not safe from a surprise coming from the German crossover. To be continued….

The first position change happened in #8, with the VW ID.3 jumping three positions and joining the top 10 in October. Expect the German EV to continue climbing positions, possibly to #7 in November, while looking toward December. It will all depend on how many pre-registrations Volkswagen will be willing to make. A top 5 position is not out of the cards.

Rank Model January–October %
1 Tesla Model Y 86,869 4.6%
2 Tesla Model 3 58,583 3.1%
3 Fiat 500e 52,538 2.8%
4 VW ID.4 47,343 2.5%
5 Skoda Enyaq 40,936 2.1%
6 Peugeot 208 EV 38,376 2.0%
7 Ford Kuga PHEV 36,189 1.9%
8 VW ID.3 34,779 1.8%
9 Dacia Spring 33,719 1.8%
10 Hyundai Kona EV 33,687 1.8%
11 Kia Niro EV 32,622 1.7%
12 Renault Zoe 31,071 1.6%
13 Audi Q4 e-tron 30,888 1.6%
14 Hyundai Ioniq 5 28,520 1.5%
15 Mini Cooper EV 26,712 1.4%
16 BMW 3 Series PHEV 25,980 1.4%
17 Audi e-tron 25,470 1.3%
18 Peugeot 3008 PHEV 24,177 1.3%
19 Kia EV6 24,155 1.3%
20 Hyundai Tucson PHEV 23,650 1.2%
  Others 1,172,596 61.4%
  TOTAL 1,908,860 100.0%

In the second half of the table we have another position change, with the Peugeot 3008 PHEV climbing one position, to #18, exchanging positions with the Kia EV6.

Looking at the PHEV race, Ford is probably preparing the title party for its Kuga PHEV, with the crossover having a 9,000 unit advantage over the category runner-up, the BMW 3 Series PHEV. Meanwhile, the two models behind the German midsizer, the #18 Peugeot 3008 PHEV and #20 Hyundai Tucson PHEV, are probably more worried about being able to end the year in the best seller table than upsetting the BMW model in the race for the category silver medal.

Top Auto Brands in EV Sales in Europe — January–October 2022

In the auto brand ranking, BMW (8.9%) and Mercedes (8.5%) have hung onto the top two positions.

A rising Volkswagen (7.7%, up from 7.4%) profited from Tesla’s usual slow first-month-of-quarter (down to 7.6%, from 8.2% in September). Volkswagen climbed to the 3rd position. Will the US automaker recover the last position on the podium in December?

Kia stayed in 5th, with 6% share, down 0.2%, followed by Audi (5.6%) and Peugeot (5.4%).

Overall, this is a very balanced EV market, as proven by the fact that leader BMW has less than 9% share.

Top OEMs in EV Sales in Europe — January–October 2022

Arranging things by automotive group, the leader, Volkswagen Group, is now at 20% share, up from 19.6% in September.

Stellantis is in a comfortable second place (15.6%). It seems the top two have reached their share potential, as both the runner-up and the leader Volkswagen Group’s market shares have been relatively stable in the last few months. Incidentally (or not), these two also lead the overall auto market.

The current bronze medalist, Hyundai–Kia (11.1%, down from 11.4%), has kept #4 BMW Group (10.8%) at some distance, but with only 0.3% share separating the two, the German OEM could try to reach a podium position in the last two stages of the race.

Mercedes Group (9.3%) retained the 5th position, even gaining some ground over the #6 Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance (8.7%) in October. With the German OEM expected to be using (and abusing) the PHEV pre-registration trick in December, we can count on the three-pointed-star group ending the year in 5th.

Credits: @José Pontes, @CleanTechnica

Link to original article.

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