14% Of New Cars Now Fully Electric In France!

Plugin vehicles continue to rise in France, with last month’s plugin vehicle registrations ending at 19,712 units. That means it was another two-digit growth month for plugin vehicles (PEVs) in France.

With the overall market presenting its first positive month in a long time, up 4% year over year (YoY), but still down a significant 29% compared to August 2019 (the market’s last “normal” year), one can say with certainty that we are in the demand valley that many were predicting when forecasting EV disruption.

The year-to-date (YTD) registrations are now over 195,000 units, keeping the market share for plugin vehicles at 20% (12% BEV). Expect the market to end above 20% by the end of the year.

Last month’s best seller was once again the Renault Megane EV, which scored 1,521 registrations. The compact EV won its second best seller title in a row and is still in ramp-up mode, so one wonders how high it will get. 3,000? 4,000? More? One thing is certain — the Megane is Renault’s main bet to recover the leadership position in its home market, now that the Zoe is far from its best days and the future Renault 5 EV is still a couple of years away.

The Megane EV was born as a dedicated EV, without ICE counterpart, so when the old generation fades out, in one or two years, the hatchback-that-thinks-it’s-a-crossover will have to hold the fort alone in the compact category. So, Renault’s minimum expectations for its compact EV should be around 30,000 units in 2023, and 40,000 in 2024, if it wants to compete for the category leadership spot with its Peugeot 308 rival — which, by the way, just recently presented its BEV version, with the first deliveries set to take place in the first half of next year.

Following the stylish new Renault, we have the Fiat 500e, with 1,325 registrations, while the Dacia Spring closed the podium, with 988 registrations. This has once again kicked the Peugeot e-208 off the podium. Are these slower-than-expected months from the French hatchback a momentarily thing, or is the Peugeot EV being affected by the chip crisis, or even worse, by fading demand?

The Tesla Model Y crossover was 6th, with 702 registrations, easily outselling its sedan sibling. The Model 3 had just 255 registrations last month. So, here too, we could be seeing the Model Y stealing the Model 3’s shine.

Interestingly, the best selling PHEV was only 11th on the table. The veteran Mercedes GLC PHEV beat the usual category winner, the Peugeot 3008 PHEV, despite getting only 352 registrations. Plugin hybrids are falling among the preferences of French buyers, like the BEV vs. PHEV breakdown shows, with BEVs owning 65% of plugin sales in August compared to an average of 61% in 2022.

In the second half of the table, the highlight is the year-best performance of the Volkswagen ID.4 crossover. With 327 registrations, this might be signaling a return to form from the German brand, something highlighted by the 18th spot of the Volkswagen ID.3 and the fact that the Volkswagen Tiguan PHEV also had a year best score (215 registrations). Does this means that the worst of the components crisis is over for the German conglomerate?

Two other models also shined last month, with the #16 Nissan Leaf(!) scoring 301 registrations last month, its best result in 2022, while the #14 Mini Countryman PHEV had its best performance in 17 months (325 registrations). The latter highlighted a positive month for the British make, which also placed the Cooper EV hatchback in #17.

Outside the top 20, one should highlight the strong results of the Opel Mokka EV (236 registrations) and the Chinese Lynk & Co 01 PHEV (265 registrations). Additionally, the Volvo XC40 EV had a record score of 137 registrations. The Swedish automaker is rushing to adapt to a more BEV-based plugin market.

Looking at the 2022 ranking, the Peugeot e-208 kept its leadership position, but the best seller trophy is far from secured, especially considering there is a new model in the runner-up position. The Fiat 500e surpassed the Dacia Spring and is 797 units behind the e-208, a distance that could be covered in about two months.

The Tesla Model Y was up one spot, to #9. With the production ramp-up now in full swing in the Giga Berlin factory, expect it to score a record month in September, allowing it to climb a couple more positions by then.

Two positions below, we have the Hyundai Kona EV climbing to #11, confirming the popularity of Hyundai’s small crossover — thanks to its unbeatable ratio of range vs price.

Finally, the Kia Niro EV profited from the new generation to jump two positions in the table, with the Korean crossover now in #17.

Looking at the brand ranking, there were no position changes, with most of the makes losing share. The exception was #5 Fiat, which gained 0.1% to go up to 5.8%. The market is becoming increasingly fragmented, due to the ever-expanding offer of new models available.

Outside the top 5, the highlights are rising #6 Kia (5.5%) and #7 Hyundai (5.4%), which could surpass #6 Dacia (5.6%) and #5 Fiat soon.

As for OEMs, Stellantis is the major force in this market, and it has even managed to gain lost share, despite Peugeot’s slow month. It now has 30.8% share, compared to the 30.5% share of the previous month. The Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance is sitting comfortably in #2, with 21.4%, down slightly from 21.5%, and Hyundai–Kia is in 3rd, with 9.5%, having gained 0.4% share from the previous month.

Off the podium, we have a rising Volkswagen Group in 4th, with 8.4% share, up 0.8% compared to July. It is followed by BMW Group (7.1%), which is a bit ahead of Tesla (6.5%). However, expect the US brand to recover by the end of this quarter.


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