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Europe Plug-in Sales for Q3 of 2017 and YTD

Plug-in vehicle sales in Europe surpassed 214 600 units in the first three quarters of 2017, 39 % higher than for the same period of 2016. These include all Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrids (PHEV) in Europe, of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. Plug-in share of the European light vehicle market reached 2,03 % in September, the trend so far indicates further increases during the rest of the year. Results from August (2,17%) and September indicate that growth is accelerating and shares are increasing regarding the 2017 average (1,72%).

December will probably become the highlight of this year, when the December '15 record of 34 025 units will finally be beaten, with sales possibly crossing the 35 000 units mark.

The German market is the highlight of 2017, with over 100 % increase over the same period of 2016, making it the second largest market for plug-ins in Europe, after Norway. Currently, plug-in share in Norway is 32 % for BEV and PHEV combined. A good indication of what is possible with compelling savings on vehicle taxes, much lower running cost and a well developed charging infrastructure.

Almost all countries post strong growth rates for 2017 (Netherlands is the notable exception), some of them over 100 %, although still coming from a low starting base. For the full year of 2017 we expect 305 - 310 000 plug-ins to be delivered in Europe.

first Europe Plug-in Sales for Q3 of 2017 and YTD image

Germany set to become largest market in Europe in 2018

The highlight of 2017 is Germany, the largest car market in Europe. Doubling plug-in sales made it the 2nd largest market for plug-in vehicles in Europe this year. Incentives were introduced in 2016, but with growing insight among legislators that PEVs are a viable alternative, OEM plans for EV portfolios witnessed spectacular u-turns, while public interest and adoption have made several steps forward.

If the accentuated growth in Germany continues into 2018, then it will surpass Norway and become the largest PEV market in Europe.

Nearly all European markets show growth during 2017, only Netherlands' buyers still struggle with the incentive shift from plug-in hybrids to pure-electric vehicles.

In total, Europe plug-in sales grew by 32 %, during the first half of the year, but the Q3 brought a significant uptick in sales, growing 48 % compared to the same period last year.

second Europe Plug-in Sales for Q3 of 2017 and YTD image
third Europe Plug-in Sales for Q3 of 2017 and YTD image

Renault Zoe #1, VW e-Golf recovers ground

The 2016 best seller Renault Zoe continues in the lead this year, increasing deliveries by 69 % in Q3, up from the 45 % in the first half of 2017. The Zoe success can be attributed to the availability of the 41 kWh battery, giving 300 km under real conditions, which has been met with a warm welcome from European buyers, with demand outnumbering production, leading to a 3 to 4 months waiting list.

Similar observations for the BMW i3, which is selling better this year, thanks to a battery with 50 % more range (300 km NEDC, 220 km real), gaining in many markets, not just in booming Germany. In Q3 sales slowed down, due to the upcoming facelift.

After a slow start, the new 36 kWh battery allowed the VW e-Golf to surge deliveries (+153%) in the Third Quarter, and considering it has a several months waiting list, expect it to continue growing throughout 2018.

On the PHEV front, the Mercedes GLC350e is having a starring role, growing a staggering 538 % in Q3 alone, contrasting with the two digits drop of its C350e relative, once again proving the market shift towards SUVs.

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