Friday, February 23, 2018

Germany January 2018

Image result for 2017 Smart Fortwo ED vs VW e-Golf

Smart Fortwo ED starts 2018 in the lead

The PEV Fever has definitely caught on in Germany, with January sales growing 107%, to over 5.500 registrations last month, with the PEV Share reaching a record 2.1%.

Looking at last month Best Selling models, the Smart Fortwo ED is selling like hot cakes, with 729 units, leaving the VW e-Golf and Kia Soul EV(!) miles behind, with 450 registrations. The Korean Crossover had its best result in two years, the question will be how many of them will end up in Norway...

Another hot item is the #4 BMW i3, with 359 units, the Hot Hatch was followed by the Renault Zoe, making it five BEVs in the top places.

This underlines the BEV growth (+131%), compared to PHEVs (+88%), if plug-in hybrids continue to outsell all-electric cars, the advantage is narrowing every passing month, now standing at 51% vs 49% share, so it is likely that this year BEVs will outsell Plug-in hybrids for the first time since 2015.

Despite struggling with production (Who isn't, these days?), the Porsche Panamera PHEV still scored 151 units, its best result since last June, confirming that Porsche+electricity is no longer an oxymoron and the upcoming Mission E should have a bright future ahead.

In the manufacturers ranking, Volkswagen started the year in the lead, with 18% share, followed by Smart (16%) and last year winner BMW (14%), while Mercedes and Kia, both with 11% share, are on the lookout for a podium position.


Plug-ins and Regular Hybrids

Jan. Sales  
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
Toyota C-HR Hybrid
Toyota Auris Hybrid
Smart Fortwo ED
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

After several months feeling the heat of Plug-ins, and being reached by some of them, Toyota came back with a vengeance, with the Yaris, C-HR and Auris Hybrids monopolizing the podium, and only one BEV breaking into the Top 5, with the Smart Fortwo ED being the sole non-Toyota model in this Top 5.

Was this a one time thing, or is Toyota back in form and able to push Plug-ins and the Korean hybrids out of the Top 5?

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

France January 2018

Image result for Renault Zoe

Quo Vadis, Renault?

The French PEV passenger car market registered 2.331 units in January, down 14% YoY, mostly due to the horrid month of the Renault Zoe (-62% YoY), that with only 633 registrations, had its worst performance in 14 months...Considering the model has still a 3 to 4 months waiting list, it's not for lack of demand, which poses the question: Why isn't Renault increasing the production rate of its electric model?

Looking elsewhere in January, if BEVs were down because of the Renault Zoe slump and the Nissan Leaf generation change, PHEVs were up a remarkable 129%, placing two models in the Top 5, with both models being midsize SUVs (Volvo XC60 PHEV and Mercedes GLC350e), which tells a lot regarding the current market trends.

Silver went to the BMW i3, no big surprises here, but the Kia Soul EV reaching Bronze, with 136 registrations (Best performance in almost two years), was unexpected, was this a freak event or is the local Kia importer pushing sales of its little BEV? Let's wait for further developments on this one.

Underlining the current strength of Volvo, the Swedish brand placed two models in the Top 10, besides the #5 XC60 PHEV, the XC90 PHEV flagship was Eighth last month, thanks to 79 registrations, its best performance in 20 months.

Looking at the brands ranking, the year starts with the same podium as it ended 2017, with the leader Renault always in #1, but this time with only 27% share, with last year runner-up BMW growing their share to 13%, and the 2017 Bronze medalist Mercedes increasing to 9% share.

Sources: Avere France; CCFA

Netherlands January 2018

Image result for VW e-Golf netherlands

VW e-Golf Shines

January had 1.620 registrations (2.7% share), up 126% regarding the same period last year, after several months recovering from the PHEV addiction, the market is starting to get into cruise speed, with both technologies growing (BEVs +182%, PHEVs +16%). 

Last month it was all about the VW e-Golf, with the German model shattering its previous record, by registering 506 units. Also important is the fact that 23% of all VW Golf sales came from the BEV version. Considering the VW best seller is production constrained and the automaker promised to double the output, how high can the e-Golf go? 900 units/month? More?

Looking elsewhere, positive month also for the Hyundai Ioniq BEV and Opel Ampera-e(!), with both models breaking also their personal bests, and securing a podium seat in the first step of the 2018 race.

The BMW i3 also had a promising start, helped by the facelift, the German hot hatch scored 131 units (One of them was a Rex), being its best result in 25 months.

Surprising results for the two best selling PHEVs, with the Volvo XC60 PHEV registering 87 units, the best sales result for a plug-in hybrid ever since they lost the company car incentives, while the Porsche Panamera PHEV had 59 sales, its best result in four years.

Final mention to the Peugeot Partner Tepee EV, that registered 9 units in January, allowing it a Top 20 presence, this says a lot about PSA state of mind, on the face of the current fast electrification process, they were caught with their pants down and while their new Plug-ins do not arrive in 2019/20, they are stuck between a rock (Being ripped off by GM with the Ampera-e) and a hard place (Selling short range, niche BEVs).

Not a good place to be, especially considering they were leaders on the Second Age of the Electric Car...

Regular Hybrids + Plug-ins Ranking

Jan. Sales  
Kia Niro HEV
Toyota C-HR Hybrid
Volkswagen e-Golf
Toyota Yaris Hybrid
Hyundai Ioniq Electric

If we add regular hybrids to plug-ins, the Kia Niro is confirming to be a consistent leader, winning January with relative ease, followed by two plug-ins (VW e-Golf and Hyundai Ioniq BEV) and two Toyota Hybrids in the ranking.

Are the Japanese brand hybrids losing momentum?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Norway January 2018 (Updated)

Image result for i3 vs zoe vs egolf

BEVs to Power

After Sweden, we cross to the neighboring Norway, the template for EV adoption, where something unusual has happened this January, with the Norwegian mainstream market dropping 30%, despite no apparent economic disruption.

To understand this number, we have to look at the overall fuels share, in January, despite dropping 7% YoY, BEVs registered a record 23% share, staying only behind regular gas cars (26% share) as the best selling fuel source, but PHEVs stumbled 40% in sales, to just 17% share, with the announced demise of diesel-powered cars continuing, scoring only 20% share (Down from 24%, a year ago), placing diesel behind BEVs, with the remainder (14%) going to regular HEVs, which have fell in line with the market.

Also interesting to notice, is that a sizeable 890 second hand EVs were imported last month, a 80% jump YoY, with hundreds of Nissan Leaf and Kia Soul EV, among others, being imported from abroad, which could help explaining the current registration slowdown. 

What does this all mean? Basically, people are either waiting for new BEVs to arrive (Leaf II, Model 3, Kona BEV, etc) or in line to get a BEV from the current best-sellers (i3, e-Golf, Zoe), with the remaining models, including PHEVs, suffering with the current seismic changes. Do not be surprised if in a few months BEVs become the best selling fuel source...

Looking at the current crop of Best Sellers, there is a significant difference between the podium bearers and the Fourth Placed Hyundai Ioniq Electric, which probably has more to do with the chronic production constraints of the Korean model, than lack of demand.

In the remaining 16 positions, we see a tide of PHEVs, with only the quirky #9 Kia Soul EV and both Teslas belonging to the BEV team, making it only seven BEVs in the Top 20, when this technology outsold PHEVs by 3 to 2. The reason for this paradox? BEV sales are more concentrated, as there are less models to choose and even less if we restrict the choice to appealing nameplates, reading from this Top 20, they are just 4 models (The Top 4), with the Kia Soul EV satisfying a specific customer niche (City drivers with utility high on their priority list) and the Teslas going after wealthier wallets.

Looking elsewhere, January is usually a slow selling month, but nevertheless the Volvo S/V90 PHEV twins scored 145 units, allowing it a Sixth Place, allowing it even to outsell the current Volvo shining star, the XC60 PHEV (135 units).
In the manufacturers ranking, last year winner Volkswagen (22%) is in Second Place, surpassed by BMW (24%), with the Third Spot going to Volvo, with 12%.

BMW i361461417
VW e-Golf51451414
Renault Zoe3343349
4Hyundai Ioniq BEV1701705
BMW 225xe Active Tourer1541544
6Volvo S/V90 PHEV1451454
7VW Passat GTE1411414
8Volvo XC60 PHEV1351354
9Kia Soul EV1191193
10VW Golf GTE1151153
11Tesla Model S1101103
12Tesla Model X1051053
12Mitsu. Outlander PHEV1051053
14Kia Niro PHEV1031033
15Kia Optima PHEV63632
16Audi A3 e-Tron62622
16Mercedes GLC350e62622
18Mini Countryman PHEV61612
19Volvo V60 PHEV58582
20Volvo XC90 PHEV57572

Sources: Ofvas and Elbil

Models breakdown by Fuel Source

1BMW i3614
2VW e-Golf514
3Renault Zoe334
4Toyota Yaris319
Toyota Auris
Toyota RAV4
Toyota C-HR
Hyundai Ioniq BEV
Peugeot 3008
Peugeot 5008
Ford Fiesta

With 40% PEV share, the general market is showing the electric road in unstoppable, breaking down sales by fuel source, we have four HEVs, four BEVs, with no PHEVs in sight.

It seems plug-in hybrids are suffering more than expected from the current BEV-fever, which might prove that their role as stop-gap technology into full EV is being proven.
This month the Toyota hybrids had a major comeback, with all four of them joining the Top 10, while at the bottom we see fresh faces, with the Ford Fiesta(?!?), and the Peugeot Crossovers climbing in the Best Sellers train.
After September having been the first "NO ICE" Top 10 month ever, will we see the same happening in March? I wouldn't bet against it.