30% Of New Cars In France Now Plugin Electric Cars!

30% Of New Cars In France Now Plugin Electric Cars!

Plugin vehicles continue to rise in France, with last month’s plugin vehicle registrations ending at 45,883 units, divided between 30,213 BEVs (or 20% share of the overall auto market) and 15,670 PHEVs (10% share of the auto market). The former jumped 34% year over year (YoY), while the latter were up by 35%.

Looking at the remaining powertrains, while petrol is slowly receding (34% share this September vs. 37% a year ago), diesel continues to be in freefall (9% now vs. 14% a year ago) — the black fuel’s new car sales could be dead in a year or two in France! And to think France had 72% diesel share in 2012….

Interestingly, with plugins at 30% share in September, and petrol at 34%, it won’t take long until plugins surpass petrol and become the main driving force in the French market! Maybe in November?

The overall market recovery somewhat slowed down in September, dropping from 24% YoY in August to just 9% in September, and plugins continue to grow faster than the overall market. In fact, plugin vehicles reached 25% share of the market (16% BEV) through the first 9 months of the year.

In September, pure electrics once again outsold PHEVs — 66% share of the plugin market vs. 34% — pulling BEV share to 64% vs. 36% PHEV in 2023. Expect BEVs to continue gaining ground compared to PHEVs throughout the rest of the year.

The 20 Best Selling Electric Vehicles in France — September 2023

Last month’s best seller position went to the Tesla Model Y, thanks to a strong 5,035 registrations. That figure put the Tesla crossover in 5th in the overall auto market, its second highest standing, only behind the #4 position of March.

The 20 Best Selling Electric Vehicles in France — September 2023

Despite ending in the runner-up spot, the Peugeot e-208 was one of the highlights of the month, hitting a record result with 3,924 registrations. The e-208 was 40% of the total volume of the 208, which won September’s overall best seller title with all powertrains combined.

In the last place on the podium, we have the Dacia Spring (2,514 units), which surpassed its direct competitor, the chic Fiat 500e (2,296 units). Expect the Spring to have a strong Q4, as the Made-in-China model is expected to lose access to the EV subsidy in 2024.

The Mercedes-Benz GLC PHEV was the best selling plugin hybrid, ending the month in 7th on the plugin table. The German SUV scored 1,040 registrations, its best score in almost two years (when the previous generation of the midsize SUV had 1,407 registrations back in December 2021).

Another surprise of the month was the robust performance from the Renault Twingo EV, which ended the month in 9th with 968 registrations, its best result in over a year.

The 20 Best Selling Electric Vehicles in France — September 2023

In the second half of the table, Citroen scored two record performances. The #15 Citroen e-C4 scored a record 596 registrations, thanks to the arrival of a new drivetrain for the quirky compact crossover-hatchback. Its larger brother, the even quirkier C5 X PHEV station-wagon-crossover-liftback, also had a best ever performance, reaching 722 registrations.

Another model with a record performance was the #13 BMW X1 PHEV, which scored 618 registrations. The crossover was the best selling model from the German OEM. In 16th, we have the MG ZS EV, which registered 585 units. That was the crossover’s best result in two years, highlighting MG’s strong demand. The Sino-British brand is not just the popular MG4….

Just below the top 20, we have two Volkswagen Group models hitting record scores, with the Skoda Enyaq reaching 454 registrations and its posh cousin, the Audi Q4 e-tron, getting 423 registrations. Expect both models to try and reach top 20 positions soon, now that the VW Group is no longer production constrained.

The 20 Best Selling Electric Vehicles in France — January–September 2023

Looking at the 2023 ranking, the top position is already taken, with the Tesla Model Y almost definitely ending as the best seller. If that comes to be, that would be a first for the crossover but the second trophy for Tesla (having previously won the title in 2021 with the Model 3).

The 20 Best Selling Electric Vehicles in France — January–September 2023

Still on the topic of the podium positions, the Peugeot e-208 was the “Star of the Month,” with the French hatchback not only surpassing its Italian cousin, the Fiat 500e, to regain the #3 position, but also now some 2,000 units behind the #2 Dacia Spring. So, depending on how smoothly the production ramp-up of the refreshed model goes, we could see the petit lion reach silver by year end.

It’s not the same as winning the Best Seller trophy, as the 208 did in 2022, but it is better than nothing, right? Besides, the Tesla Model Y has proven to be unbeatable this year. Better luck in 2024?…

Also, depending on how fast the production ramp-up occurs, the refreshed Tesla Model 3 could surprise towards the end of the year. If there are no hiccups, expect a surge in December, which might pull the sedan into the 4th position in the last month of the year.

A few positions below, the Peugeot 3008 PHEV was up one spot, to 9th, followed closely by the Renault Twingo EV, which also climbed one position, to 10th, providing some much needed good news to the French carmaker.

The 20 Best Selling Electric Vehicles in France — January–September 2023

In the second half of the table, the highlight was the new Mercedes-Benz GLC PHEV surging three positions, to #13. With the PHEV leader, the #9 Peugeot 3008 PHEV, being some 1,000 units ahead, we could see the midsize SUV try to steal the category trophy from the French crossover by the end of 2023.

Auto Brands Selling the Most Electric Vehicles in France

Auto Brands Selling the Most Electric Vehicles in France

Looking at the brand ranking, Tesla decreased its lead at the top of the podium, dropping from 12.9% share in August to its current 12.8%, no doubt harmed by the drop in Model 3 deliveries. As for #2 Peugeot (12.5%, up from 12%), it benefitted from the e-208’s strong effort to grow its share and try to recover the leadership position from Tesla. With just 0.3% separating the two, much of the decision will depend on the production ramp-up of the new Tesla Model 3 and the Peugeot e-208, respectively.

As a reminder, this could be an historical event — no other foreign brand has ever been ahead of the local heroes in France! On the other hand, if Peugeot does recover the leadership position, that would be its 3rd consecutive title.

In the last place on the podium, Renault (8.2%, up 0.3%) this time had reasons to smile. It had good results among its BEV lineup. Heck, even the Renault Zoe showed up in the top 20! On the other hand, its discount value-for-money brand, Dacia dropped slightly in September (6.6%, down from 6.8% in August). You win some, you lose some….

Proving the disruptive times we live in, SAIC’s MG (5.9%, up from 5.8%) has gained further distance over #6 Fiat (5.4%) and has kept the #6 position. Considering the current strength of MG’s lineup (based on the red hot MG4), we might see it challenge Dacia’s 4th spot in December. MG only needs to scale up production to meet the overwhelming demand for its sharp hatchback.

Auto Groups Selling the Most Electric Vehicles in France

Auto Groups Selling the Most Electric Vehicles in France

As for OEMs, Stellantis (28.3%, up from 28.2%) is the major force in this market, benefitting from Citroen’s and Peugeot’s strengths. But with the remaining brands in the conglomerate experiencing slow months, the multinational OEM basically stayed the same.

The same can be said at the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance (15.4%, up from 15.3%). If Renault had a good month, the remaining lineup hasn’t followed through.

3rd placed Tesla (12.8%) and 4th placed Volkswagen Group (11.1%) stayed the same, with the German conglomerate suffering from a slow month from the namesake brand, annulling the positive outcomes coming from Skoda, Audi, and Cupra.

Finally, #5 BMW Group (7.2%, down from 7.4%) lost share, but the consequences weren’t that big, because #6 Hyundai–Kia was also down, in this case to 6.5%.


--------This article is partly excerpted from Reuters.