European Electric Car Report June 2021 highlights
More Chinese BEVs delivered in June than Japanese BEVs in Europe
BEV car market remains on course to achieve >1m new units this year
Plug-in penetration above 20% in June
German plug-in production mix breaks through 20% mix in June
No time for silly-season – EU CO2 proposal change for 2030/2035 – 1M new plug-in registrations during the opening half
With the EU Commission's anticipated proposal to change the passenger car fleet average CO2 emission targets in 2030 to minus 55 per cent (currently -37.5% over 2020/21 levels), and perhaps less anticipated, 100 per cent reduction by 2035, Volkswagen Group CEO, Herbert Diess indicated the most likely short-term course of action from Europe's OEMs just 24-hours earlier.
During a presentation, he said, "Maintaining high cash flows from our ICE business to finance the transition will be paramount."
With the net only likely to tighten more aggressively than previously announced from 2030 onwards, passenger car makers, trigger happy to present ambitious longer-term EV plans – partly to flirt with capital markets – in reality are likely to keep the EV brakes partially on until at least mid-decade (see forecast), while squeezing out profits from incumbent ICEs accounting for over 90% of current passenger car volumes.
In terms of plug-in volumes today, pure electric (BEV) models surpassed plug-in hybrids (PHEV) for the first time this year in June, as predicted in the last edition, contributed to by the end of quarter push from Tesla, accounting for every fifth (20%) BEV in June – more than any other brand.
Germany (148,700) remained twice as large as the next pure electric car market (UK: 73,900) during the opening half of the year, accounting for 31 per cent of all BEV volumes registered across the 18 market region.
During the second quarter, it remained at 29.5 per cent while its first-half PHEV volumes accounted for an identical 31 per cent of the region as its BEV share.
In terms of manufacturers, the largest BEV passenger car group in Western Europe remained Volkswagen Group (25.4% share), delivering 3-in-4 of its global BEV volumes (171,000) to Europe according to company data.
The VW brand remained the largest BEV volume brand, registering 74,100 units (15.3% share of the market) during the opening half, or just over every tenth VW badged model entering W-European roads (676,274).
However, dig a bit further down the ranking and VW's EU CO2 pool partner, China's SAIC owned MG brand stood out in June with its ZS model achieving a top 10 volume position. Yet, with almost half of those 3,700 volumes arriving in Sweden, closer inspection reveals that due to a fiscal change taking place in July, dealers likely pre-registered a high number of models to pass on lower tax rates to its business drivers going forward. Nonetheless, this contributed to Chinese OEMs accounting for 4% of the total BEV market in June – more than the combined Japanese BEV models.
With a legislative roadmap to 2035 now clearer, this report's conservative forecast for the next half-decade remains. A change has been factored into the 2030 forecast (page 6-7).
Expect more clandestine EV braking behind headline-grabbing PowerPoints, before steady genuine mid-decade lift-off.
The European Electric Car Flash Report which is published on a monthly basis covers the entire West European region in a detailed data-driven manner.
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*Western Europe 18 Markets: EU Member States prior to the 2004 enlargement plus EFTA markets Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, plus UK