March 2020 West European electric car market update

Updated: Apr 30

"Every fifteenth passenger car registered in the region in March was a pure electric model"

The West European electric car market benefited from a number of fiscal changes as the new fiscal year began, boosting volumes in key markets at a time when total markets took big hits due to the COVID-19 outbreak.



European monthly electric car sales trends


Key Updates:

Western Europe:

  • Western Europe recorded a record 6.5% BEV mix of total registrations during March

  • Q1 recorded a record BEV mix of 4.6%

  • BEV Q1 registrations rose to 126,000, +56% year on year. (prov. data) 

  • Combined plug-in (PHEV/BEV) Q1 volumes rose above 0.2 million units. (prov. data) 


European electric car sales quarterly trend


No.1 market volume YTD: Germany

  • The rolling 12-month total is now above 80,000 boosted by the increase in government subsidies being finally agreed upon and halving in the benefit in kind (BiK) tax rate (company cars achieved a 53 per cent share of new electric vehicle registrations in March (total market: 38 percent according to the VDA))

No.1 market volume March: UK

  • Top volume market in March thanks to the fiscal change in regards to the company car BiK tax falling to zero percent for BEVs from April 6th and the usual boost from the registrations changeover. The UK was also the last major market to introduce a full lock-down across its economy. 

  • The UK 12-month rolling total rose above 50,000 units up to March 2020

Market outlook:

  • Impacted by the Corona Virus outbreak, the 2020 forecast has been revised to 556,000 (58% y/y growth) from over 700,000 previously. This would equate to a 5 per cent share of a total market falling by -20 per cent. Moody's and LMC are both forecasting a 21 per cent contraction in the total W-European passenger car market in 2020.

This is just a summary of the European Electric Car Sales Monthly Market Intelligence Report which is published on a monthly basis and is available here.

© 2020 by Matthias Schmidt | Berlin, Germany