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Q1 2019 Electric Car Report

Updated: May 6, 2019

While the Dutch and Swedish pure electric car markets remain in an upward trajectory, with both experiencing major fiscal changes within the past 12-months, the UK BEV (Battery electric Vehicle) passenger car market remains in neutral.

European electric car sales trends rolling totals
12-months rolling electric car sales totals from the 6 largest European markets

All markets - apart from right hand drive markets - received a major boost from the narrowly over 15,000 Tesla Model 3 first full month registration volumes recorded in March making it the most registered model in both March and the opening quarter of the year.

Tesla was the largest manufacturer in terms of registrations in Western European in the same periods, although its Model S and Model X experienced large first quarter falls of -59% and -29% respectively according to this exclusively compiled data.

Tesla sold more cars than Honda in Western Europe during March

Tesla's West European deliveries in March, were so impressive in fact, with narrowly under 17,500 West European registrations, it resulted in the company from California, headed by Elon Musk, registering more passenger cars than Honda (17,092 according to ACEA).

West European electric passenger car registrations by manufacturer Q1 2019

Norway returned to the top spot in, volume terms, surpassing German pure electric car sales thanks to the huge boost from the Model 3 which accounted for 49.5% of Norway's 10,732 March registrations according to OFV data. According to official German BAFA government data the German Model 3 reception remains more muted with monthly subsidies claimed for the Tesla model remaining at just below 1,000 units on a monthly basis.

Europe electric car sales trend
West European 12-month rolling electric car sales total

2019 is still expected to be a bridging year before manufactures have to meet tough EU CO2 targets set at an average of 95g/km based on the manufacturers fleet average mass weight. From 2020, with production restrictions for current electric models expected to be lifted, coupled together with the introduction of a host of new models coming to market such as the Volkswagen ID. with an initial volume of 100,000 (all MEB based models) at its Zwickau facility, combined, these are expected to help in achieving these targets.

Top selling electric car models Europe Q1 2019
Top selling electric car models Western Europe Q1 2019

Toyota are one of the only OEMs that don't require to introduce electric vehicles to achieve these targets due to its long-term planning with its petrol-hybrid strategy. It's 2017 EU CO2 average (NEDC) stood at 103.1 g/km according to OEM data. 2018 provisional data is expected to be released next week. Other OEMs - following on from as Fiat-Chrylser (FCA) / Tesla - may enter joint pools to take advantage of other OEMs electric car surplus models. New electric only manufacturers entering the market could also become CO2 pool targets. e.GO which are basing vehicles on Volkswagen's MEB platform and fellow German manufacturer Sono Motors, that recently announced production will begin imminently at the former Saab plant in Sweden, could become prime targets.

My forecast for the West European (includes Norway + Switzerland) passenger car market remains at 336,000 units or just under 2.5 per cent mix of total registrations. March stood at 2.5 per cent, while the mix in the first quarter was 2.1 per cent.

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