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West European electric car market slams on the brakes

European electric car market sales trend 2023


PREVIEW November 2023 Study

The West European new pure electric BEV passenger car market came close to seeing year-on-year registrations fall in November, according to the latest provisional Schmidt Automotive Research data, published exclusively each month in the European Electric Car Study. The 18 market region grew by just 4 per cent, with five of the eighteen markets seeing volumes fall, including the two largest markets, Germany and the UK, both experiencing double-digit falls.  

Due to a variety of impacts recorded in the opening two-thirds of the year, this comes as no surprise, as documented in the study each month, with December expected to produce the first monthly fall since the first month of Covid lockdowns in April 2020, which saw the market retract by 29.9% year on year. 

Before that, the previous market contraction hadn't been seen since October 2016, and in reaction to a slightly inflated electric push in 2015 from some manufacturers to reach the first year of EU CO2 fleet emission targets in 2015 (130g/km NEDC).

Back to 2023, the year has been slowing ever since the pull-forward in the German market, which saw corporate car drivers see purchase subsidies cut completely from September 1, 2023, which culminated in Germany accounting for just under half of the total region's new BEV passenger car market in August, which with over 70% of its new volumes in the same month were delivered to corporate customers. 

Order banks in other markets are also beginning to run dry, with fewer incoming orders on pull-forward effects seen at the tail end of 2022, with the final deliveries from those orders now reaching customers.  

More granular details are published in the full study each month...  The European Electric Car Study published by Schmidt Automotive Research each month and is available to purchase as a single edition or an annual subscription.

The study now also features an in-depth look at the Chinese OEMs as their European expansion slowly begins. Are Chinese OEMs really a threat to the established European OEMs and what does the outlook look like?


*Western Europe 18 Markets: EU Member States prior to the 2004 enlargement plus EFTA markets Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, plus UK


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