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Europe: Plug-In Car Sales Accelerated In March 2023

The European passenger car market increased in March by about 26 percent year-over-year to more than 1.4 million new registrations, continuing its recovery.

The plug-in electric car segment expands slightly faster, reaching the second-highest monthly result ever.

According to EV Volumes data, shared by Jose Pontes, in March over 322,000 new plug-in electric cars were registered in Europe, which is 29 percent more than a year ago. That’s also 23 percent of the total volume.

Even more interesting is that all-electric car sales increased by 44 percent year-over-year to roughly 224,000 new registrations. Plug-in hybrids barely increased, after two months in the red.

New plug-in car registrations:

  • BEVs: *224,000 (up 44% year-over-year) and 16% share
  • PHEVs: *98,000 (up 4% year-over-year) and 7% share
  • Total: 322,465 (up 29% year-over-year) and 23% share

* estimated from the market share

So far this year, more than 667,000 passenger plug-in electric cars were registered in Europe, which is about 18 percent more than a year ago.

New plug-in car registrations year-to-date:

  • BEVs: about *0.44 million and 14% share
  • PHEVs: about *0.23 million and 7% share
  • Total: 667,542 (up 18% year-over-year) and 21% share

* estimated from the market share

For reference, in 2022, more than 2.6 million new passenger plug-in electric cars were registered in Europe (about 23 percent of the total volume).

One of the most important things in Europe is the amazing surge of the Tesla Model Y, which noted a new monthly record of 46,697 registrations, once again becoming the best-selling plug-in car (third time this year) and best-selling car of any kind (almost doubling the result of the second best model – Opel Corsa).

Clearly, local production at high volume, combined with price reductions, makes a difference, and it is spectacular to see an all-electric and American car at the top in Europe – both in March and in Q1. What will be the answer from the European automotive industry, which often neglected electric cars for so many years?

The next most-popular plug-ins were the Tesla Model 3 (13,600 units, but down from almost 20,000 a year ago), Volvo XC40 (8,957 counting BEVs and PHEVs together), Volkswagen ID.3 (8,583) and the Chinese MG 4 (7,759) ahead of the Volkswagen ID.4 (7,719).

Results last month:

  1. Tesla Model Y – 46,697
  2. Tesla Model 3 – 13,600
  3. Volvo XC40 (BEV + PHEV) – 8,957
  4. Volkswagen ID.3 – 8,583
  5. MG 4 – 7,759
  6. Volkswagen ID.4 – 7,719
  7. Audi Q4 e-tron – 7,033
  8. Peugeot e-208 – 6,459
  9. Ford Kuga PHEV – 5,835
  10. Dacia Spring – 5,621

After the first three months, the Tesla Model Y has a huge advantage over other plug-in models, which does not require much of a comment.

We are the most surprised that the Volkswagen ID.4 is not higher, but if we count it together with the Audi Q4 e-tron and Skoda Enyaq iV (three cousins), it’s actually not that bad – potentially close to 40,000 in Q1.

Results year-to-date:

  1. Tesla Model Y – 72,487
  2. Volvo XC40 (BEV + PHEV) – 20,975
  3. Tesla Model 3 – 19,797
  4. Volkswagen ID.3 – 17,366
  5. Volkswagen ID.4 – 16,199
  6. Audi Q4 e-tron – 15,410
  7. Dacia Spring – 14,299
  8. Fiat 500 electric – 13,712
  9. Peugeot e-208 – 13,314
  10. MG 4 – 12,783

The recent Tesla’s surge, took allowed the brand to increase its market share to over 14 percent in the plug-in segment (and much more in the all-electric segment), as well as jump from fifth to second position among automotive groups, ahead of Stellantis.

Top plug-in brands (share year-to-date):

  • Tesla – 14.2%
  • Volkswagen – 7.9%
  • Mercedes-Benz – 7.6%
  • BMW – 7.4%
  • Volvo – 6.5%

Top plug-in automotive groups (share year-to-date):

  • Volkswagen Group – 19.1% share (Volkswagen brand at 7.9%)
  • Tesla – 14.2%
  • Stellantis – 13.7%
  • BMW Group – 9.0% share (BMW brand at 7.4%)
  • Geely–Volvo – 8.9%
  • Mercedes-Benz Group (Mercedes-Benz brand at 7.6%)
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