Sales of electric cars: France is a very good student in Europe

The combustion engine remains the majority in Europe, but electric vehicles dominate. Registration figures in France are well above the European average, France has made a good start on the transition to zero emissions.

By 2035 and with the end of commercialization of thermal vehicles, the share of electrified vehicles (hybrid and electric) in Europe can only increase. In the first three quarters of 2022, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) shows that 43% of registrations in Europe will already be of hybrid, plug-in hybrid or electric vehicles. A year-on-year increase, especially for the 100% electric vehicle category. Things are changing, although internal combustion engines still dominate, and there are still strong differences between countries.

During the first three quarters, the share of electric vehicles in Europe increased from 7.6% in 2021 to 10.6% in 2022. In France, electric cars already account for 13% of registrations, so we are well above the European average. .

In Europe: rechargeable hybrid falls as electric climbs

According to the volume of registration, France is the second European market, the first country is Germany, far ahead of France and other European countries. Despite the high number of registrations, France is not the most virtuous country when it comes to opting for electrified motorization. After all, we are only a few points above the European average.

IONITY filling // Source: Raphaelle Baut for Numerama

If we compare the registrations of Germany, France, Holland, Spain and ItalyDuring the first 9 months of 2022, we understand that not all markets behave in the same way when it comes to buying new models:

France Germany The Netherlands Spain Italy
Electricity France+31.8% Germany+15.2% The Netherlands+55.2% Spain+40.4% Italy-23.8%
Plug-in hybrid France-13% Germany-10.5% The Netherlands+12.4% Spain+15.3% Italy-8.6%
A classic hybrid France+9.6% Germany+3.2% The Netherlands+4.5% Spain+8.3% Italy+0.5%
essence France-19.9% Germany-14.3% The Netherlands-24.7% Spain-15.7% Italy-23.7%
Diesel France-34.1% Germany-15.2% The Netherlands-36.2% Spain-19.5% Italy-28%

In France, the rechargeable hybrid is losing ground by -13%. Customers seem to prefer either a classic plug-in hybrid or an electric motor. This is a trend that can also be observed at the European level in the third quarter. PHEV hybrids (plug-in or rechargeable) fell 6% over the period, while electric and conventional hybrids are still on the rise.

The sharpest declines in all countries concern diesel engines. A movement that started since the Dieselgate scandal. Petrol models still have some success in some countries, particularly those lagging behind in electrification, but overall registrations are also falling in Europe. Italy is a bit of a special case. In the Italian market, all engines, with the exception of conventional hybrids, find it difficult to find buyers, all of which are negative.

In a sign that things are changing across Europe, some countries have recorded triple-digit increases in electric vehicle registrations over the past three months:

  • Cyprus: +490%;
  • Latvia: +232%;
  • Romania: +213%;
  • Bulgaria: +102%

A market is emerging in these countries. Therefore, the volumes are very few (a few hundred or a few thousand copies at most), but the symbol is strong. Diesel is dropping and being replaced by electrified engines.

Note the October market in France: electric still beat diesel

Electric vehicle registrations are back to cruising speed, with fewer than 6,000 registrations in October 2022 compared to September. September was particularly dynamic, due to the fact that the holidays coincided with August.

Peugeot e-208 new electric motor // Source: Peugeot
Peugeot e-208 is at the top of the rating in October 2022 // Source: Peugeot

With the exception of a few cars, electric cars once again outnumbered newly registered diesel cars: 16,850 diesel cars versus 16,861 electric cars. A difference of just 11 cars is enough for the second month in a row that electric cars outnumber diesel cars in France.

Finally, in the TOP 20 registration of electric cars for October in France, two models of the same brand have a remarkable appearance. MG managed to place the new MG4 and Marvel R in the rankings. Something tells us we’ll be seeing the MG4 in this lineup pretty regularly in the coming months.

new MG4 // Source: MG
the new MG4 goes straight into the top 20 // Source: MG

For the rest of the ranking, there are only a few changes in the names of the main competitors found there. Only the volumes are very different from last month. For example, Dacia Spring, which was in third place with 2,170 registrations in September, fell to tenth place in October with only 550 vehicles registered.

Model Registrations
October 2022
in the rating
Peugeot e-208 2350 +3
Renault Megane-E 2,109 -1
Fiat 500 1,276 +3
Tesla Model 3 1,256 -2
Renault Twingo 810 0
Peugeot e-2008 642 +3
Renault Zoe 635 +1
Volkswagen ID.3 602 +2
Hyundai Kona 551 +3
Dacia Spring 550 -7
Tesla Model Y 534 -4
Mini Cooper SE 433 -1
Opel Corsa-e 303 +10
Volkswagen ID.4 278 0
Volvo-XC40 270 0
MG MG4 263 new
Citroen E-C4 248 -1
DS DS3 Crossback 230 +2
MG Marvel R 224 +5
Kia EV6 223 -1

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