European Sales of Electric Cars Rises by 32% in First Half of 2017

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European sales of battery electric vehicles (BEV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) totaled 135,100 in the first half of this year, up 32% compared with sales in the first half of 2016. Electric vehicles accounted for 1.63% of total car sales in Europe in the first six months of 2017.

The largest gain came in Germany where sales rose by 12,000 units, more than double 2016 sales for the second quarter. Germany has overtaken both the United Kingdom and France to rise to second place behind Norway.

Sales growth in the first two months of the third quarter is even more impressive. In July, sales were 54% higher than in July of 2016, and August sales rose 69% year over year.

The data were reported Thursday by research firm EV-Volumes, which noted that growth is driven by pricing and longer range BEVs including the new Nissan Leaf, the Opel Ampera-e, the Renault Zoe and the BMW i3.

The top-selling Renault Zoe is a BEV with a range of about 130 miles and a base-model sticker price in France of about $26,460 before incentives of $8,300. Battery rental fee for up to 4,700 miles of driving in one year is $77 per month. Renault sold more than 17,000 Zoes in the first half of 2017, up 45% year over year.

Other vehicles with large first-half sales gains include the following:

  • Hyundai Ioniq BEV: up 26,880% to 2,698 units
  • Tesla Model X: up 9,103% to 5,706 units
  • Mercedes-Benz GLC350e PHEV: up 1,507% to 5,946 units
  • BMW i3 BEV: up 102% to 10,257 units

Sales of BEVs accounted for 53% of all electric car sales in the first half of the year, but PHEV sales are rising again primarily due to new models coming on the market from German carmakers. EV-Volumes researchers expect 2017 sales to total between 305,000 and 310,000 units for the full year, an increase of 25,000 units from a previous estimate.