European Electric Vehicle Sales Jump by 34% in First Half of 2019

European sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) totaled 259,000 in the first six months of 2019, up 34% compared with the same period in 2018. Electric vehicle (EV) sales accounted for 2.0% of all new car sales in Europe in the first six months of 2018 and rose to 2.7% in the first half of this year. EVs accounted for about 2.2% of total car sales in Europe last year.

The largest first-half gain came in Germany, where sales rose by 13,000 units (up 36%) to around 48,000 units sold. Germany displaced Norway as the leader in sales volume, a position the Nordic country had held since the beginning.

Norway remains the leader in EVs on the road by a wide margin, with 47% of all vehicles on the road. Iceland is a distant second with EVs comprising about 10% of the country’s fleet.

Research firm reported the data Thursday and noted it expects full-year 2019 growth to reach 33% for a total of 540,000 BEVs and PHEVs sold in Europe.

At the end of 2018, there were about 1.34 million electric vehicles in Europe. With the addition of a forecast 540,000 in 2019, that total rises to around 1.88 million by the end of this year. Globally, EV-volumes expects 3.2 million EVs on the world’s roads by the end of 2019, an increase of 57% year over year.

The top-selling electric vehicle in Europe is Tesla’s Model 3, which delivered 38,000 of the EVs to Europe in the first half of the year. Sales of the Models S and X declined by 13,200 units to total just 7,800. Model 3 had virtually no sales in Europe last year, and the year-over-year percentage increase of 244% is not particularly meaningful.

BMW Group sales rose by 9% in the first half of 2019 to around 38,000 vehicles, good enough for a second-place ranking behind Tesla’s 45,800 total sales. Hyundai-Kia’s EV sales rose by 95% to around 35,000 units sold and Renault’s sales rose by 44% to around 30,000.

Daimler’s European EV sales fell by the largest percentage, 37%. Peugeot sales dropped by 30% and Volkswagen sales dropped by 26%.

EV-volumes notes a sharp change in the European market for EVs:

Demand and supply experiences a profound shift towards pure electric vehicles (BEV). While their share in plug-in sales was 51 % for 2018 H1, it has increased to 68 % for 2019 H1. The change reflects the introduction of the more stringent WLTP [Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure] for fuel economy ratings, changes in taxation/grants promoting more BEV uptake and better supply of long-range BEVs.

The total number of electric vehicle models available in Europe by the end of this year is expected to rise to 45 BEVs and 50 PHEVs, increases of 10 and 15, respectively. PHEV sales fell by 13% last year while BEV sales rose by 79%.

EV-volumes reported 80,000 public charging stations in Europe at the end of 2017 and expects around 100,000 when the data are in for this year.