Small electric cars were selling like hot cakes before the COVID-19 strike.

Italy is one of the countries most affected by the coronavirus outbreak and lockdown, which is clearly reflected by the 86% collapse (year-over-year) of the automotive market in the month of March.

Interestingly, the plug-in car sales were so high in the initial part of the month that this particular segment managed to stay positive with 1,322 new sales (up 22% year-over-year)!

Combined with the low ICE sales, plugs-in share surge to a new all-time record of 4.6% (3.3% for all-electric cars). However, we must be aware that most of the sales are for cars ordered in advance.

Overall, after the first three months of 2020, 8,356 plug-ins cars were sold (2.4% of all new passenger cars).

Plug-in electric car sales in Italy - March 2020

The specifics of the Italian market is that the top-selling plug-ins are usually small all-electric cars like the new Renault ZOE (#1 with 841 YTD), all-new Peugeot e-208, surprisingly strong smart fortwo EQ and the Volkswagen e-up!

The main exception in the top five is the Tesla Model 3, which noted its best result in 9 months - 358 (a volume delivery at the end of the quarter) and was able to secure second place for the year (658).

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Source: EV Sales Blog