Europe: Plug-In Car Sales Exceeded 2.27 Million In 2021

Tesla Model 3 was the most popular model, while Volkswagen Group captured the largest market share among automotive groups.

Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3

Passenger plug-in electric car sales in Europe continue to expand quickly, achieving a strong December and a record annual result of 2.27 million in 2021.

Let's first start with December, which was a very challenging month (mostly due to chip shortages) that brought an overall car sales decline of about 22% year-over-year. Nonetheless, plug-in electric cars basically maintained their volume from a year ago.

According to EV Volumes' data shared by Jose Pontes, in December, some 280,241 new passenger plug-in electric cars were registered, which is on par with December 2020 (-0.3% from 281,171).

Actually, because December 2020 was heavily inflated by the rush to lower the average CO2 emission, we can treat December 2021 as a more organic outcome.

Because of the decrease in overall car sales, plug-ins captured a new record 29% share.

See more sales reports for Europe here.

Interesting is that, according to the report, all-electric cars accounted for roughly two-thirds of the total plug-in volume last month. It was an all-time record month for BEVs.

Plug-In Electric Car Sales In Europe – December 2021

2.27 million and 19% share

In 2021, about 2,272,666 new passenger plug-in electric cars were registered in Europe. That's a big 66% increase compared to 1.37 million units in 2020 (reported by the same data source at the time).

Thanks to the strong second half of the year, the average plug-in electric car market share in 2021 improved to 19%, including 10% for all-electric cars and 9% for plug-in hybrids.

It means that almost one in five new cars were rechargeable and one in ten was all-electric. For reference, in 2020, plug-ins share stood at 11%, while in 2019 at 3.6%.

The most popular plug-in models

The Tesla Model 3 was the top electric car model both in December and in 2021. In December, the Model 3 noted a personal record of 27,455 new registrations (up 11%), not far from the all-time monthly record of 28,110, set by the Volkswagen ID.3 in December 2020. This outstanding result allowed it to become the most registered model overall in Europe for the month of December.

In the whole of 2021, the Model 3 noted 142,905 new registrations, which is the 17th best result overall, best in the midsize class, and of course, the best among plug-ins.

The Tesla Model 3 was #1 among plug-ins in 2019 and #2 in 2020 (behind the Renault ZOE).

Renault ZOE
Volkswagen ID.3

The second most registered model in December was the Renault ZOE - 11,393 units, which was enough to overtake - in the final month - the Volkswagen ID.3, in the rank for the year. The Renault ZOE is the second most popular electric car in 2021, with 72,562 registrations.

Speaking of the Volkswagen ID.3, it noted a relatively low result of 5,926 units in December (still in the top 10), and closed the year in #3 with 69,567 registrations.

It's worth highlighting December's results posted by Dacia Spring (8,148), Tesla Model Y (8,085), Volkswagen e-up! (7,789) and... Nissan LEAF (6,214 - a new record). The all-new Hyundai Ioniq 5 noted 5,024 units, while the Kia EV6 was at 3,129. Interestingly, the BMW i3 noted a new monthly record of 3,343.

The top-selling plug-in hybrid for the year 2021 was the Ford Kuga PHEV (Ford Escape PHEV in the U.S.) with 46,448.

Top models in December 2021

  1. Tesla Model 3 - 27,445
  2. Renault ZOE - 11,393
  3. Dacia Spring - 8,148
  4. Tesla Model Y - 8,085
  5. Volkswagen e-up! - 7,789
  6. Volkswagen ID.4 - 6,790
  7. Nissan LEAF - 6,214
  8. Skoda Enyaq iV - 5,930
  9. Volkswagen ID.3 - 5,926
  10. MINI Cooper SE - 5,129

Top models in 2021

  1. Tesla Model 3 - 142,905
  2. Renault ZOE - 72,562
  3. Volkswagen ID.3 - 69,567
  4. Volkswagen ID.4 - 55,006
  5. Kia Niro EV (e-Niro) - 46,705
  6. Ford Kuga PHEV - 46,448
  7. Fiat 500 electric - 44,492
  8. Skoda Enyaq iV - 44,402
  9. Hyundai Kona Electric - 43,415
  10. Volvo XC40 PHEV - 42,492

Top automotive groups in 2021

Finally, here are the top automotive groups by plug-in electric car sales volume in Europe:

  1. Volkswagen Group - 24% share (Volkswagen brand - 10%, Audi - 6%)
  2. Stellantis - 13% share
  3. Daimler - 10% share (Mercedes-Benz brand at 9%)
  4. BMW Group - 10% share (BMW brand at 8%)
  5. Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance - 10% share (Renault brand - 6%)
  6. Hyundai Motor Group

Tesla noted a 7% share among plug-ins in 2021. There is no a separate list sorted by all-electric car sales, but we estimated from the numbers that Tesla has about 13% share in the BEV segment.

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