Good and bad news coming from Europe. Last month, the new car registrations in Europe posted the record low for February with just 794,600 units. The total is 5.4% lower than the volume registered in February 2021, but 25% lower than February 2020, and -30% vs February 2019. The data from JATO indicates that last month was the worst February at least over the last 42 years.
The reasons are widely known by the public: semiconductors shortage and the impact of the war in Ukraine on the availability of pieces for the production of cars in the European plants. The consumers can’t simply find new cars.
Nevertheless, there is a bright spot. The demand for pure electric cars jumped by 77% during the month to 87,400 units, taking their market share to a record of 11%. The percentage grows to 19.5% by adding the PHEV registrations. One year ago, these cars represented 13.4% of total registrations, while two years ago, in February 2020, their market share was 6.3%.
Although it was not the end of the quarter, Tesla still led the BEV market with almost 15,800 units, up by 188% vs Feb-21. That’s 18.1% market share against 11.1% a year earlier, meaning that the Model Y is already paying off and making a lot of progress across Europe. In fact, it was along the Model 3 the two top-selling electric cars during the month.
Surprisingly, the third most registered BEV was the Fiat 500, with 3,800 units, up by 74%. The 500e made up 38% of the 500 total, not bad for a car of this price. It was followed by the aged Kia e-Niro, whose sales have improved over the last months, despite the reveal of the second generation. Better deals and years of experience allowed this Kia to increase its volume by 29% to almost 3,500 units.
The fifth position was occupied by the Hyundai IONIQ 5, a record one for this crossover introduced last year. It was able to outsell rivals like the Volkswagen ID.4, Skoda Enyaq and Kia EV6. Actually, these two Koreans put Hyundai and Kia ahead of Volkswagen in the ranking by brands. The German maker recorded big drops for the ID.3 (-40%) and up! (-65%), following issues at their production plants.
Among the electric models that were available a year ago, it is remarkable to see the big growth posted by the Mini Hatch electric (+92%), Polestar 2 (+72%), Volvo XC40 (+91%), Citroen C4 (+221%), Mercedes EQC (+92%), Porsche Taycan (+73%), Audi e-tron GT (+125%), and Mercedes EQV (+89%).
The importance of the low emission cars was more evident in some makes than others. For instance, they counted for 25% of Hyundai’s volume in February. That’s the highest percentage among the top 10 best-selling mainstream brands. It was followed by Kia (23%) and Peugeot (18%). In contrast, these cars just made up 4% of Toyota figures, 9% of Citroen, and 10% of Skoda. Among the premium brands, the percentage increases to 32% at BMW and 34% at Mercedes.