Plug-In Hybrids Now Outsell All-Electric Cars In Europe

JUL 7 2016 BY MARK KANE 21

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV charging in UK

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV charging in UK

In Europe PHEVs already outsell electric cars (Source: EagleAID)

In Europe PHEVs already outsell electric cars (Source: EagleAID)

Relatively strong and fast growing all-electric car sales in Europe have recently suffered a shortness of breath, and have been caught by surging plug-in hybrid sales.

According to the latest data, PHEVs are already more popular than BEVs in Western Europe taking 52% of the plug-in segment overall (Jan-May 2016):

  • PHEV: 40,300 (up 43% year-over-year)
  • BEV: 37,100
  • Total: 77,400

Worldwide BEVs still have advantage 58% – 42%. Our hunch for Europe is that it will end up at near a 50-50 split, as the “Tesla factor” will again come into play.  The California company delivered little in the way of new all-electric product in Q2 for Europe, selling some 75% of its vehicles at home over the thee months – a multi-year high in our estimation (perhaps distracted with fine-tuning and delivering of the Model X in the US).

For Q3 and Q4, that is about to change as the company looks to sell 50,000 EVs in the last six months, and already had 5,150 vehicles “in transit” to customers on June 30th – many of which are headed to Europe.

One of the countries making a big switch from mostly BEVs to mostly PHEVs is Norway.

“Sales of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) in Western Europe continue to rise as both environment- and value-conscious consumers, thanks principally to the lure of tempting plug-in grants in some markets such as the UK, are now opting in growing numbers for the flexibility of today’s PHEVs.

The latest AID survey shows that 5-months sales of PHEVs rose 43 per cent, thus accounting for a much-improved 0.7 per cent of the total West European car market at this year’’s 5-months stage.

As barometers of sentiment go, to date PHEVs already outsell pure electric cars, a trend fuelled by the governments’ intended switch to renewable automotive fuels.

New plug-in passenger car registrations in Norway – May 2016

New plug-in passenger car registrations in Norway – May 2016

Nowhere else is this more visible than in the sudden transformation of Norway’’s closely monitored car market.

In a sign of the times, in Norway’’s bellwether market the sales share of PHEVs pole-vaulted to 13.4 per cent so far this year, and during May itself PHEVs already outsold electric cars.

In consequence, Norway’’s May electric car sales share plunged to 11.1 per cent from 15.5 per cent a year ago”

Source: EagleAID

Categories: Sales

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply

21 Comments on "Plug-In Hybrids Now Outsell All-Electric Cars In Europe"

newest oldest most voted

I expect the trend to continue with so many manufacturers planning on adding plugs to much of their traditional line up making them into PHEVs. But far fewer announcements of pure electrics. So in another 3 or 4 years I suspect the simple number of PHEV models available will greatly outnumber BEV models.

I, myself, am a convert. I started with a Leaf and now I’ve had a 1st and 2nd Gen Volt. I don’t regret the move to PHEV either. I’m still EV 98% of the time.

Not surprising with the poor choice of long range BEVs. ICE car makers don’t want to quit putting ICE in cars.

Another Euro point of view

It is a bit more complicated than this I beleive.
We have here in Europe a good PHEV offer, by good I mean, cars large enough like the Mitsu. Outlander or VW Passat GTE. This as opposed to the GM Volt which is a little undersized for many families. Also their short EV ranges are less of a problem for commuting distance we have here. Lastly, in the summer half the North of Europe stuff their cars up to the ceiling and drive to the south of Europe. Even if only twice a year people do mind to have this choice open to them which is not always convenient with pure EV’s except if eye watering expensive. I may be a naive but I believe Euro car makers just build the cars they think (wrong or right) that people will buy. No conspiracy I mean (I now absence of conspiracy makes life a bit boring).

Conspiracies are all aroud and have always been. A predator hunting to feed his offsprings, any competition sprot, all companies conspire every day to survive. The problem is the corporate “packs” the big cartels and monopolies are too strong. Humans will go extinct while companies will survive! We have a climate emergency but the huge oil and car cartel prevent useful actions to occur. They have the politics and the media in their back pocket.

The absurdity of the capitalist machine.

View post on

+1 I visited Volvo and got a pretty hard anti-sell on the pictured XC90 T8 hybrid. “You’ll never get your $$ back”, etc. Guess they don’t make out as well with mark-up.

If you go atop IEV, and hit ‘compare EVs’ you will notice how little ICE makers have changed with mostly anemic 8-11kwh batteries. Volvo wants about $15,000, for their 9kwh of goodness.

The “Euro limited-range need” excuse doesn’t seem to fly, either. That’s a compliance design, for Euro cities banning ICE operation. No? Just as “Euro’s” want that autobahn power, they want the torque of that nice big, ‘Merican battery 😉

Turbo 4’s, and anemic PHEVs, will be looked back upon as the dog days of car buying.

Large and energy inefficient cars like the XC90 T8 hybrid and other PHEV SUVs have very limited real world electric range, and surveys show they are likely to not be charged at all, because it is not worth the trouble for the short electric gain. Never the less it is a giant step forward in the car manufacturers’ CO2/km portfolio due to the EU norms. A Golf GTE with and even more a Volt are much more likely to be charged because the drivers will be awarded with a decent electric range. Not to mention the i3 REX which is more a range extended BEV than a PHEV like the others.

Can I ask why? Was it just the range of the Leaf wasn’t good enough? I plan on moving the other way as soon as the Bolt is released. I am EV about 85% of the time on my Gen 1 Volt. I personally cringe every time the combustion engine starts on my Volt and am definitely looking forward to getting rid of it completely.

For me, the main issue is lack of charging infrastructure in Dallas/Ft.Worth. It is also impossible to drive to Austin or Houston in an EV (except for a Tesla). I got stranded a while back in the middle of the night because I had planned to use a Dc fast charger I saw on the map but when I arrived, it was at a Nissan dealership and the gates were closed and locked. So I ran out of juice trying to make it to the next nearest station 15 miles away. Essentially no new stations have been built in the last few years, and we’ve even lost a few because they were removed or they are perpetually broken or ICE’d. So I would definitely blame lack of charging infrastructure as reason #1 why I moved to a PHEV.

i am guessing phev have their advantages in colder countries compared to bev. its not like tesla is affordable.

In one better policy move, MA kept the Volt rebate at the maximum $2,500. Its northern state program otherwise mimics CA closely.

Getting to the low 50’s (i3), or 60’s (Leaf), or simply expecting winter will knock EPA range as low as 60% of what’s stated, are serious concerns at 15 degrees, in snow. There is no “extra 30-45 miles”, when a fuel light goes on, and that can be hard to impress upon your SO. 0 means zero.

A Grammar Nazi’s work is never done:

***mod edit (Jay Cole)***
Thanks PP, for the small note on thev(((cough))) very small, single error we made (((cough)))
…sorry we accidently deleted the rest of your note in acknowledging our very small, and solitary, mistake, (=

***mode edit***

Jay, thanks for the best belly-laugh I’ve had in weeks!

😀 😀 😀

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh the humanity 😉

Where are all the “Nobody will buy PHEVs!” and “PHEVs are just a ruse from the car industry” dogmatists?

I’m not so sure the European car makers offer PHEVs because that is what people want. Although I don’t believe in conspiracies, what I do believe is that because the few electric kilometers that European PHEVs offer have enormous effect on the milage per liter in the official European tests, the car makers can lower the consumption of their whole line-up of models this way. Which is what they need to do by European rule.

Therefore many PHEV models arrive on the market, with green advertising, and the people bite. But in some countries the incentives are not forcing people to actually plug-in their car.

I think Holland did the right thing – lowering the incentives on PHEVs after a few years but not on BEVs – and Norway is going in the wrong direction.

I’m getting a bit bored with report after report after report saying PHEVs are overtaking BEVs in Norway with NO MENTION of the changed incentives. This development is ENTIRELY due to a change in Norways policy that means PHEVs are now given preferential treatment along with BEVs (although to a lesser extent) AND continual talk of removing the BEV advantages (free parking, use of bus lanes, exemption from road tolls and so on). Why are you so hellbent on creating the impression this is happening due to just “market forces” when it is in fact the deliberate result of policy?!? Thankfully it doesn’t much matter what we do in our country of only as many people as a medium sized European city – we’ve already proved that a big BEV share is totally possible. And with the pace of improvement expected in the coming decade I’m sure BEVs will become dominant very quickly. Even so, it’s hard to see why InsideEVs should want to give people the impression PHEVs are simply more competitive by virtue of the products on offer when it is so obviously NOT the reason they’ve increased so much. Hybrids may be a bit better than ICE,… Read more »

So the BEVs gets outsold by PHEVs even though Norwegian incentives makes BEVs cheaper to buy.

It’s obvious that the “market force” is rather with the PHEVs unless being forced to BEVs by incentives/taxation.

Most BEVs still have a long way to go in many areas until they are better or even comparable to PHEVs.

PHEVs will massively help the rEVolution and make way for BEVs in the long run while they increase capacity and prices go down and reduce the petrol/diesel used during the next decade or two until zero-emission sales will be in majority.

Given the Outlander PHEV success in the EU, the percentage of PHEV vs BEV doesn’t surprise me.

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV could have made a killing, in the USA, over the past 2 to 3 years. I’m still dumbfounded by Mitsubishi’s unwillingness to sell the Outlander PHEV in the US. We’ll see if they delay delivery again this fall. What are we up to … 4 delays?

70% of PHEV drivers never plug in. PHEV = ICE.

105% of PHEV drivers always plug in and 27% of all BEVs have never been plugged in.

Look, I can also make up totally ignorant “statistics”…

Available statistics rather show that it would be impossible for more than a very very small percentage of PHEVs not being plugged in on a regular basis (at least in Europe/northern America, Chinese statistics are yet scarce on the subject).


“70% of PHEV drivers never plug in.”

…and 23% of statistics posted on the Internet are made up on the spot. 😉

Meanwhile, over at, we see — using real statistics, not made-up ones — that currently ~68% of all Volt miles are powered by electricity, not by gasoline. (That’s down from ~71% the last time I looked.)

Seems that a solid majority of Volt drivers, at least, are plugging in.

But if you have some actual real-world figures using a statistically valid sample — not just a few anecdotal reports — for smaller-ranged PHEVs and their electric miles vs. gas-powered miles, I’d certainly be interested to see those figures.