Top 5 Selling All-Electric, And Plug-In Hybrid EVs For Europe In 2017


The Eco Tour di Sicilia and Renault ZOE

Like many places (not named China), the European plug-in market is not suffering from a lack of growth this year, up more than 30% in the first quarter.

And thanks to EAFO (European Alternative Fuels Observatory) we have some insights as to which models are the most popular through the first 3 months of the year.

Top 5 selling BEV (source: EAFO)

Among all-electric cars, the top five models hold three quarters of the market:

  • Renault ZOE – 9,083
  • Nissan LEAF – 5,940
  • BMW i3 (excluding 1,132 i3 REx) – 3,956
  • Tesla Model S – 3,715
  • Tesla Model X – 2,902

As you can see, all of the best selling EVs are proprietary ones; put another way, plug-ins that don’t co-exist with any other powertrain options.

It also seems that the new, longer range Renault ZOE is already well out of range of any other competitor looking to take the top spot away from it.

On the plug-in hybrid side of things,  all of the top models are also available with conventional powertrains, and was are still writing the 2017 leader’s name in pencil.

The PHEVs are lead by Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, which like Renault ZOE and Nissan LEAF, comes from the Renault-Nissan Alliance:

Top 5 selling PHEV (source: EAFO)

  • Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – 5,393
  • Volkswagen Passat GTE – 3,570
  • Mercedes GLC350e – 2,532
  • Volvo XC90 PHEV – 2,422
  • BMW 225xe Active Tourer – 2,164

source: EAFO

Category: General, Sales

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19 responses to "Top 5 Selling All-Electric, And Plug-In Hybrid EVs For Europe In 2017"
  1. SparkEV says:

    BEV sales ranking follows the cost: lowest cost = highest sale.

    1. Ziv says:

      In the top 5 that is true, but almost 20% of the BEV sales are from vehicles that numbered 6th through 15th or whatever amount of BEV’s are sold in Europe. But cheaper BEV’s are definitely leading the way right now.
      I would bet that the S is going to outsell the i3 this year and by a decent amount. Whether it can outsell the much cheaper Leaf will be very interesting to see. What will be even more interesting to see will be how the III does next year when it actually starts to show up in Europe in decent numbers.

      1. Chris S says:

        I’ll take the bet. Model S is down 10% YTD while i3 is up 130%. Even though I don’t think the market for Model S is saturated yet Tesla ended their entry level offer which was very popular especially in Germany. So I don’t see it happening. Sales of model X however have more room to grow…

        1. Ziv says:

          I wouldn’t want to be the ranch on it, Chris, but I think that as Tesla ramps up production they will increase sales of the S, and to a lesser extent, the X in Europe. I have never driven an i3, only sat in one, but it just doesn’t seem like a car that has a lot of upside sales potential at the current price point, despite the current surge.

          But if it has a plug, I am happy to see the sales figures go up, here, there or where ever.

          What I, and just about everyone else, am really curious about is when is the III going to show up in real numbers, both here in the States and in Europe. I think the answer is “later than the fans think and sooner than the stock shorters/FUD’sters claim.”

          1. Dan says:

            Are you sure you understand what “shorting a stock” actually is? It is done by traders who don’t talk about the stocks (as opposed to the “analysts” who talk about stocks in the news but are not allowed to trade on those stocks) Every firm by law has a firewall between those two groups. Secondly, most traders are usually hedging some other long position when they short, not finding devious ways to kill off a company they don’t like. If you short a stock and the fundamentals are good, you will get your fingers burnt, whether there is “FUD” or not. That’s why most firms don’t let your average Joe get a margin account.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              I think he’s talking more about the Tesla stock shorters and FUDsters that infest every forum that has a lot of discussion about Tesla and its cars, whether it’s this one, the Tesla Motors Club forum, or some other EV discussion website.

              Whether the FUDsters are directly employed by stock trading firms or not seems rather irrelevant to the fact that they frequently disrupt useful online discussion. Firstly, the firms can easily use shell companies to create the legal fiction of separation between selling and marketing. Secondly, an astonishing number of Tesla stock shorters seem quite willing to spend hours each and every single day writing and re-posting Tesla FUD and Tesla bashing claims, whether or not they work for such firms. If you doubt this activity is frequent, then just visit Seeking Alpha and do a search on “TSLA” or “Tesla”. You’ll see literally hundreds of Tesla bashing posts every single day.

              I don’t understand why anyone would think it’s worth their time to do such persistent trolling, or why any stock investment firm would pay Internet trolls (either directly or indirectly) to do so, but the fact remains that a lot of very persistent anti-Tesla FUDsters, bashers and trolls do post to the internet quite frequently, regardless of whether they’re paid or not.

          2. ffbj says:

            I think the i3 is done for pretty much. When less expensive higher mileage evs come out> I mean what’s the point?

            So even Morgan Stanely, a long time Tesla supporter, thinks only 2k by the end of the year.
            In December 2016, I said 20k as a minimum, and Musk says 100k.
            So yeah it will probably be between those.
            Now I am leaning more towards 45k+, which is still a far cry from 100k.

          3. Peter says:

            Why compare sales of two so different cars as the model S and the i3 ?
            Model S is at least twice the price of a i3. Like comparing a Bugatti with a Fiat. Wait until Model 3 arrives that is more in the same size and price. And winner there will be Tesla.

  2. turboro says:

    So we have 100’000 ICE models and still only <10 BEV models to choose from since 2012 Model S, Leaf and Zoe came on the market and we wonder why BEV still have avg. 1% market share…

    1. Kimmi says:

      This is a Top 10, in reality there are some 16 BEV passenger cars on sale in Europe.

      At least in theory, if you go outside the big markets (Norway, Germany, France…) there’s the same problem that exists in non-CARB US markets: Half of them are not available.

  3. Bob Nan says:

    So if we combine Electrics & Plugins together, this is how the list looks

    1.Electric-Renault ZOE – 9,083
    2.Electric-Nissan LEAF – 5,940
    3.Plugin-Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV – 5,393
    4.Electric-BMW i3 (excluding 1,132 i3 REx) – 3,956
    5.Electric-Tesla Model S – 3,715
    6.Plugin-Volkswagen Passat GTE – 3,570
    7.Electric-Tesla Model X – 2,902
    8.Plugin-Mercedes GLC350e – 2,532
    9.Plugin-Volvo XC90 PHEV – 2,422
    10.Plugin-BMW 225xe Active Tourer – 2,164

    Top-2, 4th, 5th, 7th goes to Electric which puts it in big lead over plugins and that too in a non-quarter ending month. Wow.

    And we would like to know the sales of BMW i3 REX which goes up to 114 miles on battery before engine kicking in.

    1. Chris S says:

      I think the numbers are Q1 only. BEVs are 50% of sales. YTD including April: around 40,000 BEVs and 40,000 PHEVs. You did write the numbers for the i3 yourself: 3,956 BEVs + 1,132 REx. i3 sales are not down.

    2. Kimmi says:

      If you go here:

      You will see that the BMW i3 Rex has 1884 units, on top of the 5142 of the BEV version.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “Electric-BMW i3 (excluding 1,132 i3 REx) – 3,956”

      Hmmm, the BMW i3 BEV is significantly outselling the range-extended i3 BEVx?

      That’s a surprise. My understanding is that the ratios are about reversed in U.S. sales.

      1. Peter says:

        It takes some time to learn that you will not wish to use the ICE in a i3 and that you will not have any range anxiety.
        Then you also need to work the numbers to see that a i3 REX still needs a lot of expensive service that you won’t need on a pure EV. You save a lot of time and money buying a EV.

  4. Bob Nan says:

    Launched only in 2014-May, BMW i3 impressed us with big sales, but sad to see it going down slowly.

    This is a very distinctive car in 3 ways.
    * Made of lighter carbon fiber.
    * Available with a Range Extender option which goes beyond 114 mile electric range for another 80 miles of gas range.
    * Perfect for 4 passengers (84 cu. ft.) with decent cargo space (15 cu. ft.) and a tiny frunk.

    Ideally it should sell well. If its not selling, then BMW has to review it seriously.
    Is it possible that the Chevy Bolt is taking away its sales with a 238 mile range.

    Chevy is not BMW, but the electric drives shrinks the difference between a standard and a luxury make.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      The i3 would sell better if it wasn’t perceived as overpriced, and if the styling wasn’t something described politely as “polarizing”… which means a lot of people find it quite off-putting.

      It looks like, from a recent article, that BMW is taking steps to correct the latter situation. Whether or not they’re going to lower the price remains to be seen. Given that it’s BMW, I doubt we’ll see significant price reductions. That carbon-fiber body is great for reducing weight, but I’ll bet it’s not cheap!

      It may well be that carbon-fiber represents potential future savings, if and when production is ramped up to make most or all car bodies out of carbon-fiber composites. But at the moment, my guess is it’s significantly more expensive to make a carbon-fiber body than a traditional steel one.

    2. Peter says:

      As the batteries increase in size on the i3 also will sales do so. The first models hade two small batteries.
      Love that i3 car.

  5. jose says:

    Lets ask for a 60kw battery on the Cadillac phev and with a price of about $50,000 you will have a GM version of the Tesla S at an attractive price. If they fit such a big battery on the Bolt, they can do the same on the bigger luxury car. How about 40KW on the GM Volt? You will increase the range to 100 miles from the 52 mile range at the present. GM should be dominating the EV’s by now with what they have now, but somehow they are still much in love with ICE vehicles to start an EV revolution.