Climate Action

21% increase in electric car sales in 2016

A total of 91, 300 electric vehicles were sold in Europe in the first six months of 2016 – a 21 per cent year on year increase.

  • 22 August 2016
  • William Brittlebank

A total of 91, 300 electric vehicles were sold in Europe in the first six months of 2016 – a 21 per cent year on year increase.

This data includes both all-electric (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) passenger vehicles, as well as light commercial vehicles such as delivery vans.

Although growth has remained strong all year, it declined slightly in the second quarter due to weak growth in Denmark, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

The most extreme drop of 73 per cent in the Netherlands was mostly the result of changed taxation policies and therefore does not accurately reflect growing electric vehicle awareness and popularity.

Growth elsewhere, however, has remained strong – particularly in Spain, Austria, Finland, Portugal and Belgium.

PHEV growth was strong across the board.

Norway remains the most successful, with EVs and PHEVs accounting for around 24 per cent of the country’s total automotive sales.

Sweden came in second, with a 3 per cent market share for plug-in vehicles, and was followed by Iceland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Austria and the UK – all with plug-ins accounting for a greater than one per cent share of total automotive market sales.

The Renault Zoe held the top spot for best-selling car models, accounting for 14.2 per cent of all plug-in vehicle sales in Europe, followed by the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV (10.2 per cent), the Nissan LEAF (9.3 per cent) and the Tesla Model S (8.7%)

The VW Passat GTE PHEV, Mercedes C350e PHEV, Volvo XC90 PHEV, VW Golf GTE PHEV, BMW i3 EV/EREV and VW e-Golf EV were also popular models.

193, 000 plug-ins were sold in Europe in 2015, which was double the 2014 number.

Growth expectations are less for the rest of 2016 due to the scaled back growth in some important markets but are still positive with estimates of an overall 30 per cent increase from 2015.