This article was published on November 2, 2020

European EV sales had a record-breaking September

The Renault Zoe is still leading sales YTD

European EV sales had a record-breaking September
Matthew Beedham
Story by

Matthew Beedham

Editor, SHIFT by TNW

Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls. Matthew is the editor of SHIFT. He likes electric cars, and other things with wheels, wings, or hulls.

Despite the global pandemic and economic downturn, the electric vehicle (EV) market in Europe is managing to buck the trend.

According to figures shared by InsideEVs, there’s no sign of the trend slowing down either. In fact, plug-in electric vehicles had their best month of the year in September.

The month saw a record 160,059 registrations of plug-in vehicles, that’s 166% more than September 2019.

[Read: 4 ridiculously easy ways you can be more eco-friendly]

Let’s drill down into that number further: battery electric vehicles (BEVs) outsold plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) cars by about 29%. September saw 91,615 BEVs registered and 68,444 PHEV registrations, in Europe.

For battery EVs, sales are up 120% compared to September 2019. PHEV sales are up a staggering 268% year-on-year.

The boom in PHEV sales may be explained in part as a result of more hybrid vehicles coming to market and buyers wanting to reduce their personal carbon footprints. A host of carmakers — like Ford with its Kuga PHEV and Volvo with its XC40 and XC60 PHEVS — have quietly added hybrid vehicles to their lineups to meet fleet emissions targets.

For many old-school motorists that aren’t ready to make the full leap to electric cars, PHEVs represent a useful halfway house, which may also explain their popularity.

The launch of Volkswagen’s all-electric ID.3 has made a noteworthy impact on September’s sales, posting 8,571 registrations in the month. This made it the third most popular EV in September.

But it’s the two EV stalwarts, the Tesla Model 3 and Renault Zoe, that took first and second spots, with 16,125 and 11,026 registrations respectively.

So far this year, the Zoe is still leading the pack having sold 63,504 units since January 1, 2020. The Tesla Model 3 is a close second with 57, 167, and the VW e-Golf a distant third seeing 27,126 sales.

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