- EV sales penetration dropped to 18.4% in Q1 2023 from 27.6% in Q4 2022
- Tesla Model Y was the best-selling EV model across all major countries except Spain.
- EV sales penetration is expected to exceed 25% again by the end of the year.
London, New Delhi, San Diego, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Beijing, Seoul – July 5, 2023
Europe’s passenger electric vehicle* (EV) sales increased by more than 13% YoY in Q1 2023, according to the latest research from Counterpoint’s Europe Passenger Electric Vehicle Model Sales Tracker. While overall passenger car sales in Europe are showing signs of improvement, they have not yet reached pre-COVID-19 levels. In terms of overall EV sales, Germany led the pack, closely followed by the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway. Meanwhile, the share of EVs in total passenger vehicle sales was the highest in Norway and the Netherlands.
In Q1 2023, Battery EV (BEV) sales jumped 32% YoY while plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) sales declined 13% YoY. Consequently, the EV share of total passenger vehicle sales declined during the quarter from that a year ago.
Meanwhile, there has been notable progress in the European market for Hybrid EVs (HEV) and mild-hybrid EVs (MHEVs). This indicates that Europe is making efforts to tap into the lower-end EV market while simultaneously developing battery ecosystems and fostering a circular economy. These initiatives are being undertaken before placing a stronger emphasis on pure EV sales.
Commenting on the market dynamics, Senior Analyst Soumen Mandal said, “In Q1 2023, most European EV sales were captured by the top five automotive groups – Volkswagen Group, Tesla, Stellantis, Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai-Kia. They accounted for nearly two-thirds of the market share. When it comes to pure electric vehicles (BEVs), Tesla holds the second position, slightly behind Volkswagen. In the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) market, Volkswagen takes the lead, followed by Mercedes-Benz and BMW.”
“Chinese EV manufacturers struggled to increase their market share in Europe during the quarter. However, MG, BYD, NIO, ORA and Aiways managed to improve their sales compared to the previous year. On the other hand, LYNK & CO, Hongqi and Xpeng faced challenges in the European market. Nevertheless, we expect Chinese automakers to be able to enhance their market share in the coming quarters by offering cost-effective vehicles with advanced features, as the EV market is expected to perform better.”
The top-selling EV model during Q1 2023 was the Tesla Model Y, followed by the Volvo XC40, Tesla Model 3, Volkswagen ID.3, and Audi Q4 e-tron. These top five models account for nearly a quarter of the total shipments. The Tesla Model Y dominates the market across major European countries, demonstrating Tesla’s strong brand presence in the region, except in Spain where it faces more competition.
Discussing the market outlook, Research Vice President Peter Richardson said, “The penetration of EVs in total passenger vehicle sales in Europe experienced a decline this quarter, dropping to 18.4% from 27.6% in Q4 2022. This is a significant shift compared to the previous trend of continuous QoQ growth. Except France, all major countries experienced this decline during Q1 2023.”
“Several factors contributed to this decline, including the unstable economic conditions and the removal of EV subsidies by Norway. Germany, the largest EV market in Europe, experienced a decline as the looming recession and cautious consumer spending hurt the EV market. These circumstances impacted the overall adoption of EVs in the region. However, since April, the European region has shown signs of recovery. As a result, we expect the share of EVs to rebound and surpass 25% again by the end of this year.”
*Sales refer to wholesale figures, i.e. deliveries from factories by the respective brands/companies.
*The countries in this study include Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and Ukraine.
*For EVs, we consider only BEVs and PHEVs. Hybrid EVs and fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) are not covered by this study.
The comprehensive and in-depth ‘Europe Passenger Electric Vehicle Sales Tracker, Q1 2018-Q1 2023’ is now available for purchase at report.counterpointresearch.com.
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Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in products in the TMT (technology, media and telecom) industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects and detailed analyses of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are seasoned experts in the high-tech industry.
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