Registrations of electrified vehicles – including pure electric, plug-in hybrids and hybrids – totalled 50,400 units in Europe in April, making up 17% of the total market share.
This was in a market when new car registrations in Europe faced a predicted decline: volume fell from 1.34 million units in April 2019 to 292,600 vehicles in April 2020. As a result of lockdown, all new car registration figures were somewhat random due to various external factors, but plug-in hybrid registrations increased by almost 14,000, up by 7%.
Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics, comments that “EVs were already driving part of the small growth that remained in 2019. This year, as governments have acted quickly to protect their people and economies, EVs have gained even more traction and visibility due to incentives.”
“These cars are likely to become the top choice for consumers seeking private transportation. OEMs who have invested heavily in EVs are best placed to navigate the tough months ahead.”
Registrations of EVs from Volkswagen, Volvo, Audi and Ford posted double-digit growth: Volkswagen Passat PHEV (981 units), Volkswagen Up! BEV (678 units), Volvo V60 PHEV (897), XC40 PHEV (339 units), Audi E-Tron (1,289 units), Audi A3 PHEV (465), Ford Puma HEV (1,170 units) and Ford Kuga PHEV (753).
Felipe Munoz continues: “Lockdown across the globe contributed significantly to the huge drop in registrations. Not a single OEM was prepared for this scenario or expecting a crisis on such a large scale. The only silver lining from this turbulence is that it has created an opportunity for automotive players to reassess their operations and become more agile.”
As quarantine was not enforced across all countries, registrations fell at different times and different levels. For instance, in Scandinavia, citizens were granted more freedom of movement, thus registrations fell by 37%, the lowest decrease. In contrast, four of the top five markets saw significant declines following strict lockdown restrictions. Combined registrations in Italy, the UK, Spain and France tumbled from 646,000 units in April 2019 to 34,000 one year later.