These electric cars are successful in Europe, but leave France more indifferent

We tend to think that the electric vehicle market is quite homogeneous, dominated by Tesla sales, for example. It’s not like this. There can be notable differences in the success of certain models between the French market and the rest of Europe.

Every month, through AAA DATA, we receive the ranking of the best sales of electric cars for France. Finally, to be more precise, it is the number of registrations in the last month, therefore, the ranking of the vehicles most delivered to customers. Behind the craze of certain brands that are highly visible on social media, other brands and models are doing well, keeping a low profile.

With Tesla deliveries going a little slower for several months ahead of the Model Y propulsion tsunami later in the year, that leaves a little more space and visibility for other models. It’s also an opportunity to compare what the French buy against the rest of Europe.

A bit of chauvinism and green-bonus-motivated purchases

When we look at the ranking of electric vehicle registrations in France over the last couple of months, there are some obvious facts that seem essential.

july 2022 august 2022
1 Renault Megane e-tech Renault Megane e-tech
two Peugeot e-208 Fiat 500
3 Renault Zoe Dacia Primavera
4 Fiat 500 Peugeot e-208
5 Peugeot e-2008 Renault Twingo
6 Renault Twingo Tesla Model Y
7 Hyundai Kona Peugeot e-2008
8 Dacia Primavera Hyundai Kona
9 Citroën ë-C4 Renault Zoe
10 Opel Mokka-e Kia Niro

The Renault group (with Renault and Dacia) and the Stellantis group (with Peugeot, Citroën, Fiat, Opel, etc.) occupy almost all the ground. As of July 2022, only the manufacturer Hyundai has played the stranger with its Kona. In August 2022, Hyundai also joins the top 10 of the second Korean brand, Kia, and Tesla.

In addition to belonging to a French group, it is also the scale of the ecological bonus that seems to motivate purchases. For the month of August, with the exception of Tesla’s Model Y, all models listed have finishes that qualify for the maximum bonus of €6,000.

If we look at the top 20 accumulated since the beginning of 2022, there are few models that do not benefit from any ecological bonus (6,000 or €2,000):

1- Peugeot e-208 (11979) 11- Mini Cooper SE (3,160)
2-Fiat 500 (11,185) 12- Citroën ë-C4 (2,963)
3- Dacia Spring (10,852) 13- Kia Niro (2,948)
4- Renault Zoe (9,515) 14- Kia EV6 (2,195)
5- Renault Twingo (9,315) 15-MG ZS (1905)
6- Tesla Model 3 (8063) 16- Opel Corsa-e (1674)
7- Renault Megane (6,257) 17- Hyundai Ioniq 5 (1619)
8- Tesla Model Y (4,713) 18- Opel Mokka-e (1,550)
9- Peugeot e-2008 (4614) 19-Volkswagen ID.3 (1,492)
10- Hyundai Kona (4,232) 20- Skoda Enyaq (1,478)

It’s not all about price. The Renault Megane e-Tech, for example, is 80% acclaimed for its EV60 version (with a 60 kWh battery and 220 hp), against 20% for the EV40 sales (40 kWh battery and 130 hp). An entry-level dropout trend that is likely to be interesting to follow in the long run. The first customers of the Mégane E-Tech seem to find this EV60 version a better quality/performance/price ratio.

Renault Megane E-Tech // Source: Raphaelle Baut for Numerama

If the number is decided in Mégane, for the other leader of the classifications, the Fiat 500e, the result is tighter. The offer with the small 23.8 kWh battery convinced 40% of French buyers. This not only because of its price, but also because it meets the needs of motorists seduced by this model with an urban vocation.

test-fiat-500-electric9
new Fiat 500e // Source: Raphaelle Baut for Numerama

Despite what one might imagine, not everyone is always looking for more autonomy. The Dacia Spring, the Renault Zoé, the Peugeot e-208 prove that there is a market for these urbanites.

These models that are successful in Europe, but are second-rate in France

Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4, Skoda Enyaq, Cupra Born or Hyundai Ioniq 5 are featured in the TOP 10 best-selling electric cars in Europe in July, but these models are often absent from our Top 10 in France.

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TOP 10 vehicles in Europe // Source: Jato

France is one of the main markets for the development of electric vehicles. Furthermore, if we take a closer look at the numbers for the month of July, France has a great influence on the trend of some models:

  • Renault Megane e-Tech: 55% of European sales of this model, ranked 5th at the top of the EU, are made in France.
  • Peugeot e-208: France represents 40% of the European volume.
  • Dacia Spring: about 22% of sales are French for July and more in other months.
  • Hyundai Kona: The percentage varies from month to month, but it reached 21% in July.
  • Fiat 500: the first in the European ranking is increased to 19% by French sales.
hyundai_ioniq5-8
Hyundai IONIQ 5 test drive // ​​Source: Raphaelle Baut for Numerama

For the other models of the Volkswagen group (Volkswagen, Cupra, Skoda), the percentage drops below 10%. The difference is quite obvious with the 5 models presented earlier. The Hyundai Ioniq 5 SUV drops about 2%, lack of orders or deliveries, the case of the Ioniq 5 is quite surprising.

If we find the Volkswagen ID.4 and ID.3 in the 11th and 13th position in sales in France last month. Skoda Enyaq is in August looking at No. 19. The Cupra Born, which however does not lack an argument to seduce like the ID.3, occupies the 28th position and the Hyundai IONIQ 5 occupies the 42nd position in the ranking.

vwgroup_vehiculeelectric
Volkswagen Group Electric Range // Source: Volkswagen

If the Volkswagen group still finds its customers in France, it is struggling a bit to establish itself over French models. As for the more premium models (Mercedes, BMW, Audi, Porsche, Volvo), their sales in France are below what can be seen in other European countries such as Germany and the Nordic countries.

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