Tesla is in decline, SUVs are king, and more insight from the world’s largest electric-vehicle market


Europe overtook China in 2020 to become the world’s largest market for electric vehicles, amid a pedal-to-the-metal push to increase EV adoption from governments and supercharged demand from consumers.

According to a report based on public data by Automotive Analyst, the registration of new electric vehicles was 1.33 million in major European markets last year, compared to 1.25 million in China. Matthias Schmidt.

18 markets include European Union states – minus 13 countries in Central and Eastern Europe – as well as the UK, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland.

And the development will only continue according to Schmidt, which publishes the European Electric Car Report. He said the share of electric vehicles in the European car market would increase from 12.4% in 2020 to 15.5% in 2021 – 1.91 million vehicles out of a total of 12.3 million, and an increase of 572,000 from 2020.

Major trends have emerged as Europe races to become the most important region for EVs, the report published that Schmidt shared with Marketwatch.

Among them is that the Renault Zoe is now the most popular electric vehicle in Europe, surpassing Tesla’s Model 3, which topped in 2019. In fact, Tesla’s success in Europe has diminished across the board compared to the previous year, with the company delivering 97,791 cars across the continent in 2020, down from 109,467 in 2019.

Here you should know:

SUVs are leading the rise

When you think of environmentally friendly vehicles, sport-utility vehicles, and crossovers, there may not be a spring in mind. But the class is by far the most popular type of battery-electric vehicle in Europe, representing 27% of all registrations in 2020 and 29% in December alone.

Hyundai 005380,
+ 0.42%
And Kia 000270,
-1.11%
Led the pack, making up 39% of battery-electric SUVs and crossover volumes in 2020.

SUVs and crossovers are even more popular with hybrid buyers – accounting for 53% of plug-in hybrid electric-vehicle volumes last year.

Luxury buyers prefer hybrids

When it comes to hybrids, the best. Premium brands made up 58% of all plug-in hybrid electric-vehicles in 2020.

Many of those cars were supplied by German automotive giants: Volkswagen Group VOW,
-0.40%,
Joe Audi and Porsche own Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler DAI.
+ 0.46%,
And BMW BMW,
-0.19%.

The wave coming from china is

As Chinese carmakers increase efforts to meet market demand at home and abroad, they are looking at Europe.

The volume of electric vehicles in Europe, which was made by Chinese companies, increased 1290% to 23,800 units from 2019 to 2020. Much of that momentum came recently – half of those cars came in the final three months of the year.

As Europeans scramble to buy electric vehicles, Tesla was also involved in the influx of cars from China. In December, 20% of all Tesla TSLA,
+ 5.83%
Models registered in Austria were manufactured in China.

Read also: Audi is betting on the luxury market in a new electric-vehicle venture with China’s oldest carmaker

Government action increasing speed of EV adoption

European car manufacturers are being pushed to manufacture electric vehicles in excess of the binding emission target, with the threat of millions of euros in fines from the European Union.

In a phased manner until 2020, and will continue into 2021, the fleet’s average emissions target for new cars should be 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, which is about 4.1 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers.

In the wake of the post-Brexit trade deal, the UK government said the country’s carmakers face emissions as “least ambitious” in the European Union.

EV adoption is being pushed to both sides of the market, with governments encouraging demand by providing generous incentives to buyers to trade in their gas Gujjars.

In Germany, buyers can save up to € 9,000 ($ 10,940) on the purchase of new electric vehicles. France offered incentives of up to € 7,000 in 2020, but will be reduced to € 6,000 in 2021.

Regulation can hurt some bottom lines in the short term

The Volkswagen Group confirmed last week that it had not met EU emissions targets for 2020, meaning the company is on the hook for more than € 100 million in fines.

Others may face the same fate, although rivals Daimler, BMW, Renault RNO,
-0.58%,
And Peugeot (now part of Stellantis STLA)
+ 1.05%
) Everyone says they met their goals.

“Despite very ambitious efforts in electrification, it is not possible to meet the set fleet target. But Volkswagen is clearly well on its way, ”said Rebecca Harms, a member of the independent Volkswagen Sustainment Council.

“The key to success will be to give more and more roles to small, efficient and affordable models in the electrification rollout.”

It is unclear how easy it will be in 2021. The COVID-19 epidemic contributed to the lowest passenger-car registration in Europe since 1985 and, according to Schmidt, allowed many car manufacturers to meet the target.

Read also: Car manufacturers pedaled the metal on electric vehicles in 2020, with sales increasing in a key sector where Tesla lost market share

Tesla is losing dominance

Tesla comfortably topped the European EV charts in 2019. It delivered more than 109,000 vehicles that year, making up 31% of the region’s battery electric-vehicle market.

But Tessa changed in 2020, with Tesla overtaking both Volkswagen Group brands, with a 24% market share and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance with 19% market share. Last year, Tesla delivered around 98,000 vehicles and made up just 13% of the European market.

According to Schmidt, it was a mark of emission targets, and the spectacle of large-scale fines, which intensified European carmakers’ fight against Tesla for dominance.

See it all: Electric-car sales jumped to record 54% market share in Norway in 2020, but Tesla tops

“With 2021 getting even harder – thanks to the phase out – Tesla will come under even more intense competition,” Schmidt said. “Come 2025 when the goal rises again, Tesla will definitely play against potentially fit opponents and potentially struggle.”

However, Schmidt pays attention to its market outlook for 2021, with Tesla’s factory opening in Germany expected to begin production in the second half, with regional versions likely to double next year.

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