Considering that the Volkswagen e-Golf has a firm grip on the #2 spot in terms of year-to-date sales and was actually the top seller in May, Volkswagen Group is sitting kind of pretty in the #1 plug-in vehicle (PEV) market in the world (#1 in terms of PEV market share, not total volume). In fact, Volkswagen and Audi each have 12% share of the auto market there, combining for 24%, whereas the next best brand, Toyota, has just 9% market share, mostly on the back of plug-less hybrids. (Full disclosure: I own shares in Volkswagen Group. I do not intend to buy or sell shares in the coming 48 hours.)
There has been much written lately about Volkswagen software issues, and the story seems to get worse by the day, but there’s no denying that even without an advanced-software ID lineup, Volkswagen Group is feeling comfortable in the most mature electric vehicle market in the world.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of all in this market for me is the vehicle in the #3 spot in terms of year-to-date sales, the Nissan LEAF. After all these years, with so many new models on the market, this old-timer sure does a good job holding in there.
The Hyundai Kona EV, 2019 CleanTechnica Car of the Year, is in the #4 spot — well deserved, in my humble opinion. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the first vehicle on the list that isn’t 100% electric, performing well as usual (year after year) due to its combo of size, utility, efficiency, and an affordable price tag (affordable enough to reach a sizable portion of the market).
It isn’t till you get down to #6 and #7 that you get to the two models that most often tend to top EV best seller charts, the Renault Zoe and Tesla Model 3, respectively. (Full disclosure: I also own shares in Tesla and also don’t intend to buy more or sell any in the coming 48 hours.)
The BMW i3 has a healthy handle on #8 before you get to a slew of conventional hybrids (no plug!?!?) from Toyota. Apparently, they do well enough to give Toyota that #3 spot in terms of brand market share (9%), but one has to wonder how much better the Japanese company could be doing if it had developed a half-decent electric vehicle plan. Also, one has to wonder if Toyota will see a sharp drop in other country markets as their own EV markets mature. José Pontes of EV Volumes and CleanTechnica does highlight that plug-in hybrid versions of the Toyota RAV4 (the RAV4 Prime) and Skoda Octavia are coming soon, which will just tilt Norway’s auto sales charts further toward plug-in vehicles.
Just looking at May’s results, you can see that the e-Golf had #1 instead of the e-tron (#2), the Kona EV got the #3 spot instead of the Leaf (#4), and the freakin’ fully fossil fueled Skoda Octavia took #5. The biggest surprise on the market was perhaps the Volkswagen Passat GTE being #7, well above its #18 year-to-date ranking. Of course, the Tesla Model 3 had only 8 deliveries, but that’s because of lack of supply, not lack of demand.
Hat tip to EV Volumes.