Netherlands Starts the Year with 23% BEV Share!

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In the context of a recovering overall market (+6% YoY), BEVs surged +57% year over year (YoY) in January, to 7,865 registrations. That means BEVs started the year with 23% market share — their best January ever. Plugin hybrids (PHEVs) were also up by 12%, to 4,320 registrations or 13% market share.

January is usually one of the best months for PHEVs, so it is not a worrying sign that plugin hybrid sales represented 35% of all plugin sales. After all, BEVs are consistently gaining share within plugin sales compared to the same period in previous years. BEVs had 65% of plugin registrations last month, compared to 56% in January 2023, 43% of plugin sales in January 2022, and 29% of plugin sales in January 2021. So, expect pure electrics to distance themselves from PHEVs throughout the year and expect them to end the year with some 80% of plugin sales.

The overall plugin share started the year at 35% (23% BEV), a significant increase over January 2023 (27%, of which 15% is BEV), and at some distance from the final 2023 share — 44% in the whole year.

Still, I am optimistic about the prospects for this year, with supply exceeding demand and with the introduction of some competitively priced Chinese EVs, the major players will be forced to play ball and drop prices, pulling production and demand into a higher gear. Expect a strong end of the year, which will surely pull EV market share upwards.

Will we see the Dutch plugin market cross the 50% threshold by the end of the year? I think it is likely, but regardless of what it reaches, the important thing is that the market continues to be electrified and should be full BEV even before the 2035 ICE ban.

In one of the strongest PHEV months of the year, the top 20 had a few representatives from that technology. Although, even here, one can see an evolution towards BEVs. After all, in January 2021, BEVs only had 5 representatives. So … in January 2025, will we see fewer than five PHEVs in the top 20?

The Chinese Lynk & Co 01 PHEV compact crossover was the 2023 Best Selling Plugin Model, ahead of all BEVs, in the Netherlands twelve months ago, but last month, the best selling plugin hybrid was only 6th, with the Ford Kuga PHEV looking to win the 2024 edition of the PHEV trophy.

Lynk & Co is said to switch to the BEV field this year, something that will be a welcome addition, as its competitive pricing/mobility policy, clever marketing, and critical technical support from Volvo’s dealership network should make this one of the main success stories of Chinese OEMs in Europe.

In fact, Geely is probably the biggest threat to the major players in Europe. Volvo is well established as the “Audi” of the group, Polestar and Lotus are on their way to becoming the “Porsche” and “Lamborghini” fighters from the OEM, and Lynk & Co is a sort of “Cupra” brand. There are only two spaces left in Geely’s portfolio to be filled — who will be its “Volkswagen” and “Skoda?”

The first role seems to be for the upcoming Zeekr brand. While the 001 seems a bit too high-profile to be a VW fighter, the Zeekr X compact crossover is bang on the middle of the VW lineup — between the ID.3 and ID.4 — and the Zeekr 007 is a true VW ID.7 (and Tesla Model 3…) fighter. The remaining question is: “Who will be the Skoda of the group? Who will place value-for-money as their main asset? Will they start exporting the Geely brand to Europe? Or will they go shopping and buy something local? Discuss!

But back to January sales, the Tesla Model Y was the best seller, not only on the plugin market, but also in the mainstream market. It had 1,141 sales. That was followed by the Swedish Volvo XC40, which won silver with 1034 sales, which is its best result since December 2021. The BEV version was responsible for the bulk of sales (1,021 units). This should be the last four-digit monthly result for the Belgian-made Volvo. But more on this later….

The Tesla Model 3 took bronze, with the sedan profiting from the recent refresh to push sales up.

Just below the podium, the Skoda Enyaq was 4th, with 352 sales, which is twice the result it had twelve months ago. Just below it, Audi placed its big, fat Q8 e-tron in 5th, with 344 sales, the SUV’s best result since it gained the “Q8” moniker. It seems that even with growing competition — the Kia EV9 reached a record 130 sales in January, the BMW i5 had a record 106 sales, and the BMW X5 PHEV scored 195 sales, its best result in 3 years — the flagship Audi should continue to rule the full size category in the foreseeable future.

This was a positive month for Audi, with the smaller Q4 e-tron ending the month in #18. The German brand thus placed two models in the top 20.

On the other hand … Volkswagen had a slow start to the year, with the German brand unable to place any model on the table, unlike Audi and Skoda. That is not very flattering for what is supposed to be the volume brand….

Elsewhere, a reference goes out to the small Jeep Avenger EV, reaching 7th place with a record 317 sales. The chunky but at the same time cute Jeep EV is gaining traction in Europe and could become a success story for the US brand across the pond.

On top of Volvo’s presence on the podium, other models were also shining, like the sportier C40. The SUV-coupe scored 255 sales, double the units it had a year ago, while the midsize XC60 PHEV was 12th, with 238 sales, the SUV’s best score in two years. But the most important model for the Swedish make this year, while still outside the table, is already starting to show on the radar, as the small EX30 is now ramping up deliveries and had 101 in January. Expect it to soon become the best selling model for Volvo in this market.

The new Hyundai Kona EV is now ramping up deliveries, with the crossover having registered 212 units, the model’s best score in over two years, while the #15 Mercedes GLC PHEV scored a record 202 units. The German SUV is surely looking to join the race for this year’s PHEV title.

Outside the top 20, a mention goes out to the BYD Atto 3 (euro-spec Yuan Plus), with the compact crossover getting a record 141 registrations. Will the BYD model join the table soon?

In the manufacturer ranking, Volvo once again started the year in the lead (14.8% share). It was followed by Tesla (12.8%) and BMW (10.6%), with these three brands already creating a significant lead over the remaining competition.

Mercedes (6.3%) started the year in 4th, while #5 Audi (5.7%) is not far behind, with the Korean brands Hyundai (5.4%) and Kia (4.9%) looking to join the top 5 in the coming months.

As for OEMs, last year’s winner, Volkswagen Group (10.9%), started the year in 4th(!), with the namesake brand holding the responsibility for this slow start.

On the other hand, despite a slow month from Lynk & Co, Geely–Volvo (18.9%) profited from the German group’s slow start of the year to jump into the leadership spot. The question now is: “Will Volkswagen Group be able to recover the throne?”

Tesla (12.8%) had a good start of the year, beginning in 2nd place, while #3 BMW Group (10.9%) managed to start the year ahead of Volkswagen Group, thus kicking the 2023 gold medalist off of the podium.

Another OEM with a horrible start of the year, Stellantis (9.1%), was a silver medalist in 2023 but started 2024 in 6th, below #5 Hyundai–Kia (10.4%). That’s mostly due to the slow start of Peugeot, with the French brand being unable to place any model in the top 20.

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