We’ve seen some disturbing headlines recently—sales of plug-in vehicles are decreasing after years of slow but steady gains. Were the naysayers right all along? Is the EV party winding down?
Well, no. Those who look beyond the headlines and read the actual articles will find that quite a different story is unfolding. For example, we read (in InsideEVs) that plug-in vehicle registrations in Germany (pure electrics and plug-in hybrids) decreased in March by 6% year-over-year, to 61,762. However, overall new passenger car registrations fell by 17.5%—hardly surprising considering the current situation in Europe. So yes, plug-in sales declined, but they declined far less than the overall market. The market share of plug-ins actually increased year-over-year, from 22.5%to 25.6%.
Furthermore, it was only sales of PHEVs that fell—sales of battery-electric vehicles actually rose by 15%. PHEV sales fell by 13%, but total plug-in sales still claimed a very respectable 24.2% of the overall auto market share.
Yes, you read that correctly—EV sales are not falling, they’re rising at an impressive pace, even as overall car sales are declining. We’ve chosen Germany as an example, but other European markets posted similar gains in March.
The top-selling pure EVs in Germany year-to-date are Tesla’s Model 3 (9,483 units sold) and Model Y (4,925), followed by the Fiat 500 electric (4,644). (Oh, the irony! This is the car that Fiat’s CEO once begged consumers not to buy.)
Home team Volkswagen made a relatively poor showing—its ID.4 took 7th place with 2,955 sales, and the smaller ID.3 came in 9th with 2,646. Of course, these are far from normal times—all automakers are struggling with major supply issues, so the relative sales figures may have little to do with demand.