Tesla Model Y has taken a huge lead in the electric car market in Europe

Tesla Model Y has taken a huge lead in the electric car market in Europe

November 13, 2023


More than 288,000 new electric vehicles took to the roads in Europe in September, up 15% year-on-year. The Tesla Model Y continues to lead the market by a large margin. José Pontes, data director at EV-volumes.com (part of the Autovista group), examines EV registrations in Europe.

In September, electric vehicles, made up of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), accounted for nearly a quarter of all new car registrations in Europe. Battery electric vehicles alone accounted for about 17% of the market, after an 18% increase year-on-year. Meanwhile, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) account for just 8% of all new car registrations.

The Tesla Model Y maintains the lead

For the 11thy For a month in a row, the Tesla Model Y was the best-selling electric car in Europe, with 34,378 registrations. By comparison, second-place MG4 managed just a quarter of sales (7,501 units) in September.

The Model Y proved most popular in France (5,035 units), the United Kingdom (4,035 units), and Germany (3,921 units). Other countries also recorded strong results, including Sweden (3,050 units), Norway (2,476 units), Denmark (2,389 units), and the Netherlands (1,789 units).

While the midsize crossover is likely to achieve similar results in the coming quarters, sales cannot be expected to increase significantly beyond current levels, with the market reaching its normal limit. It’s also possible that the updated Tesla Model 3 could cannibalize some Model Y registrations.

The MG4 took second place, offering almost unbeatable value for money. It costs about 10,000 euros less than its direct competitors, such as the Volkswagen (VW) ID.3 and Renault Megane EV. Its main markets included the United Kingdom (3,120 units), France (1,945 units), and Sweden (451 units).

The MG4 quickly became the reference point for the compact hatchback segment in Europe. It was this category that defined the European new car market, with examples including the Volkswagen Golf, Skoda Octavia and Opel Astra.

The Skoda Eniac took third place in September with 7,393 registrations. The largest market for this model was Germany (1,137 units), followed by the United Kingdom (1,080 units), Norway (717 units), and Sweden (708 units). Sales are expected to remain strong in the coming months, especially after production restrictions end.

The Audi Q4 e-Tron took fourth place with 6,867 registrations in September. Its main market was the United Kingdom (2,310 units), followed by Germany (1,187 units) and Belgium (618 units), a well-known stronghold of the brand. With the increase in production capacity, the model now relies solely on demand to improve its performance.

Compact crossovers appear to be becoming a stronghold for German automakers as Tesla enjoys success in the upper segment. BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz all feature their best-selling compact BEVs, the iX1, Q4 e-Tron and EQA respectively.

The Peugeot e-208 took fifth place with a record 6,582 registrations in September. France was the largest market for this model so far (3,924 units), followed by Germany (859 registrations) and the Netherlands (523 registrations). The hatchback is currently one of Stellantis’ main cash generators in the EV arena, along with the Fiat 500e. This confirms the group’s strong presence in the smaller European categories.

The highlights of the rest of the September standings fell into the second half of the table. After the holiday months of July and August, the Volkswagen brand’s top sellers recorded their worst performance since the beginning of the year. In eighth place with 5,792 registrations, ID.4 had its lowest month since February. ID.3, which was reduced to 13yrecorded only 4,141 units, its worst performance since January.

The Mercedes-Benz EQA took 12th placey With 4588 registrations recorded. The new GLC PHEV also reached 15th placey With 3,953 registrations, it is the best result for the nameplate since December 2021. Under the top 20, the EQB (2,519 units), EQE sedan (2,112 units) and even the EQC (2,860 units) achieved impressive results.

The BMW iX3 achieved a new record this year with 3,142 registrations, while the i4 recorded 2,979 deliveries. Meanwhile, the Audi Q8 e-Tron managed to register 2,544 registrations during the month. There was also good news in the Stellantis stable, with the Opel Mokka EV (2,714 units) closing in on the top 20.

Tesla holds the top two positions

Between January and September, the Tesla Model Y registered three times the number of deliveries as the second-place Tesla Model 3. Realistically, there are only two remaining candidates who can take silver this year. If the ramp-up of production of the updated Model 3 goes smoothly (leading to a big December), the VW ID.4 is unlikely to take second place.

In fourth place, the Volvo XC40 is probably already suffering from comparisons with the EX30. This could be good news for a few of the models behind it, namely the Skoda ENIAC (fifth) and MG4 (sixth), which could finish the year ahead of the Belgian-made Swede. The Enyaq and MG4 continued to rise in the rankings at the expense of the VW ID.3, which fell to seventh place.

This signals a symbolic, but important, change. The MG4 is now the best-selling compact electric hatchback in Europe, ahead of the VW ID.3 and Renault Megane EV. With the midsize segment already in Tesla’s hands, the compact hatchback segment could soon fall into the hands of new entrants. For now, the smaller A and B segments are in the hands of Stellantis, thanks to the Peugeot e-208 (B segment) and Fiat 500e (A segment).

The remaining position changes occurred in the second half of the table. The Kia Niro has risen to 13y At the expense of Renault Megane EV and Cupra Borne it rose to 15y. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz EQA rose two places to 18thy. The compact crossover is currently at the top of its game and is looking to move up two more positions by the end of the year.

Finally, the Kia EV6 is back in the top 20 at the bottom of the rankings. This means that the Korean brand has succeeded in putting two models on the table. Kia was just one of only four brands to have more than one model in the rankings. The others were Tesla, Volkswagen, and Volvo.

Tesla leads the brand ranking

In the September update of the brand rankings, Tesla held a comfortable lead with a 12.7% share of the electric vehicle market. Volkswagen took second place with a share of 8.4%, down slightly from August due to a slow month for the ID.3 and ID.4.

In third place, BMW (8.1%) remained stable, but fourth place Mercedes-Benz (7.6%) moved closer, with only a small share separating the two. Finally, Volvo (5.6%) remained in fifth place but continued to lose market share. This opens the door for sixth-placed Audi (5.4%), which may overtake it at some point in the future.

Looking at car groups that have brands brought together under their parent companies, the Volkswagen Group’s share fell to 20.2%. However, it maintained a comfortable lead over runner-up Stellantis (14%). Tesla came in third place with 12.7%. The electric car maker is expected to aim for second place in December.

In fourth place, the BMW Group fell to 9.6%, while the Mercedes-Benz Group ranked fifth (8.5%). In August, Hyundai-Kia removed Geely-Volvo from the top five. Then in September, the Mercedes-Benz group removed the Korean OEM from last place at the table. In seventh place, Geely-Volvo shares continued to decline, this time to 7.8%. Therefore, even the eighth-placed Renault-Nissan alliance (6.8%) looks set to overtake it by the end of the year.

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