The numbers are in for European new car sales for the first quarter of 2019, and it is clear that the trend of falling internal combustion engine sales and increasing electric vehicles sales is continuing in 2019.
Data released this week by vehicle data collation organisation JATO showed that Q1 (Jan – Mar) new car sales in the whole of Europe were down by 3.2 per cent over the same period a year earlier.
Bucking the trend however, total EV sales for the first time exceeded 100,000 in one quarter (hitting 125,400). Breaking these figures down further: plug-in electric (BEV & PHEV) sales were up 31% and pure electric (BEV) sales were up 85%.
The big driver, so to speak, of these EV sales figures was the release of the Tesla Model 3 – which sold almost 20,000 units in Q1. It is expected the Q2 sale for Tesla will be very interesting, as most of those Model 3 deliveries were made in March and the backlog is expected to flow into the current quarter,
Given European Tesla Model 3 registrations only began in January this year, reached 3747 in February and jumped to 15,755 in March – if the March figure is repeated through Q2, Tesla may well hit 45,000 to 50,000 deliveries in Q2.
(Provided of course Tesla sorts the distribution issues it recently discovered are involved in becoming a global brand).
Other interesting points of the EV data include Norway hitting 59% of their market being EV sales in Q1 (up from 46.3% in Q1 2018) and Sweden almost doubling its EV sales percentage from 7.1% in Q1 2018 to 13.5% in Q1 2019.
Given the pent-up demand for EVs (as shown by the long waiting lists at dealers around the world for them), it would appear that the only thing holding EVs back from even greater percentage increases is the current battery supply bottleneck which is limiting the sales of vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, Hyundai EVs Ioniq and Kona.
EV being the generic term covering:
- Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV);
- Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and
- Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV)