Best-selling cars in Europe in April 2021

Car sales in Europe by fuel type

Last month in Europe the Volkswagen ID. series dominated BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle) sales, with the ID.4 and ID.3 in the two top positions.

 

JATO Dynamics sums up what happened last month in Europe.

 

  • Last month, European new car registrations were up by 261% from April 2020, but still far from pre-pandemic levels – down by 23% from April 2019
  • Low emissions vehicles accounted for 15% of the total market share
  • The Volkswagen ID.4 became the first SUV to secure top spot in the BEV rankings
  • Once again, Peugeot led in the overall model rankings

 

Best-selling cars in Europe in April 2021 by JATO

Best-selling cars in Europe in April 2021 by JATO

 

As we can observe from the table above, the best-selling BEV needs to at least double its sales to have a chance of reaching the overall top 10.

While in China the affordability and availability issues of electric cars are now being solved by adopting cobalt-free batteries, electric cars made in Europe still rely exclusively on more expensive NCM batteries.

 

I’m very curious to see which electric car made in Europe will get a LFP (LiFePO4) battery option first. Volkswagen already made a huge investment in Guoxuan – the battery cell maker specialized in the LFP chemistry – and may soon reap the benefits from it.

However, an entry-level Volkswagen ID.3 with a 50 kWh LFP battery option sold for 20.000-25.000 euros before government subsidies would cannibalize some VW Golf sales.

 

I’m pretty sure that the only reason why electric cars don’t compete with their gas-counterparts in price yet is because legacy automakers don’t want them to. The technology to do it is already here.

Remember when years ago automakers told us that when EV batteries reached 100 euros per kWh, EVs would cost the same as their ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) alternatives without the need of government subsidies? Well, with LFP batteries the kWh cost is already way bellow that figure (around 60 euros), but automakers keep moving the goalpost…

Fortunately, we might have to only wait until next year for a great electric hatchback that is a real ICE killer. I have extremely high expectations for the BYD EA1, that is reported to get a price “well under” 35.000 AUD in Australia early next year, which means below 22.212 euros.

 

 

BYD EA1

BYD EA1

 

What do you think? What will be the first BEV to continuously secure a place in the top 10 of best selling cars in Europe? Upcoming compact hatchback from Tesla or the BYD EA1?

 

 

More info:

https://www.jato.com/volkswagens-id-4-became-the-first-suv-to-top-the-european-bev-rankings-in-april/

Pedro Lima

My interest in electric transportation is mostly political. I’m tired of coups and wars for oil. My expectation is that the adoption of electric transportation will be a factor for peace and democracy all over the world.

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Famlin
16 days ago

Top-3 BEV are ahead of Top-3 PHEV shows that people are interested in BEV despite all reluctance from automakers. In coming months, Tesla will increase sales as more units arrive from China with chinese automakers also increasing their sales.

Hoping that VW ID4/ID3 sales also increase as more dealers realize that BEV are the way to go.
Global sales in 2021-04 was 392.498 with 2021 sales at 1.519.566. BEV command 65% share .

Mike/Liverpool
16 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Where’s Tesla?
The BIG news is the forth coming MG3 replacement from MG.
No spy shots as yet but it is said to be their 1st EV only model, size of a Ford Fiesta but the cabin room of a focus.

Maximilian Holland
15 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

It depends where you live. If you have a plug at home/work but unreliable DC networks in your region, and not able to take risks (e.g. elderly folks, young kids etc), BEV may not be a realistic option yet. But PHEV still has a “stopgap” role to pull these consumers out of ICE and electrify 80+ % of their driving. Hopefully in the next few years networks will become widespread and reliable enough to minimize this.

I think the main point is that PHEVs should not be given tax breaks unless actually proven to be driven on electric (hard to monitor) and should not pull incentives away from BEV.

Medium range BEV with small backup REX can also play a role in the short term if/while battery supply is limited. If 80-90% of driving can be electrified, that’s a huge win over today’s status quo with 94.3% of vehicle sales still being non-plugin.

As they age these lower range BEVs and PHEVs can either get battery upgrades or be used in exclusive electric mode as a second car / local urban car.

yoyo
16 days ago

They are also bringing in three of their BEVs under the 35k mark which is a huge price difference from what is currently on sale their considering…
and… Not sure the 35k price is drive away as referenced here…
“For reference, the MG ZS EV, which is currently the cheapest electric car offered in Australia from $43,990 drive-away, has a claimed range of just 263km.”

They are also bringing in a new Yuan version under 35k that…
“will leave people “astounded” when unveiled in the near future, considering its price and range.“These cars really do set the new benchmark,” Todd said, adding that in the case of the Yuan Plus “we have what we believe is a more practical more high quality vehicle” than the Tesla Model 3.”

The first delivers should start in September with their T3 electric van…
“Todd said the company was starting with the electric van, first, in Australia because it had identified the e-commerce sector – last mile deliveries and tradies – as ripe for the greatest impact in the shortest space of time.
He said the company anticipated deliveries in the “tens of thousands” in the first few months due to “significant pent-up demand” for more competitive EVs.”

Hopefully they are right on their target estimates as it would cause a BEV disruption there and abroad if legacies see that volume…

https://thedriven.io/2021/05/31/truegreen-says-it-has-three-evs-coming-to-australian-market-under-35000/
https://thedriven.io/2021/05/31/turning-point-fleets-of-byd-electric-vans-to-hit-australian-roads-by-september/

Mike/Liverpool
15 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima
Mike/Liverpool
15 days ago
Reply to  Mike/Liverpool

Also………….what ever happened to Kandi?

Matt
15 days ago

Regarding the rather high price of BEV currently on the european market. I tend to believe that it is mostly caused by low scale of production. Yes, ICEs are in many ways more complex, but they are produced in great quantity.

According to the economic theory of learning, marginal cost is reduced by a certain percentage – e.g. 20 pct – every time accumulated production doubles. Fortunately BEV production is doubling pretty fast, while ICE production never will again.

I understand why some people question the motives of western ICE manufacturers. But even Tesla has no affordable BEV on offer right now. However I would expect that all manufacturers have by now begun to plan their entrance to the “affordable BEV”-market.

Julian
15 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Basically they are milking the cow before it dries out. Same as Toyota with its hybrids.

Mike/Liverpool
15 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

“Stranded assets”
They want to phase in BEV/H2 while walking (slowly) ICE out the back door

Marcel
13 days ago
Reply to  Mike/Liverpool

*nods head vigorously in massive agreement with this whole thread*

Maximilian Holland
15 days ago

Thanks for this Pedro. Tesla’s “$25k” vehicle is before sales tax, so at least $30k in e.g. Europe and there are already compelling long range BEVs in this price range.

I think it will be Chinese BEVs that push the price / volume frontier from now on – the SGMW mini being a good example. Even if the major international brands want to dominate, the Chinese brands will define the parameters of pricing/value.

The global median price point for private vehicles is around $17k (China’s best sellers, the VW Lavida and Nissan Slyphy represent the “global median auto”). This is the sweet spot for Chinese OEMs, and Tesla may never get close to this pricing.

offgrid
15 days ago

I fully agree with Maximillian. It is all a question of when the Chinese BEV markets reach at least some degree of saturation. Unless the Chinese car industry has surplus capacity to serve foreign markets it will not happen. As a Chinese manufacturer, why should you take the risks and strains of selling abroad when you can sell everything at home? I think only when at least one of the Wuling, Baojun, Changan Mini EVs arrive in significant numbers in Europe at reasonable prices, the local Manufacturers will start to move (fast, probably). If I had 10 Mio EUR I would homologate and import the first batch of 1’000 Baojuns today. With the second batch the business will become profitable. I guess people would easily spend 14kEUR (before subsidies) on a Baojun Plus.

Leo B
10 days ago
Reply to  offgrid

One problem is, what’s a reasonable price for these vehicles?
We know in China they start from about €3.500 and most are exempted from additional consumer taxes. The thing is however that these vehicles are sold very close to cost price. There are articles out there that calculate Wuling’s margin on the Mini EV and it’s about zero. However every Mini EV sold, gives Wuling 2 NEV credits. NEV-credit prices are going up, I believe they are now between €500 and €1000. So there’s Wuling’s real margin.
Also we see that low volume BEV import from China adds about €10.000 (sometimes a bit less, sometimes even more) to the consumer price for transportation, tarif, tax differences and setting up a local sales/service network.
A Wuling Mini EV would fly off the shelves in Europe as well at €3.500, but at prices over €10k I’m not so sure.

Rok
14 days ago

Pedro, do you have any information what is happening with Zoe sales this year? It seems Renault cannot keep high sales figures from H2 2020 that were around 7k units/month. Is it due to chip shortages or price uncompetitiveness or something else?

If the problem is price (52kWh is priced close to ID.3 58kWh version which is a bigger vehicle) than Renault should seriously think about getting 50kWh LFP battery into Zoe (should not have problem with space) and lower the price for 5K€

Rok
14 days ago
Reply to  Pedro Lima

Switch to NCMA is a very interesting point. Do you think they could be also saving cells for upcoming MeganE? It looks like Renault is putting a lot of hopes into that car. And with “the flatest battery on the market” NCMA could be the chemistry they went with. Or LNMO.

Marcel
13 days ago

Well, if the EA1 is for real and will be exported, it looks like BYD might be one of the first to break from the peleton of manufacturers and start selling affordable and usable EVs at true cost. Undercutting the current “charge a premium to preserve ICE sales and because we don’t have enough batteries” policy that we’re seeing from all the other manufacturers.

They’re going to get hit from below by the Chinese manufacturers, and from the side by Tesla once the new Tesla factories are up and running.