The Renault Zoe has overtaken the Tesla TSLA Model 3 to win the title of Western Europe’s biggest selling battery electric vehicle in 2020, according to data published by Schmidt Automotive Research, while overall sales including plug-in hybrids made the region the biggest market in the world ahead of China.
Western Europe’s total of 1.33 million pure electric and plug-in hybrids beat China’s 1.25 million, Schmidt Automotive said.
Overall electric car sales in Western Europe doubled to 727,927 in 2020, slightly below Schmidt Automotive’s (www.schmidtmatthias.de) forecast of 770,000, but that was made before the coronavirus struck and decimated economies in general and sales of cars and SUVs in particular. But not sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) which hit 606,466.
For 2021, Schmidt Automotive expects BEV sales to bound ahead to 1,045,500, despite the coronavirus and semiconductor shortages, and increase to 1.18 million in 2022, 1.29 million in 2023 and 1.36 million in 2024.
Western Europe includes all the big markets like Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Spain.
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Sales of Renault Zoes, a little city car, hit 97,158 in 2020, putting it above the Tesla Model 3 with 86,910. In 2019, the Model 3 was number 1 with 93,943 sales. In third place was the Volkswagen ID.3 with sales of 55,003, a remarkable performance given sales only started in September. But there must be some relieve for Tesla. Although it sold a few Model 3s less than the Zoe, the price consumers pay is probably at least 3 times more than the Zoe.
“Tesla was more likely impacted by COVID shipping and production disruption give its long distribution channels to Europe. In December, Tesla models from China started arriving in Europe,” the report said.
Tesla sales will also hit a higher gear in Europe later this year when its German factory is expected to begin production.
The long-running PHEV champion, the Mitsubishi Outlander (26,379), was forced into 3rd place behind the winning Mercedes A-Class (28,530) and 2nd Volvo XC40 (27,051).
“Electric car sales in 2020 lived up to the claim of being the first genuine year where EVs moved from the slow hanging fruit lane to the mainstream,” the report said.