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Market share clearly increasing (from 13.3% to 16.8%), absolute volumes rather high (nearly 300,000 registrations), electric cars have further gained ground in 2023. Although we are still very far from the he objective of 100% new zero-emission cars in 2035 set by the European Union, it is clear that things are developing favorably in France, something which can be explained by a policy of subsidies maintained and still advantageous, a densification of the network of recharging or ever more numerous and ever more energy efficient models.
Indeed, competition is intensifying and certain manufacturers already offer numerous electric vehicles within their range. Be careful, this is not necessarily the key to success. An industry analyst working on behalf of the company C-Ways to which we owe multiple studies has just shared on LinkedIn a very interesting table showing the share of zero-emission models in their sales. The analysis naturally excludes recent manufacturers who sell almost only or even exclusively electrified models (MG, Tesla, etc.) to focus on traditional brands which have initiated their transition to electric.
The Fiat surprise
The data in the table below is almost unsuspectedly rich. This is because they make it possible to properly measure what is happening with certain manufacturers and the impact or otherwise of certain models. We start with the big surprise of this study, the Fiat brand which is the only one of all those listed to have sold more electric cars than thermal cars in 2023. A considerable feat when we know that its range of zero-emission models is nevertheless reduced at its simplest expression. Because it is clearly not with its e-Doblo or e-Ulysse that the Turin brand achieved this great performance but with its 500th which, while failing to meet with great success elsewhere, is selling particularly well in France. To the point of eclipsing the old thermal 500 sold since 2007.
Other surprises, some good and some not so good
Let’s continue our inventory by paying attention to the scores of other manufacturers. Citroën’s poor performance is surprising. Only 4% even though the brand communicates regularly on its electrics but this is understandable. Unlike its cousins in the Stellantis group (DS, Peugeot, etc.), it has chosen to first electrify larger models, which are necessarily more expensive. One of them is less successful than its competitors, whether thermal or electric, the C4. The other one that we think of, the electric variant of the Berlingo means that this model is no longer even in the top 100 sales since it is no longer offered with this single combination.
Still in the same Stellantis group, note the large proportion of electric at Opel which we did not expect so high. It is the Corsa which pushes this figure upwards. The restyling has done a lot of good for the city car hit by the Blitz.
The worst student in the selection is Toyota. And there is nothing surprising in this since the Japanese manufacturer only offers one electric vehicle, the bZ4X, which has encountered difficult beginnings, which it was until then rather expensive compared to the competition and that, generally speaking, the manufacturer always prefers to emphasize hybridization.
While it was one of the first brands, with Renault of the same group, to have driven the transition to all-electric, Nissan only sells very few electric vehicles. Leaf aging, Ariya struggling to make herself known, times are tough.
The brands in the Volkswagen galaxy are all in the soft underbelly of the ranking. Nothing surprising for Audi, Cupra/Seat and Skoda (although the performances are not that bad), it is more annoying but not surprising for Volkswagen which – despite a rich range – is having difficulty selling them. . Looking forward to the next generation of electrics!
We will end with the good results of BMW which is doing better than its direct competitors. Just like Nissan and Renault, electric is not new for the Propeller brand, but it is managing to further capitalize on this lead it has taken. This is also explained by the large quantity of models offered (almost one electric version per range: iX1, iX2, iX3, i4, i5, i7, iX). Finally, the new generation X1 is enjoying great success and its electric version iX1 too. Mini, from the same group, does even better. Despite its limited range and its advanced age, the Cooper SE was still the 10th best-selling electric vehicle in France last year. This looks pretty good for the new electric Cooper… even though it will not benefit from the bonus due to production in China (for the moment).
What to expect for 2024?
Many things should change in this ranking in 2024. Citroën could well move up significantly with its new ë-C3 which aims to be the cheapest electric car on the market including the bonus and which also takes full advantage of government leasing.
Renault, which had a short 2023 in electric with a Zoé and a Twingo both at the end of their careers, should also do much better with its highly anticipated electric R5. In the same group, Dacia is preparing a succession to its Spring. The ë-C3 had better watch out.
Hyundai and Kia, well placed for several years on the electric market, could on the other hand lose a few feathers in 2024. The new bonus formula means that most Korean electric cars are excluded from the bonus. Let’s wait and see what the current negotiations between the South Korean and French governments produce.
Finally, for the big winner of this selection, Fiat, it is not easy to know what will happen. Two important new features should reshuffle the cards. The 600e on the one hand, whose beginnings are rather encouraging but whose range will soon be supplemented by a hybrid variant which could be successful with certain customers. Finally, there is the future Panda which will welcome an electric variant for the first time in its history. It remains to be seen whether it will also be offered in thermal like its close cousin the C3.
Share of electric cars in registrations in France in 2023: the bad and the good students
|Share of electric vehicles in sales in 2023
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To sum up
If traditional brands have not all taken the turn to electric in the same way, a document that we came across allows us to clearly measure the extent to which some are more advanced than others. And the surprises are numerous.
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