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Full electric cars took one third of the UK car market in December

The UK’s auto market saw plugin electric vehicles take 39.4% share of new sales in December, a new record, up from 33.2% year on year. Full electrics alone took almost a third of the market. Overall auto volumes were up 18% year on year in December, but still down compared to pre-2020 norms. The Tesla Model Y was the UK’s overall 3rd best selling vehicle in 2022, and the top seller in December.

 

December 2022 UK Passenger Auto Registrations

 

December’s combined plugin share of 39.4% comprised 32.9% full battery electrics (BEVs), and 6.5% plugin hybrids (PHEVs). The respective shares in December 2021 were 33.2% plugins, 25.5% BEV, and 7.7% PHEV.

In terms of volumes, December saw BEVs grow 1.53x from a year ago, to 42,284 sales. PHEV volumes were essentially flat year on year, with 8,367 sales.

The full year 2022 plugin share amounted to 22.8% combined, composed of 16.6% BEVs, and 6.3% PHEVs. This compares to full year 2021 results of 18.5% combined, with 11.6% BEVs, 6.9% PHEVs.

The 16.6% result for BEV share represents an annual rate of growth in share of 1.43x, which is a calming from the higher growth rate of 2021 over 2022, which was 1.76x.

The volume in full year 2022 amounted to 267,203 BEVs, up 40% from 2021, and 101,413 PHEVs, down 11.5%. This comes against a background of overall auto sales down by 2.0% in 2022 compared to 2021.

Full year 2022 diesel-only vehicles’ share amounted to 5.1%, down from 8.2% in 2021. For petrol-only vehicles, 2022 saw 42.3% share, down from 46.3% in 2021. Expect petrol’s rate of decline to accelerate in the coming years, once diesel sales have effectively ended.

 

UK Monthly Powertrain Market Share

 

UK’s bestselling BEV brands

Tesla made their habitual end-of-quarter huge push in December, with the Model Y (10,664 units) and Model 3 (5,704 units) actually taking the overall top two bestselling autos (of any powertrain) for the month. Note, however, that Tesla’s delivery volumes are so uneven that December alone represented almost one third of the Model Y’s total 2022 sales.

Behind Tesla, the Volkswagen brand (mainly the ID.3 and ID.4) took December’s second place in BEV market share, and BMW (led by the i4) took 3rd.

 

UK BEV Brands Est. December 2022

 

In terms of movements, Renault jumped up significantly in December, to #4 spot (from #18 the previous month), likely thanks to the Megane, which seems to have recently started volume deliveries in the UK. Porsche and Skoda brands also climbed the ranks by a few spots compared to November.

Far outside the top 20, the Ora brand saw a few initial deliveries in the UK (just around 20 units for now), which we can deduce must have been the new Ora Funky Cat hatchback. This is a decent value offering in the premium hatchback segment, so let’s see how high Ora can climb.

Let’s now look at the trailing 3-month brand results:

 

UK BEV Brands Est. December 2022-Trailing Qtr

 

Here Tesla still has a massive lead, though this is again partly due to the brand’s habit of back-loading deliveries towards the end of the year (see the longer-term full year brand shares below).

Brands which saw gains in Q4 compared to Q3 include Polestar (17th position to 8th position), and Volvo (20th to 12th). Renault also did well (15th to 9th), and Nissan climbed from 9th to 5th. On the flip side, Kia dropped from 7th to 14th, and Hyundai from 3rd to 10th.

As usual, much of the movement is temporary, due to shifting allocation priorities of popular models across many European (and global) markets, where overall demand for BEVs outstrips supply. In the case of the UK, this is even more deliberative, due to the need to batch production of right-hand drive models for this market.

Finally in our UK brand analysis, let’s look back at the full year performance:

 

UK BEV Brands Est. 2022 Full Year

 

Here we can see that Tesla was still very strong, though not quite to the same degree as in those months and quarters where it biases deliveries. BMW and Volkswagen brands took second and third spots. Note Ford’s weak performance in BEVs, and the fact that Toyota doesn’t appear at all in the top 20 (and, by my calculation, only took 0.2% of the UK’s BEV sales in 2022).

Since we reached the end of another year, the UK auto industry association, the SMMT, provided a top 10 chart of the bestselling BEV models for the year. We can compare the 2022 list (on the left) with the same list from 2021 (on the right):

 

2022 vs 2021 SMMT Year BEVs

 

As we saw above, the Tesla Model Y (which started UK deliveries in February 2022) has immediately proved the most popular BEV, and jumped into the top spot.

Notice, however the general consistency in popular models between 2021 and 2022. The top 4 from 2021 shuffled down one place to make way for the Model Y, but otherwise kept their relative rankings. However, the Tesla Model 3 took a volume dip, which points to sibling “cannibalisation” from the Model Y. Yet across the two models, Tesla’s combined volume grew by 57% year on year — faster volume growth than the UK’s overall BEV market (40% YoY growth).

Tesla’s relative strength in the UK can be seen by the fact that some the other popular BEV models (the Kia Niro, VW ID.3, Nissan Leaf) saw 2022 volumes roughly flat, or slightly dipped, compared to 2021.

Manufacturing group rankings

Now let’s take a look at manufacturing group performance, first over the Q4 period:

 

UK BEV Group Est. December 2022 Trailing Qtr

 

Compared to Q3, Tesla and VW Group maintained their positions at the top. BMW Group climbed from 5th to 3rd, and Renault-Nissan climbed from 6th to 4th.

The biggest gainer was Geely (owner of Volvo and Polestar) which climbed from 9th to 5th. On the flip side, Hyundai Motor Group fell from 3rd to 6th, and Stellantis fell hardest, from 4th to 8th.

Let’s finally look at the groups’ full year results, and compare with last year.

 

UK BEV Group Est. 2022 Full Year

 

I have partial and indicative data for 2021 (though not 100% complete or 100% accurate). In 2021 VW Group had the overall lead, with Tesla in second. In 2022, VW Group lost market share, whilst Tesla gained share, and took the lead.

It seems that the remaining ranking positions are the same as last year. The market share weightings have improved a bit for Tesla, BMW Group, and Geely, at the expense of lost weightings for Hyundai Motor Group, Stellantis, and VW Group.

As Tesla have shown, the introduction of a competitive new model, backed up by relatively unconstrained production volumes, can change the leadership charts. That means there’s everything to play for in 2023 if other manufacturing groups can step up.

 

Outlook

The Model Y was the UK’s overall bestselling BEV in 2022, and, remarkably the third best selling vehicle overall. This is an amazing result given that even the base variant (only offered from late August ’22) costs some £52,000, around twice the price of other vehicles in the UK’s overall top 10.

It is true that, starting from mid December, Tesla UK temporarily offered 6000 miles of free supercharging to incentivise deliveries taken before the end of the month (confirmed by Tesla).

This was likely to try to meet an end-of-year symbolic milemarker in Tesla’s global headline sales, rather than indicating any issue with ongoing UK demand. This temporary incentive may have pulled forward into December some low-thousands of deliveries, which would anyway otherwise have been made in January. Even without this, though, the Model Y would have been the UK’s 4th or 5th overall bestseller for 2022, a great result for BEVs.

Despite the UK’s overall auto market shrinking by 2% year on year (and still being 30% down on pre-2020 norms), BEVs continue to grow strongly, up 40% in volume YoY.

The overall auto market did see 5 consecutive months of YoY growth in the latter part of the year, and the SMMT are currently forecasting some 11% overall growth in 2023, saying “supply chains are beginning to stabilise and although the shortage of semiconductors is expected to ease, erratic supply will likely impact manufacturing throughout 2023.”

PHEVs now appear to have lost momentum in the UK. If Norway and Sweden can serve as guides, PHEVs will keep selling but not grow share by much overall (unless perhaps compelling new BEV+Rex models come available). Plugless hybrids, recently buoyed by “quick emissions fix” mild hybrids, seem to be now slowing their growth.

The only powertrain type with decent growth prospects from here on is BEV.

The long-term total cost of ownership proposition of BEVs is still compelling compared to ICE, even though the differential is temporarily suffering due to extreme electricity price inflation in recent months. New car buyers are aware of the BEV advantages, and we can expect BEV share to continue to grow in 2023, perhaps reaching above 40% of the market at the end of the year.

The actual growth rates for BEVs are now primarily influenced by the volume of supply, rather than by limited demand. 2023’s result will thus primarily depend on manufacturers making decent volumes of BEVs available to the UK market.

What are your thoughts on the UK’s auto market, and the transition to EVs? Please share your perspective in the discussion section below.

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In December EVs took more than half of the German car market

The tide has turned in the electrification of the German auto market, with plugin electric vehicles taking the majority of sales for the first time in December. Plugins took 55.4% of the month’s passenger auto sales, with full electrics taking a third (33.2%) and plugin hybrids taking over a fifth (22.2%). Plugless hybrids took 12.8%, leaving less than a third of sales for combustion-only autos (31.8%).

Overall auto volumes in December were 314,318 units, up some 38% on December 2021. 2022’s total auto sales were 2.65 million units, up just 1.1% from 2021. December’s overall bestselling vehicle (of any kind) was the Tesla Model 3 with 9,566 registrations.

 

December 2022 - Germany Passenger Auto Registrations

 

December’s combined plugin share of 55.4% is a new record, up from 35.7% year-on-year. The combined result comprises 33.2% full battery electrics (BEVs), and 22.3% plugin hybrids (PHEVs). This compares to share weightings of 21.3%, and 14.4%, in December 2021.

The full year 2022 share of plugins amounted to 31.4%, up from 26.0% in 2021. The 2022 weightings were 17.7% BEV (up from 13.6% YoY) and 13.7% PHEV (from 12.4%).

BEVs thus grew share from 13.6% to 17.7% YoY, a rate of 1.3×. This growth trajectory hypothetically trends for 50% BEV share in full year 2026, and close to 90% in 2028. Obviously, there are a lot of real-world variables which get in the way of hypothetical trajectories, but the current vector is decent.

In volume terms, December saw 104,325 BEVs registered, a breakout new record (the former record was ~58,000, just last month), and over 2× the volume of December 2021. PHEV volumes also grew more than 2× YoY, to 40,259 units.

Part of the influence on December’s very high plugin sales was a looming trimming of Germany’s plugin incentives starting on January 1st. BEVs’ government subsidies have just been cut from €6k to €4.5k for BEVs priced under €40k, and from €5k to €3k for BEVs priced  between €40k and €65k (nothing for vehicles priced above this). The thresholds and subsidy amounts will be further tightened from 2024. Government PHEV subsidies are cut entirely from January 1st (previously around €3.7k to €4.5k per vehicle).

Apart from some temporary pull-forward and rebound effects, these policy changes are unlikely to change the trajectory of the EV transition in Germany, except for denting PHEV sales a good bit. Recall though that Norway and Sweden have already largely moved on from the PHEV phase of the transition, with no major regrets.

Full year 2022 in Germany saw total volumes of BEVs reach 470,592 units. This is decent volume growth of 32.2% over full year 2021, especially in the context of a roughly flat overall auto market.

The combined share of combustion-only powertrains dipped below one third of the market for the first time ever, with diesel-only powertrains falling to 10.8% (from 15.7% YoY).

 

Germany Monthly Powertrain Market Share

 

Bestselling BEVs — Month, Quarter, Year

Tesla’s usual huge push in the last month of the year resulted in the Model 3 taking the overall bestseller spot in the German auto market in December.

The Tesla Model Y took second spot, with the Volkswagen ID.4/ID.5 coming in 3rd. Not to be outshone, the VW ID.3 made a notable record of its own — outselling its ICE older brother, the iconic VW Golf, for the first time.

 

Germany BEVs December 2022

 

In fact, if we separate out autos by powertrain variant (e.g., the Fiat 500’s summed December sales were 70% the BEV version, and much of the remainder, the HEV version), most of December’s overall top 10 models-by-individual-powertrain were BEVs or PHEVs.

In the above list of December’s top 20 best selling BEVs, most are familiar faces. Are any new models appearing? Far outside the top 20, the new BMW iX1 had a strong second month on sale, registering 807 units (from a 77 unit debut in November). Could the iX1 become BMW’s bestselling BEV in the months ahead? It seems likely.

The Smart “#1”, having only shipped a few dozen units up until now, finally saw noticeable registration volume in December, with 192 units. Let’s see how far it can ramp from here.

A few existing BEV models saw updated versions arriving in December. The Audi Q8 e-tron — a technology update (and model name deconfliction) of the successful original Audi e-tron — started initial registrations in Germany with 21 units in December. It has better efficiency, a larger battery, more range (600 km WLTP on the sportback variant), and faster charging than the original e-tron, with a slight styling refresh also.

Similarly, the long-awaited refreshed versions of Tesla’s two big vehicles, the Model S and Model X — having initially appeared in small numbers in November — saw growing volumes in December (340 and 213 units respectively). Let’s see what the appetite is for these updated versions now that there are more competitors on the market.

Since Tesla (and some others) tend to bias deliveries towards the end of each quarter, let’s take a step back and look at the trailing 3-month performance of the top BEV models:

 

Germany BEVs Dec 2022 Trailing Qtr

 

Here, the Model 3 still takes an easy lead, though the second spot is a close race. The Model Y, with Gigafactory Grünheide production now ramping quickly, has every chance to separate itself from the pack in 2023.

Overall, it’s good to see some strength-in-depth coming to Europe’s largest BEV market, with a decent variety of high-volume models now competing. There’s much more progress to be made, of course, especially at the affordable end of the market, where almost no models currently exist in Germany (or elsewhere in Europe). The Dacia Spring is the shining exception, but where are the other sub-€25,000 (or even sub-€20,000) BEVs?

Since we’re now in the new year, let’s look back on 2022’s full year bestselling BEVs:

 

Germany BEVs Full Year 2022

 

Again, Tesla’s top 2 dominate the chart. At these volumes, the Teslas are in fact the #9 and #10 overall bestselling vehicles for 2022 in Germany.

Now, with local production ramping, if Tesla is able to hit huge volumes, the Model Y could conceivably enter Germany’s top 5 “overall” in 2023, ahead of the Ford Kuga (#5) and BMW 3 Series (#6). After all, the Model Y has just won the #3 position in the UK market for the full year 2022 (report coming soon).

German consumers are arguably less Tesla-fanatical than UK folks, and to climb as high as #3 in Germany would likely need an altogether more affordable base model than the €54,000 current entry price. Perhaps a variant starting in the mid-forty-thousand euro range (around where the VW ID.4 starts) might do the trick. But until Tesla has more production capacity than demand, there is little motivation to offer a more affordable variant.

 

Manufacturing Group Performance

Finally, let’s have a look at which auto manufacturing groups are leading in BEV sales volume in Europe’s largest auto market. Here’s the trailing 3-month view:

 

Germany BEV Groups Dec 2022 Trailing Qtr

 

There have been a few changes since Q3. Volkswagen Group is still top, but with more than 2× the volume than it delivered in Q3. Tesla and Stellantis have switched places, thanks to the latter growing sales more rapidly compared to Q3.

Similarly, Renault–Nissan switched places with Hyundai Motor Group to grab 4th, and Mercedes Group displaced BMW Group to grab 6th.

Here is the full year manufacturing group picture for Germany:

 

Germany BEV Groups Full Year 2022

 

As we can see, the ranking is exactly the same as the Q4 table above, and even the relative weightings are mostly similar. Note that — for the top 4 groups — between 42% and 45% of their total annual volume was delivered in the final quarter of the year!

Taking a step back, it’s worth remembering that the results in a single market — even one as dominant as Germany — are influenced by decisions over how to allocate the limited production of BEVs across different European markets, in all of which BEV demand currently outstrips supply. Often, local brands favour allocating units to their home market (Volvo in Sweden, VW in Germany, Renault and Peugeot in France). We will wait to see the summed Europe market report later this month to see who the overall volume leaders are in the European region as a whole.

 

Outlook

It is good to see Europe’s largest auto market crossing the 50% barrier in plugin adoption. Yes, this is “only” in the peak month of the year, and yes, 40% of that plugin demand was for PHEVs, which are “only” a transition technology. But this is a milestone worth celebrating, nonetheless.

The future outlook for the German industry is less certain. Germany is still braced for a mild recession in 2023, and particularly affected will be industries with high energy inputs, including the auto industry and many of its suppliers. Highly energy intensive auto supply chains include steel, aluminium, rubber, plastics, and glass, amongst others.

Europe’s industries, including Germany’s crucial auto industry, will face these cost increases, much more so than industrial competitors in all other regions of the world where energy inflation is more modest, and the economic outlook is less unhealthy. This being the case, it is hard to predict the short-to-medium-term future for Germany’s auto industry.

However, in terms of the EV transition viewed purely from the consumer market perspective, the fundamental economic proposition remains unchanged, with long-term costs of ownership, and residual values, strongly favouring BEVs over traditional ICE vehicles.

We see this consumer sentiment reflected in December’s market share, strong relative demand for plugins, and especially BEVs. This will surely continue. What’s less certain is how effectively the industry can continue to transition from ICE to EV, to keep up with this demand, and whether the macroeconomic conditions in Europe will support consumers continuing to make big purchases like autos.

What are your thoughts about Germany’s EV transition, and also the economic prospects for its auto industry? Please jump into the comments below to share your perspective.

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EVs in France reach record market share

December saw France’s plug-in electric vehicles grow to take 25.0% share of the auto market, up fractionally from 24.4% a year ago. Full electrics grew at a decent rate, but plugin hybrids fell. Overall auto volumes for the month were flat year on year, but full year 2022 volumes were down almost 8% on 2021. The Dacia Spring was December’s bestselling BEV.

 

December 2022 - France Passenger Auto Registrations

 

December’s overall plugin result of 25.0% comprised 15.8% full battery electric vehicles (BEVs), and 9.2% plugin hybrids (PHEVs). This is barely changed from their respective shares of 14.6%, and 9.8%, in December 2021.

For 2022 as a whole, plugins accumulated a 21.6% share of auto sales, with BEVs taking 13.3%, and PHEVs, 8.3%. This is a modest overall growth from 2021’s corresponding share of 18.3% plugins, comprising 9.8% BEV, and 8.5% PHEV. BEVs’ annual growth in share is visible but modest, at 1.36x. In the hypothetical case where this rate sustains, BEVs would pass 50% share of the market by early 2027.

In volume terms, the picture was more subdued, since the wider context is that the 2022 overall French auto market in fact shrank by some 8% compared to 2021. Against this background, BEVs’ 203,121 total sales represented YoY volume growth of 25.3% (from 162,106 units).

The bigger picture is that France remains under-supplied with BEVs, and the same is true across Europe as whole. Different national markets may get allocation priority at different times. Rarely do growth rates accurately reflect consumer preferences, since overall supplies remain limited.

For example, we have just seen Norway receive relatively huge allocations from the pool of BEV supply in November and December, to boost sales ahead of vehicle tax increases in 2023. So, whilst France was allocated 45,290 BEV units across November and December, Norway received 49,628 units. This despite the French auto market being typically roughly 10x the size that of Norway, and typical monthly French BEV volumes being 2x those of Norway.

In short — given the inherently limited overall pool of supply — depending on shifting allocation priorities, some national markets will sometimes have boosted growth rates, and others suppressed growth rates. Certainly in the past few months of this year France has not received high priority, and thus its headline growth rates look a bit subdued, compared to neighbours like Norway, Sweden, or Germany.

In terms of overall powertrain evolution, plugins’ steady growth, combined with growth of plugless hybrids also, meant that traditional combustion-only powertrains remained under 50% of new sales for the second month in a row.

 

France Monthly Powertrain Market Share

 

Bestselling BEVs

The Dacia Spring was December’s top selling BEV in France, bookending the year, following its previous win in January. The Tesla Model 3 took runner up spot, with the Renault Megane taking 3rd, just ahead of the Tesla Model Y.

 

France BEVs December 2022

 

The new MG4 took 10th place, in only its 3rd month of volume deliveries. Expect it to climb higher still in the coming months.  The Volkswagen ID.3 also had a relatively strong December, over 3x its recent monthly volumes.

We don’t yet have enough depth of monthly model data to detect quietly emerging newcomers deep down the rankings, but we will keep an eye out for new entrants to the top 10 or top 20.

Beyond December’s results, let’s look at the trailing 3 month model performances:

 

France BEVs December 2022 Trailing Qtr

 

There are no great surprises in the top 10. It is good to see the VW ID.3 reclaim some position, thanks to almost three quarters of its volume coming in the second half of the year. The Renault Zoe had the opposite fate, with two thirds of its annual volume coming in H1, and dwindling performance since, meaning it dropped out of the top 10 in the last 3 months.

On that note, let’s look at the full year picture and see what’s changed since a year ago:

 

France BEVs Full Year 2022

 

The Peugeot e-208 has climbed from last year’s #3, to #1, and the Dacia Spring from #4 to #2. The Tesla Model 3 has fallen from #1 to #3, and Renault Zoe has slid more dramatically from #2 to #7.

Other positions are mostly a shuffle, except that two newer BEVs have entered the top 10, the Model Y, from #21 to #8, and most impressively, the homegrown Renault Megane. The new local hero took 2022’s overall #4 rank, despite having only started volume deliveries in May. As the previous charts demonstrate, the Megane is now often challenging for the monthly and quarterly top spot, and looks firmly set to take the overall title in 2023.

 

Outlook

The French auto market shrank by around 8% in 2022 compared to 2021, to ~1,529,000 units. This is a long way down from its typical size of around 2,500,000 annual units over the previous decade.

The PFA’s communications head, François Roudier, in an interview with AFP, talked of “a succession of crises… semiconductor crisis, the war in Ukraine, difficulties in delivering vehicles due to a lack of drivers, an increase in the cost of materials, and a fuel too expensive.” (machine translation)

Obviously price inflation of fuel and energy in Europe, and other materials, are related to the war in Ukraine also, and the sanctions on imports from Russia. The prospects for the French auto industry 2023 are hardly any different, with no immediate end in sight to the conflict.

There is no lack of demand for BEVs in France, though supply will continue to be limited for the foreseeable future. Other things being equal, we can expect continuing slow but steady progress of the EV transition in France, but not the dramatic growth rate that we saw in 2020 and 2021.

What are your thoughts on France’s auto industry and EV transition? Please share your perspective in the comments below.

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EV sales in Norway explode ahead of policy changes

Norway’s auto market saw plugin EV volume explode to take 87.6% share in December, with huge numbers of BEVs registered, and overall auto volumes double those of seasonal norms. The freak volume in December 2022 resulted from one-off pull-forward effects ahead of new policies and auto taxes applying from 2023 onwards.

BEVs saw pull-forward sales, with volume around 2.5x their previous monthly record, ahead of new weight taxes, and VAT taxes. Petrol vehicles also saw a relative sales surge ahead of increased emissions taxes. Several interesting new BEV models joined the market, and the Tesla Model Y was the overall best seller.

 

December 2022 - Norway Passenger Auto Registrations

 

December’s combined plugin share of 87.6% was completely dominated by full electrics (BEVs), taking 82.8% share. Plugin hybrids (PHEVs) took just 4.8% share, their lowest for many years. The respective shares a year ago were 67.1% and 22.9%.

PHEV’s relatively low share was not due to their fall in volume, rather that the volume of BEVs and petrol vehicles were much higher than usual. December’s overall auto market volume of 39,497 units was almost double the December volume of 2021 and 2020 (both around 20,570 units), and 2.5x times the average monthly volume seen in 2022. BEVs alone sold 32.713 units, over twice their previous record volume. Petrol vehicle volumes were 4x to 5x recent seasonal norms.  The reason for the high volume of these two powertrains was pull-forward sales, ahead of looming tax changes in January 2023.

 

Pull forward ahead of tax changes

There are many separate vehicle tax categories in Norway, from simple sales taxes (VAT), to NOx tax, CO2 tax, weight tax, and more. BEVs have previously been exempt from all of these taxes, but 2023 will introduce two new taxes that apply to BEVs for the first time. The first is a weight tax of 12.5 NOK for every kg of vehicle weight above 500 kg. So a relatively lightweight 1,700 kg BEV faces an additional cost of 15,000 NOK (about €1,410) from 1st January 2023. For a heavy BEV of 2,700 kg, it amounts to an addition of 27,500 NOK (€2,590).

Furthermore, from 1st of January, VAT is being applied for the portion of a BEV’s price that exceeds a 500,000 NOK (~ €47,000) threshold. Most of Norway’s top 10 bestselling BEVs are priced above this threshold (though a few have base prices that start just below it). The VAT rate is 25%, so e.g. a Tesla Model Y performance priced at 600,000 NOK will be additionally subject to VAT of 25% on the 100,000 NOK above the 500,000 threshold, which comes to 25,000 NOK (€2,350). For a BEV priced around 700,000 NOK (e.g. the Mercedes EQC), the VAT amounts to 50,000 NOK (€4,700).

Adding together the new weight tax, and the new VAT tax, from 1st of January, a Tesla Model Y Performance faces additional cost of around €1,850 (for weight) plus €2,350 (for VAT). So €4,100 more overall, compared to its cost in December. For a Mercedes EQC, the added cost of these two new taxes is around €7,050.

Even for a smaller, more modestly priced BEV like the Volkswagen ID.3 Pro Life (58 kWh), although it is below the VAT threshold, the weight tax still amounts to a cost increase to the buyer of around €1,530. Norway’s popular BEVs (Tesla Model Y, VW ID.4, Skoda Enyaq, Volvo XC40, etc.) are now seeing increased costs in the range of €2,500 to €4,000.

Since consumers naturally wanted to try to avoid these effective cost increases from January 1st, there was a huge surge of pull-forward sales in December (and to a lesser extent in November), leading to the record BEV volumes.

Furthermore, there are also increased taxes for combustion vehicles, most notably related to CO2 emissions. These also amount to effective increases in cost of several thousand Euros per vehicle, especially for larger vehicles and/or those with bigger engines. Petrol vehicles are particularly affected, thus they also saw a rush of pull-forward sales, before the January 1st policy change, gaining 4x or 5x their typical volumes.

 

Norway Monthly Powertrain Market Share

 

The isolated powertrain volume chart below illustrates the abnormal volumes of December’s BEVs, and petrol vehicles. We can expect patterns to return closer to the recent balance in a few months from now. January and February will likely show some negative rebound effects for BEVs and petrols:

 

Norway Monthly Powertrain Volume

 

Norway’s bestsellers

Tesla was able to capitalise on the surge in BEV demand, supplying a record 4,518 Model Y units in December. This is still below the 5,315 monthly volume record of the Tesla Model 3, set at its debut in March 2019.

The Volkswagen ID.4, and Volvo XC40, took the #2 and #3 spots, far off from the Model Y, but still well above their typical monthly volumes.

 

Norway BEVs - December 2022

 

In terms of significant changes, the Mercedes EQC claimed its highest ever ranking, thanks to over 4x its more typical monthly volumes, due to the looming tax changes noted above. Likewise, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, most variants of which are around 600,000 NOK, saw a 5.5x jump in volume, gaining 10th spot.

Similar magnitudes of pull-forward amplification were seen for the BMW iX, and i4, the Mercedes EQA, and EQE, the Hongqi E-HS8, and the Porsche Taycan.

In terms of new arrivals, the most important right now is the new BYD Atto 3, which brings a fresh value proposition to the compact/mid SUV segment. From a handful of initial deliveries in November, it jumped up to 576 units in December, ranking 17th for the month. If it does well overall in Europe (which it already looks like doing), BYD will certainly later make available the smaller Dolphin hatchback also, which will be even more of a game changer.

Other new BEVs appearing in December included the Voyah Free, straight in at 385 units. The Free is a large SUV, similar in size to the Nio ES8, or BYD Tang, with premium features, for a competitive price.

At much smaller volumes, the new DFK Seres 3 launched in Norway, as did the new JAC ES4. Both are compact/mid SUVs with decent value.

The new BYD Han, a premium full sized sedan, scored decent volumes in just its second month on sale, with 294 units. Meanwhile, a familiar face in the same segment (though much higher priced) the Tesla Model S, finally made a return to Norway, after a two year absence (as did its sibling the Model X). Both scored 382 units in December.

Now that there is a lot more competition in the premium full sized market, it will be interesting to see how well the two big Teslas succeed in their European renaissance. Once long-standing orders have been fulfilled, will they sustain volume anywhere near their previous 300-400 units per month? With much higher starting prices, plus the new VAT rates, it seems unlikely, but let’s wait and see.

Let’s now step back and look at the trailing 3-month rankings:

 

Norway BEVs December - 2022 - Trailing Qtr

 

Sales of the larger, heavier models, priced above 500,000 NOK, have been juiced in November and December by the pull-forward discussed above. As this is a one-off situation, there’s not much point in over-analysing the temporary changes in ranking that have resulted. Let’s return to this in the Spring when things have settled down again.

In terms of long-term favourites, the Tesla Model Y, Volkswagen ID.4, and Skoda Enyaq, continue to perform strongly.

The Volvo XC40 has stepped up in the past few months, taking 3rd in the above rankings. It’s good to see the Volvo and Polestar brands get back to strength in Norway, as they have in neighbouring Sweden. Let’s see if they can sustain this renewed resolve over an extended period.

 

What has changed since a year ago?

Below are Norway’s top 10 favourite BEVs for the full year 2022:

 

Norway BEVs Totals 2022

 

What has changed since a year ago? The Tesla Model 3, which was #1 in 2021, has fallen away completely, now at #16.

The Nissan Leaf has fallen from #6 to #15.

The BMW iX has come from nowhere to take #5 spot, likewise its sibling i4 has taken #11, just outside the above list.

Other YoY changes are less dramatic, more of a shuffling of places.

Will 2023 see more market innovation, and the arrival of disruptive new BEV models? We will have to wait and see.

 

Outlook

The policy changes described at length above have shaped the last couple of months of the Norwegian auto market, but are not indicative of longer term trends.

In the bigger picture, every powertrain other than BEVs is now in decline, even PHEVs.

The task for converting the remaining 10% to 15% of auto sales over to BEV requires a variety of more affordable models, better charging infrastructure, and a few remaining un-met vehicle niches to be filled. 2023 will make progress in this regard, but it remains to be seen how much.

I expect it will be another couple of years before there is a broad enough variety of affordable BEV models to get consistently above 95% BEV share.

What are your thoughts on Norway’s pathway along the EV transition? What kinds of as yet unmet niches still need to be filled? Please let us know in the comment below.

The post EV sales in Norway explode ahead of policy changes first appeared on 🔋PushEVs.

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eVs General PushEvs

Plugin EVs reached a new record market share in Sweden

Sweden’s auto market saw plugin electric vehicle share continue to grow strongly in December, reaching a record 74.6%, up from 60.7% year on year. Full electrics alone took a record 51.3% share of the market.

Overall, auto volume for the month was up 28% year on year, but still 18% down from December 2019. Full year 2022 saw auto volumes fall by 4% compared to 2021, and fall by over 19% compared to 2019. December’s bestselling BEV was the Volvo XC40. The full year bestseller was the Volkswagen ID.4.

 

December 2022 - Sweden Passenger Auto Registrations

 

December’s combined plugin share of 74.6% comprised 51.3% full battery electrics (BEVs), and 23.3% plugin hybrids (PHEVs). Their respective results a year ago were 36.4%, and 24.3%.

Full year 2022 plugin share stood at 56.1%, up from 45.0% in full year 2021. BEVs alone gained 33.0% share of 2022’s sales, up dramatically from 19.1% last year.

December’s volume of BEV sales grew by 81% YoY, to a record 18,154 units. Full year 2022 BEV volume was 94,984 units, YoY growth of 65.3%. PHEV 2022 volume was 66,577 units, a YoY fall of 14.5%.

Combustion-only powertrains’ (petrol and diesel) share in December fell to a record low of 18.7%, compared to 32.3% in December 2021.  Their combined volume was 6,610 units.

 

Sweden Monthly Powertrain Market Share

 

Sweden’s Best Selling BEVs

December saw the Volvo XC40 take the #1 spot for the 3rd month in a row. The previous regular favourite, the Volkswagen ID.4, once again had to settle for second place. Rounding out the top three was another Volvo, the C40. It’s great to see Sweden’s own local auto brand coming back to strength in the country’s BEV transition. Sister brand, Polestar, took #9 spot for the month.

 

Sweden Top BEVs Dec 2022

 

December’s most notable performances came from the MG Marvel R, the Seat Cupra Born, and the new BYD Atto 3. The MG (#7) and Cupra (#6) climbed higher than any previous month. The BYD Atto 3 came roaring in to a remarkable #5 (and 980 units), having only first appeared in Sweden just last month (83 units). The BYD is a great value package, will see insatiable demand in Sweden, and – if delivery volumes can keep up – may be challenging for the top 3 in 2023.

Lower down the rankings, the new MG4 doubled its MoM deliveries in December, to 199 units. The MG4 is amongst the most affordable “fully competent” BEVs available, so it’s good to see the supply steadily growing.

The new Ora Funky Cat saw its first month of deliveries, with 146 units, and – though starting from a not-super-affordable €37k – is an interesting new offering in the compact premium/tech segment.

The new Aiways U5 mid-sized SUV also saw its first discernible volume (79 units). It is a similar form factor to, and slightly larger than, the popular Volkswagen ID.4, with seemingly more tech/premium bells and whistles, whilst significantly undercutting the VW on starting price (by >20%).

The base U5’s disadvantage compared to the base ID.4 is a smaller battery (60 kWh vs 77 kWh) and thus lower range (WLPT 410 km vs. 506 km) and slightly slower charging. But its powertrain specs will still be acceptable for many families, especially at the competitive price point.

Tesla’s Models S and X both finally made a reappearance in December, after a two year absence. With much more competition in the high priced premium segments now than when they were previously on sale, their advantage remains relatively short delivery times of just two or three months, compared to 6 to 12 months (or more) for many other BEVs.

Let’s now smooth out the monthly shipping variations and look at the 3-month picture:

 

Sweden Top BEVs December 2022 Trailing Qtr

Other than the recovery of the Volvo and Polestar models, there are no other big surprises in the top 10. Notice that the BYD Atto 3 has already achieved 12th spot from effectively just a single month of volume deliveries. Here’s a summary of the major movements compared to the rankings 3 months earlier:

 

  • Volvo XC40 up from 9th to 1st
  • Volvo C40 up from 20th to 3rd
  • Polestar 2 up from 11th to 5th
  • MG Marvel R up from 16th to 10th
  • Renault Megane up from 33rd to 16th

 

Here are the models that fell in ranking:

  • Tesla Model 3 fell from 7th to 37th
  • Skoda Enyaq fell from 2nd to 7th
  • MG ZS fell from 3rd to 19th
  • MG5 fell from 10th to 18th
  • BMW i3 fell from 13th to 55th

 

I’m not sure what’s happening with the Tesla Model 3. Orders placed today (for any variant) are supposed to deliver in less than 3 months, so it doesn’t look like there is an issue with limited supply for Sweden. Perhaps Swedish auto buyers are simply moving away from the low-slung sedan form factor (the above tables of best sellers certainly suggests so). All of the other vehicles in the above lists have more practical fully opening tail-gates, rather than the Model 3’s smaller rear aperture.

With regard to the full year 2022 model performances, below are the top 10 best selling BEVs. Note that – since BEV are a rapidly developing market, with new and more affordable models appearing all the time (BYD Atto 3, etc.) – we should likely regard the latest 3-month rankings (above) as much more indicative of future success, than the full year rankings:

 

2022 Total BEV Sales in Sweden

 

Outlook

Sweden’s plugin incentive landscape has changed a couple of times over the course of 2022. Since the most dramatic recent (and out-of-the-blue) change on November 8th, the current situation is that there are no longer any “carrot” incentives (the “climate bonus”) for newly ordered plugin vehicles (neither PHEV nor BEV).

Existing yet-to-be fulfilled orders that were placed before November 8th will be grandfathered in, and still get the prior bonus payment (up to roughly €4,000 per vehicle) once finally delivered and registered for road use. With long delivery times for BEVs, in many cases the actual registration of these early November 2022 orders may happen as late as autumn 2023.

However, the “stick” side of the bonus-malus policy remains in place, since new ICE vehicles are still subject to higher road tax for the first 3 years after registration, whereas EVs (now classified as vehicles with emissions below 30g of CO2/km) pay no road tax (for now at least). The amount of ICE road tax is linked to emissions rating (CO2/km), and can amount to thousands of euros per year for the most inefficient autos.

This being the case, there is still effectively an economic policy incentive for consumers to avoid ICE vehicles, and instead choose the most efficient plugins (mostly BEVs), on top of the long term energy cost savings for consumer who drive plugins rather than ICE vehicles.

We won’t have a clear picture of how the cancellation of the bonus will shape continuing plugin demand until next summer/autumn. Sweden’s transition to plugins will doubtless continue over the long run, though there may be some short-to-mid-term discontinuities.

Perhaps by autumn 2023 even more affordable BEVs, like the BYD Dolphin, will be starting to be offered in the Swedish market, and be able to compete on overall value with ICE vehicles in their own right.

What are your thoughts on the prospects for Sweden’s EV transition in the years ahead? Please share your perspective in the comments section.

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CATL eVs General PushEvs

CATL plant in Germany starts mass producing battery cells

World’s biggest battery maker, CATL, has finally started producing battery cells in Europe. Let’s see the press release.

 

Contemporary Amperex Technology Thuringia GmbH (CATT), CATL’s first plant outside of China, has kicked off serial production of lithium-ion battery cells in December as scheduled, marking another milestone on CATL’s global journey.

The first batch of lithium-ion battery cells rolled off the newly installed production line under series condition in CATT’s G2 building. The installation and commissioning of the remaining lines are in full swing for the production ramp-up.

The locally produced cells passed all tests that are required of CATL’s products globally, which proves CATL is capable of starting cell production and supplying cells to its European customers from its local plant.

“The production kickoff proves that we kept our promise to our customers as a reliable partner of the industry and we stay committed to Europe’s e-mobility transition even under very challenging conditions like the pandemic,” said Matthias Zentgraf, CATL’s president for Europe. “We are working hard to ramp up production to full capacity, which is our top priority for the coming year.”

CATT received the permit for battery cell production from the state of Thuringia this April, which allows an initial capacity of 8 GWh per year. The plant has already started module production in its G1 building in Q3 2021.

With a total investment of up to 1.8 billion Euro, CATL plans to achieve a production capacity of 14GWh and create up to 2,000 new jobs in total within Germany in the future.

 

We still don’t know which kind of battery cells CATL is currently producing at its new European plant. The affordable cobalt-free chemistry LFP, the high energy density chemistry NCM or maybe both? Hopefully, in Europe CATL will focus on cobalt-free chemistries and introduce sodium-ion batteries next year.

 

 

More info:

https://www.catl.com/en/news/1046.html

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