June results in record BEV registrations for France

04 August 2023


Electric vehicle (EV) registrations keep rising in France. José Pontes, data director at EV-volumes.com, takes a look at how the plug-in market performed in June.

EV registrations in France hit 51,215 units in June. A record 33,280 were battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), with year-on-year growth of 52% and an EV market share of 65%. Meanwhile, with 17,935 registrations, plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) were up 50%, claiming the remaining 35% of the EV market.

The dominance of all-electric models over plug-in hybrids also shone through in the figures for January to June, with BEVs taking 64% and PHEVs 36%. This trend can be expected to grow further throughout 2023.

BEVs made up 18% of all French new-car registrations in June, while PHEVs accounted for just 9%. The wider automotive market is still in recovery mode, up 12% year on year, but down 17% compared with June 2019.

Tesla takes top two

France’s best-selling EV in June was the Tesla Model Y with 4,335 registrations. But the surprise of the month was the Model 3, which finished second, meaning Tesla took the top two spots. With 3,966 registrations, this was the Model 3’s best result in two years.

After stealing the midsize category (D-segment ) from local brands a year ago, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi are now losing the category crown to Tesla. The Model Y is the best-selling midsize car this year, a trend which is being mirrored across the Rhine.

The remaining podium position went to the Fiat 500e, with the Italian hatchback achieving its second record-performance in a row with 2,781 units. A significant number of these registrations likely belonged to the hot hatch Abarth version.

In fourth, the MG4 hit 2,511 registrations, marking its second record score in a row. The hatchback outsold an underperforming Renault Megane EV, which ended the month in sixth with 2,377 registrations. Although the Renault model looks more refined than the MG, there is a €10,000 price difference between the two (€43,000 for the Renault versus €33,000 for the MG4), despite comparable specs.

In eighth, the Peugeot 308 also beat its own record with 1,118 registrations, which was heavily based on the PHEV version. With the first BEV units (22 registrations) now being delivered, the compact can be expected to climb a few positions, maybe even outselling its rival, the Renault Megane EV.

The BEV-based Kia Niro also saw a new best with 988 registrations, putting it ninth in the table. Meanwhile, the 10th-place VW Tiguan PHEV reached 954 registrations, a new record for the German SUV.

In the second half of the table, there were a few more notable performances. The MG ZS EV hit 741 registrations, meaning it reached 14th. The 16th-place DS 7 PHEV had 733 deliveries, the SUV’s best result in two years. Then, Geely’s Lynk & Co 01 PHEV scored 594 registrations, ending the month in 19th.

These positive PHEV results are occurring despite a loss of purchase incentive at the end of 2022. However, the French malus system, which ensures heavy taxation for the most emissions-heavy models, will likely be incentivising PHEV purchases.

Just below the top 20, and highlighting a positive month for Stellantis, the Jeep Avenger scored 441 registrations in its second month on the market. The award-winning model can be expected to join the top 20 soon. In the Citroen stable, the C5X PHEV scored a record 382 registrations, and the e-C4 crossover-hatchback also shined, with 396 deliveries. As for Peugeot, the attractive 408 PHEV also hit new heights, with 462 registrations.

Within Volkswagen (VW) Group, the Cupra Formentor PHEV reached a record 449 units, while the Skoda Enyaq had 359 deliveries, its best result in 18 months. Finally, the Kia EV6 hit its highest point in 14 months, thanks to 381 registrations.

A foregone conclusion?

In the first half of the year, the Tesla Model Y seems to have secured enough of an advantage over the Dacia Spring to claim the 2023 top spot. This would be a first for the crossover, but Tesla’s second trophy. The carmaker won the title in 2021 with the Model 3, which climbed to sixth place in the first half of 2023 thanks to the company’s end-of-quarter peak.

The Fiat 500e surpassed the Peugeot e-208 EV thanks to its recent record performances, taking third from its Stellantis stablemate. The carmaker will likely have its sights set on taking second from the Dacia Spring. With 2,800 units separating the two, it is a tall order, especially as third place is already quite an accomplishment.

If these top-three positions endure, it would be the first time there were no domestic EVs on France’s best-seller list. The Peugeot 3008 PHEV was up one position, to ninth, at the expense of the Renault Zoe, which is seeing a difficult 2023. The Zoe has dropped to 10th and was even unable to reach June’s top 20. This is a fall from grace for the eight-time table topper in France.

In the second half of the chart, there were two new entries, with the Kia Niro joining the table in 19th while the VW Tiguan PHEV made the 20th spot. But with the VW ID.3 in 21st, just 94 units below, the German hatchback could soon return to the top 20. 

Brand best sellers

Thanks to its end-of-quarter peak, Tesla reached the top of the brand podium with a 12.7% market share, surpassing Peugeot (12.3% share). This is a first, as no other foreign brand has ever been ahead of the local heroes in France. In third, Renault (8.5% share) is now distant from the top spot. It should keep an eye on Dacia (7% share), which now has the larger French brand in its sights, aiming to displace it in the future. 

SAIC’s surging MG brand (5.7% share) surpassed Fiat (even if by just seven units) to reach fifth place. Considering the current strength of MG’s line up, particularly the MG4, the brand could challenge Dacia for fourth place in a few months. The carmaker only needs to scale up production to meet the overwhelming demand for its sharp hatchback.

VW saw a resurgence in June, sitting in eighth place with 4.7% of the market, and aiming to overtake seventh-placed BMW. The German brand is just 0.1% ahead of its rival in terms of market share.

Stellantis still strong

As for OEMs (with brands grouped), Stellantis remains the major force in France, with a comfortable 29% market share. While Peugeot has lost some share lately, the likes of Citroen, Fiat, and Jeep have allowed the multinational conglomerate to hold its position.

On the other hand, the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance (16.2%) is losing share by the day, with every brand, except for Dacia, bleeding sales. With the Renault 5 still a year away and little else to stop the losses until then, hard times await the alliance. Tesla came third with 12.7% and appears to be waiting to see what happens and whether it can capitalise on the alliance’s losses.

Off the podium, VW Group came in fourth with a 10.4% share. It is benefitting from the namesake brand’s resurgence, which has allowed VW Group to gain significant distance over BMW Group in fifth (7.1%, up from 7%).