Tesla Model Y held significant lead in Europe’s EV market in September

13 November 2023


Over 288,000 new electric vehicles (EVs) took to Europe’s roads in September, up 15% year on year. The Tesla Model Y continued to lead the market by a significant margin. José Pontes, data director at EV-volumes.com (part of Autovista Group), examines Europe’s EV registrations.

In September, EVs, made up of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), accounted for approximately a quarter of all new-car registrations in Europe. BEVs alone made up some 17% of the market, after increasing 18% year on year. Meanwhile, PHEVs represented only 8% of all new-car registrations.

Tesla Model Y maintains lead

For the 11th month in a row, the Tesla Model Y was the best-selling EV in Europe, with 34,378 registrations. For comparison, the second place MG4 only managed a quarter of the sales (7,501 units) in September.

The Model Y proved most popular in France (5,035 units), the UK (4,035 units), and Germany (3,921 units). Other countries also posted strong results, including Sweden (3,050 units), Norway (2,476 units), Denmark (2,389 units), and the Netherlands (1,789 units).

While the midsize crossover is likely to post similar results in the coming quarters, sales cannot be expected to increase significantly beyond current levels, with the market reaching a natural limit. The refreshed Tesla Model 3 is also likely to cannibalise some of the Model Y’s registrations.

The MG4 took second place, enjoying almost unbeatable value for money. It costs roughly €10,000 less than its most direct competition, such as the Volkswagen (VW) ID.3 and Renault Megane EV. Its main markets included the UK (3,120 units), France (1,945 units), and Sweden (451 units).

The MG4 is fast becoming the reference point for Europe’s compact-hatchback class. This category once defined the European new-car market, with examples including the VW Golf, the Skoda Octavia, and the Opel Astra.

The Skoda Enyaq claimed third place in September with 7,393 registrations. The model’s biggest market was Germany (1,137 units), followed by the UK (1,080 units), Norway (717 units), and Sweden (708 units). Sales can be expected to remain strong in the coming months, especially now production constraints have ended.

The Audi Q4 e-Tron took fourth place with 6,867 registrations in September. Its main market was the UK (2,310 units), followed by Germany (1,187 units) and then Belgium (618 units), a known stronghold for the brand. With increased production capacity, the model is now only dependent on demand to improve its performance.

Compact crossovers appear to have become a bastion for German carmakers as Tesla enjoys upper-segment success. BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz all boast best-selling compact-crossover BEVs, namely the iX1, the Q4 e-Tron, and the EQA respectively.

The Peugeot e-208 claimed fifth with a record 6,582 registrations in September. France was the model’s biggest market by far (3,924 units), followed by Germany (859 registrations) and the Netherlands (523 registrations). The hatchback is currently one of Stellantis’ major cash generators in the EV arena, alongside the Fiat 500e. This confirms the group’s strong presence in the smaller European categories.

The highlights across the rest of September’s ranking fell into the second half of the table. Following the holiday months of July and August, the VW brand’s best sellers posted their worst performances since the start of the year. In eighth with 5,792 registrations, the ID.4 had its lowest month since February. The ID.3, which fell back to 13th, only recorded 4,141 units, its worst performance since January.

The Mercedes-Benz EQA took 12th with a record 4,588 registrations. The new GLC PHEV also made it to 15th with 3,953 registrations, the nameplate’s best result since December 2021. Below the top 20, the EQB (2,519 units), EQE sedan (2,112 units), and even the EQC (2,860 units) managed impressive results.

The BMW iX3 achieved a new record for this year of 3,142 registrations, while the i4 recorded 2,979 deliveries. Meanwhile, the Audi Q8 e-Tron managed 2,544 registrations in the month. There was also good news in the Stellantis stable, with the Opel Mokka EV (2,714 units) getting closer to the top 20.

Tesla takes top two

Between January and September, the Tesla Model Y recorded three times as many deliveries as the second-place Tesla Model 3. Realistically, there are only two remaining candidates capable of securing silver this year. If the production ramp-up of the refreshed Model 3 goes smoothly (leading to a big December), the VW ID.4 is unlikely to claim second place.

In fourth, the Volvo XC40 is likely already suffering from comparisons with the EX30. This could be good news for a few models behind it, namely the Skoda Enyaq (fifth) and MG4 (sixth), which could end the year ahead of the Belgian-built Swede. The Enyaq and MG4 have kept climbing the rankings at the cost of the VW ID.3, which dropped to seventh.

This signals a symbolic, but important change. The MG4 is now Europe’s best-selling compact electric hatchback, ahead of the VW ID.3 and Renault Megane EV. With the midsize category already in Tesla’s hands, the compact-hatchback category could soon fall to newcomers. For now, the smaller A and B-segments are in the hands of Stellantis, thanks to the Peugeot e-208 (B-segment) and Fiat 500e (A-segment).

The remaining position changes occurred in the second half of the table. The Kia Niro rose to 13th at the cost of the Renault Megane EV and the Cupra Born moved up to 15th. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz EQA climbed two positions to 18th. The compact crossover is currently on top of its game and looking to move up a couple more positions by the end of the year.

Finally, the Kia EV6 returned to the top 20 at the bottom of the ranking. This meant the Korean brand successfully placed two models on the table. Kia was just one of just four brands to have more than one model in the ranking. The others were Tesla, VW, and Volvo.

Tesla led brand ranking

In September’s update to the brand ranking, Tesla held a comfortable lead with a 12.7% share of the EV market. VW occupied second place with an 8.4% share, down slightly from August due to a slow month for the ID.3 and ID.4.

In third, BMW (8.1%) remained stable, but fourth-place Mercedes-Benz (7.6%) climbed closer, with only a fractional share separating the two. Finally, Volvo (5.6%) was still in fifth but kept losing market share. This opens the door for sixth-place Audi (5.4%) which might surpass it sometime in the future.

Considering automotive groups with brands collected under their parent companies, VW Group was down to a 20.2% share. However, it maintained a comfortable lead over runner-up Stellantis (14%). Third-place Tesla was up to 12.7%. The EV-maker can be expected to go after second place in December.

In fourth, BMW Group was down to 9.6%, while Mercedes-Benz Group took fifth (8.5%). In August, Hyundai Motor Group removed Geely-Volvo from the top five. Then in September, Mercedes-Benz Group removed the Korean OEM from the last position on the table. In seventh, Geely–Volvo kept dropping, this time down to 7.8%. So, even eighth-place Renault–Nissan Alliance (6.8%) looks like it could make an overtake by the end of the year.