Tesla sees European EV market share shrink in April as rivals ascend

12 June 2024

Domestic carmakers helped propel Europe’s electric vehicle (EV) market in April, as overseas brands started to suffer. José Pontes, data director at EV Volumes (part of J.D. Power), explores the region’s top performers with Autovista24 editor Tom Geggus.

Combined registrations of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) grew at roughly the same rate as the entire European new-car market in April. EVs recorded an increase of 11% in the month, with 219,770 units delivered. The powertrain group made up 20% of overall deliveries in the month, with BEVs making up 13% alone.

Up 14%, deliveries of all-electric cars grew faster than PHEVs, which recorded an increase of 6% in April. All-electric cars represented 66% of plug-in registrations in the month, above 2024’s 64% average. Between January and April, the EV share was roughly similar to what was recorded in April. Plug-in models represented 21% of the overall market, with 13% captured by BEVs alone.

The arrival of more mass-market EVs is expected to encourage positive results in the second quarter of this year. However, significant growth is unlikely before the second half of 2024. Some markets also appear to be making a comeback from the withdrawal of BEV purchase incentives.

Therefore, BEVs can be expected to keep gaining share over PHEVs in the coming months and should represent over two-thirds of all plug-in units by the end of the second quarter. In 2023, BEVs took 67% of plug-in registrations, so anything above this across 2024 will be positive for all-electric models.

Volvo EX30 closes in on first

The Tesla Model Y was Europe’s most-popular EV in April. However, registrations of the BEV model were down 11% year on year at 9,489 units. This could be confirmation that the model has reached its market peak, with sales starting to slow.

The Model Y is now coming under increasing pressure. The refreshed Tesla Model 3 is cannibalising its numbers in some markets and even took third in April.

In the month, the Model Y’s biggest European markets included France (1,437 units), Germany (1,102 units) and the UK (1,080 units). With 1,048 units, the Netherlands was the only other country to post four-digit results.

Meanwhile, the Volvo EX30 climbed to second in only its fourth full month in the European market. With a record 8,672 registrations, the BEV was just 817 units behind the Tesla Model Y.

The EX30’s current performance can be expected to continue in the coming months, potentially even venturing into five-digit registration figures. It would be surprising to see the BEV take first place in July ahead of the Tesla Model Y.

In April, the Volvo model saw a major push in three markets. The Netherlands (1,459 units) led the way, followed by Norway (1,191 units) and Germany (1,064 units).

VW ID.4 returns to top three

The Volkswagen (VW) ID.4 returned to the podium in April with 6,011 deliveries. This was the BEV’s best performance of the year so far. The biggest market for the ID.4 in the month included Germany with 2,234 registrations, followed by Norway (986 units) and Denmark (506 units).

With a recent model refresh sparking a recovery in demand, a top-five position looks possible by the end of the year. However, it seems very unlikely that the ID.4 will be able to repeat its third-place finish in 2022 and 2023.

The Audi Q4 e-Tron had a positive month, finishing in fourth. With 5,909 deliveries, the car appears immune to the market fluctuations felt by other vehicles built on the MEB-platform. This is likely due to its premium positioning in the sector.

Looking at April’s performance, the Q4 e-Tron enjoyed particular success in the UK (1,415 units). The BEV also enjoyed strong results in Germany (1,184 units) and Belgium (777 units).

In fifth, the Volvo XC60 PHEV recorded 5,183 deliveries in April, even with the current generation dating back to 2017. Having two models in the top five is good news for Volvo, especially with the new EX60 on its way. The XC60’s primary markets in April were Germany (1,312 units) Sweden (1,246 units), and the UK (555 units).

ID.3 and iX1 close behind

With its best result since August 2023, the VW ID.3 likely benefitted from its recent refresh to finish in sixth (5,157 units). The BMW iX1 took seventh (4,506 units), as it looked to match the Q4 e-Tron’s volumes. With the level of improvements seen in the year so far, this makes both models candidates for future top-seller spots.

The Hyundai Kona EV returned to the top 20 in April with 3,343 units. Benefitting from the ramp-up in production of its second generation, the model ended the month in 15th. Meanwhile, the Fiat 500e took 20th with 2,893 units, equating to a 29% drop in deliveries. This can be partially explained by the introduction of the 600e. However, with other small EVs incoming, the 500e could use a refresh to help keep sales healthy.

Outside the top 20, the Peugeot e-2008 came 21st with 2,832 registrations in April. Its recent refresh was complimented by access to new CATL batteries. The Toyota bZ4X also saw a positive result, recording 2,321 deliveries.

Finally, the Mercedes EQB achieved 2,602 deliveries, putting it closer to the top 20. With a starting price of €59,000, the model is capable of 100kW charging and a max range of 535km (WLTP). At a lower list price, the 100kWh Peugeot e-3008 is capable of 700km (WLTP) and the Kia EV6 can charge at 234kW.

However, these competitors miss the EQB’s unique selling point: seven seats. A comparable model with seven seats costs around €70,000. So, until the Peugeot e-5008 lands, the EQB has this corner of the market to itself.

Volvo EX30 climbs 2024 ranking

In the first four months of 2024, the first-place Tesla Model Y (67,560 units) recorded twice the deliveries of the Tesla Model 3 (31,731 units) in second. The Volvo EX30 was still over 9,000 units away from Tesla’s sedan. However, the Swedish carmaker’s BEV closed the gap by more than 4,000 units in April. This could mean a close race across the rest of the year.

The Audi Q4 e-Tron (21,443 units) lost its top-three position to the EX30 (22,283 units), which jumped from eighth to third in one month. However, the German crossover did manage to increase its distance from the Volvo XC60 PHEV to more than 1,000 units. This prevented the Swedish brand from taking third and fourth in the table. Although, with three cars in the top six, Volvo still has a lot to celebrate.

The remaining position changes occurred in the second half of the table. The BMW iX1 climbed one place to 11th (15,467 units). The BEV is expected to move further up the chart in the coming months and is likely to stay in the top 10 until the end of the year.

However, the best performance came from VW, with the ID.4 jumping six places to 12th (15,256 units). The crossover is racing to make up lost time. Meanwhile, the ID.3 has re-joined the top 20 in 16th (13,668 units) and is looking to regain a position in the top half of the table.

Just outside the top 20, the Hyundai Kona EV finished in 21st with 12,043 registrations. This was fewer than 100 units behind the Audi A3 PHEV in 20th. It looks like another BEV will replace a PHEV in the chart soon, meaning just three plug-in hybrids would be left in the table.

Volvo leaps up brand ranking

Ranking EV deliveries by brands in the first four months of 2024, Tesla managed to hold on to its lead. While its share shrunk to 10.8% in April, it maintained a comfortable lead over BMW in second. The German carmaker’s 10.3% share remained steady on the results from March.

In third, Mercedes-Benz (9.4% share) also held its position thanks to positive results across its lineup. However, fourth-place Volvo made significant gains, reaching an 8.6% share. The brand saw registrations increase by 59% year on year in April.

This was predominately thanks to the performance of the EX30. The model accounted for more than a quarter of Volvo’s 33,767 registrations in April. Overall, EVs made up over half of Volvo’s European deliveries in the month.

Audi held fifth place but slid to a 6.8% share. So, the coming months could result in a position change, especially with VW (6.4% share) returning to form. Noticeably, all top five brands were premium makes. The best-selling mainstream brand, VW, only took sixth as Peugeot claimed seventh (5.4% share).

VW Group outstrips other OEMs

With brands arranged under manufacturing groups, VW Group saw a sharp rise in market share to 20.2%. This means the German OEM holds a comfortable lead over its competitors.

There was a position change in second, with Tesla (10.8% share) losing out to Stellantis (13.1% share). The conglomerate benefitted from a positive month across its brands, especially Peugeot. However, with Tesla expecting a peak in June, another position change is likely.

Off the podium, fourth-place BMW Group was down slightly to a 10.8% share. Meanwhile, Geely–Volvo rose further to fifth with a 10.4% share. It now looks like the OEM has its sights set on second place. Mercedes-Benz Group (9.9% share) stood stable in sixth, while Hyundai Motor Group came seventh (8.2% share).

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