The European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO) has released findings of its study analyzing plug-in vehicle sales in the EU since 2014.
For the first time in six quarters, all-electric vehicles had stronger sales than plug-in hybrids in Europe, according to the EAFO findings.
In 2015, as the number of plug-in hybrid models increased, PHEVs won the upper hand over BEVs, with 2016 confirming the trend, but in the first quarter of 2017, pure electric vehicles outsold plug-in hybrids for the first time in six quarters.
Interestingly, if The Netherlands is removed, a market that for years had very PHEV-friendly incentives, plug-in hybrids only outsold battery-electric vehicles (BEV) in 2016, and even there, only the Q2 and Q3 showed a significant difference in favor of PHEVs.
Looking at the share evolution of both technologies in the plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market, we can see BEVs losing continuously share until the last quarter of 2016, with the first quarter of 2017 taking a sharp turn in favor of BEVs, with this technology crossing the 50% share for the first time since 2015. Removing the sales peaks on the Dutch market, the share losing trend of BEVs is more visible, but towards the end of last year, both technologies started to be sold more or less in the same volumes.
Fast Charging Protocols
Looking at sales evolution of vehicles with the different fast charging protocols, we can see CHADEMO taking the lead since the beginning, but after a peak in 2015, the domination was eroded in 2016, with this year signaling a balance between technologies, especially between CHADEMO and CCS, which might mean a trend change and the end of CHADEMO as the best-selling fast charging technology. Bear in mind the impact of the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Dutch sales bubble in the overall registrations of CHADEMO-equipped vehicles, namely in 2013 (37% of all CHADEMO sales belonged to Outlander PHEVs sold in The Netherlands), 2014 (21%) and 2015 (16%).
Looking at fleet numbers, vehicles equipped with CHADEMO represent half of vehicles with fast charging, although this year the population growth is more balanced than in the past. Despite this possible new trend, the numbers advantage of the CHADEMO technology is large and it may remain the most common fast charging technology in Europe in the next few years.
BEV and PHEV fast charging availability
Looking at the BEV population, we can see that 91% come equipped with fast charging technology, which means that fast charging is a common feature in a pure electric vehicle. As for plug-in hybrids, only two models in Europe are equipped with fast charging abilities, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and BMW i3 Rex, but because the Japanese SUV is the most popular PHEV in Europe, 31% of all plug-in hybrids fleet have fast charging availability.