Europe saw strong sales of plug-in electrified vehicles in August, up 13 percent over August 2015.
European Alternative Fuels Observatory reported 500,000 PEVs being registered so far through August. The European Commission agency expects 2016 to be a banner year, with 200,000 PEVs sold in member countries (including the U.K., which recently exited the European Union).
Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are having the opposite effect on the European market compared to the U.S. where all-electrics lead in sales. Plug-in hybrids represented 6,683 versus 5,890 for all-electric vehicles sold in the continent during August 2016. Plug-in hybrids were up 35 percent year-over-year in August, while battery electric vehicles were down four percent from the same period last year.
Norway lead the market in August, with 29 percent share of the plug-in hybrid segment and 15 percent of BEV market share. Iceland came in second for both segments, with 3.8 percent of plug-in hybrids and 1.5 percent of all-electric. Sweden took 3.3 percent share and third place in plug-in hybrid sales, while Austria and France tied for third in BEV sales with 1.1 percent apiece.
Norway and Netherlands are seeing PEV sales make for a much more impressive presence in their markets compared to larger European new vehicles sales market. Norway saw 22 percent of its August sales made up of PEVs and Norway reported 10 percent from PEVs. While France, the U.K., and Germany each are selling over two million units in new vehicle sales per year, PEV share is still stuck around one percent in these thee largest auto markets.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV continued leading the European market during August with sales up nine percent over the previous year. Norway and the U.K. have been the leading sales markets for this SUV plug-in hybrid, but Germany contributed a bit more with 157 units sold in that country during August.
The BMW i3 took second place in August, which benefited from the arrival of its 33 kWh version. At 971 registrations, the i3 saw its best sales month in Europe since being launched three years ago.
The Volkswagen Passat GTE dropped one position to third. The Nissan Leaf came in at fourth with sales down 24 percent over August 2015, as the 30 kWh version seems to be losing interest.
The Renault Zoe dropped to fifth place, which could change once the longer battery range version announced last week comes to market. The Tesla Model S maintained its sixth place on the list.