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In First Half of 2013, Renault-Nissan Leads European EV Sales

Electric vehicle sales data from most European countries for the first half of the year have now been published, and it’s time for an analysis. There’s no denying the electric car is a growing market, but it’s clearly not seeing the growth many had hoped.

The leading country is still Norway, where EVs enjoyed an incredible 3 percent of the overall car market. If the same thing would happen in the U.S. that would have put 230,000 EVs on the road. In tiny Norway, that means only 3,088 cars, but that’s enough to lead Europe by far.

The second country is France, with 4,777 EVs sold in the first half. Those sales make France the leading European country by the number of EVs sold, but their market share was just 0.5 percent. That includes 0.2 percent of vehicle sales last month in Germany, and below 0.1 percent of the market in every other European country. Sales data is inflated in some countries, because the Chevrolet Volt (and its sister model, the Opel Ampera) count as a plug-in hybrid in some countries, and as a true EV in others. Finding exact data is tough.
Best-selling EV in Norway, the Nissan Leaf

Best-selling EV in Norway, the Nissan Leaf

The most successful models were the Nissan LEAF, which had 2,477 sales in Norway (80 percent market share), and the Renault Zoe, which had 3,592 sales in France (75 percent market share).

The Renault Zoe should have fared better in France, where the Renault has been the leading brand for decades. And the Zoe is the perfect size for the French market, as the Renault Clio easily proves. It’s the same size as the Zoe but with a choice of gas and diesel engines. It found 12 times more customers than the Zoe.


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