Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Markets Roundup Full Year 2012

Fisker Karma in Monaco
With most of 2012 data in, it's time for a roundup on some EV markets:

- The three countries with highest EV share are Norway (No surprises here) with 3,09%, followed by Estonia (Thanks to Mitsubishi) at 2,35% and finally in third there's the Netherlands with 0,98%;

- The Renault Twizy was #1 in eight countries, hitting a sweet spot in Central and Southern Europe;

- Renault sold some 600 units of the Fluence ZE in Israel, included in the Better Place battery swapping project and at 0,37% share it was not a bad start, but the question is if in 2013 they will resist the black hole that is becoming the Better Place deal;

- Nissan has sold 89 units of the Nissan Leaf in Hong Kong, meaning that Nissan sold more Leaf's there than in the whole of China;

- Where else in the world other than Monaco would the Fisker Karma be a best seller? That's right, the Cadillac Escalade of the  Plug-In market was the second best selling electric vehicle in Monaco, just behind the Renault Twizy. With this in mind, i'm assuming that Tesla will be the best seller this year;

- As proof that the EV market is a fast changing market, Finland had three different leaders in the last three years, starting with the Think City in 2010, followed in '11 by the Citröen C-Zero and the Nissan Leaf last year;

- The I-Miev family has a thing for finding new markets for electric cars and losing them for others in the following years, for example the Mitsubishi I-Miev started the EV market in 2009 in it's home market, being the best selling electric model that year and in 2010, before losing the crown to the Leaf in 2011.  The same thing happened in Germany (#1 in 2010 and 2011, #3 in 2012), Spain (#1 in 2011, #9 in 2012), Switzerland (#1 in 2010 and 2011, #4 in 2012), Monaco (#1 in 2011, #6 in 2012) and Ireland (#1 in 2010, #4 in 2011 and 2012). In 2012 the I-Miev family started to sell cars in new markets like  the Czech Republic (78 units), Iceland (9), Poland (13) and Colombia (28). It remains to be seen in 2013 how many of these will still crown a I-Miev member as best seller...

Portugal Full Year 2012

Smart Fortwo ED

While other markets see their EV numbers double or triple their sales, Portugal saw a 24% drop to 161 units, making it the only market where EV sales were down, this is thanks to the end of the 5.000€ fiscal benefit and the economic crisis that has been ravaging the country.

As in other southern european countries, the Renault Twizy won the #1 spot, succeeding to the Nissan Leaf, which dropped to #3 with just 15 cars sold, down from 101 in 2011.

Second place was for the Smart Fortwo ED, the best ranking in the world for the small two seater and just one of two models to grow sales from last year (The other was the Kangoo ZE), from 14 to 19 units.

Portugal 2012 %
Renault Twizy 71 44
Smart Fortwo ED 19 12
Nissan Leaf 15 9
Renault Kangoo ZE 13 8
Opel Ampera 12 7
Renault Fluence ZE 11 7
Mitsubishi I-Miev 9 6
Peugeot iOn 6 4
Citröen C-Zero 5 3
TOTAL 161 100

Source: Auto Hoje; Manufacturers

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My 2013 EV Markets Preview

After making my predictions over the general trends in the EV market and the models that could be gamechangers, and updating it with the latest Roewe and Cadillac offerings, now it's time to preview the behavior of the major markets and which countries could be the surprises of the year:

USA - There's a lot going on here, if we count the same level of sales from the usual suspects (Volt, Prius, Leaf...) at 55K, i'm predicting some extra 15K from the C-Max, 6K from the Fusion and 12K from Tesla. Add that to 3K from other new launches (Accord, Cadillac ELR...) and we easily have more than 90.000 sales in 2013, so i'm counting the US EV market to reach some 90 to 110K units;

Japan - Probably reaching some 23.000 units in 2012, up from 18K in the year before, 2013 will see the arrival of the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid that might add some 6K sales to a faily stable market, although the I-Miev should struggle to keep sales at their '12 level. So, adding 6 to the current 23K, we have  around 29.000 units for the japanese EV market;

France - The sales level of the french market will depend on the impact of the Renault Zoe and how much will it steal from the current players in the market. So, if assuming that the rest of the market stays stable at 12K and the Zoe collects between 2K to 4K units sold, we have a moderate growth to 14-16.000 EV's;  

Germany - Another market where things could get interesting, although sales will only takeoff in the 4Q after the arrival of the german offerings. Until then sales will grow modestly, with the Zoe animating the market. At some expected 7K sales from foreign brands and adding 2.5K units from the german newcomers (BMW i3, VW e-Up! or Mercedes B-class ED), we'll be looking at around 10.000 units, a good prologue year before the real departure of the german EV market in 2014;

Netherlands - One of the markets where EV's are most successful and where the Opel Ampera is climbing the overall ranking, it's to expect that both the Ampera and the Prius Plug-In will keep on growing their sales, adding 1.000 units each, just like the Tesla Model S, an expected hit here. If the other models on the market also grow another 1.000 cars, we are looking at 9.000 sales, a good result that could keep this market on the forefront of the Plug-In Evolution.

Norway - With a great 3% of the general market, this scandinavian country is considered the epicenter of the electric revolution, thanks in big part to the success of the Nissan Leaf, now a usual name in the best selling rankings. And this year, another pure electric is expected to make a splash here, Norway is just behind the US in orders of Tesla's Model S, so expect it to go from 1.500 to 3.000 cars sold here. Add these to another 1.000 from the successful Prius Plug-In and we have between 7 to 8.500 sales. If the top limit is reached, we'll be talking about a 6% EV share! 

As possible surprises this year, China certainly promises to be one of them, it ended 2012 beating  the alltime record at 848 units and this year it is expected to be flooded with new models (Venucia e30, Springo, BYD Qin...), so it won't be difficult to see the chinese market EV jump from 3.000 to 10.000 sales. Australia is another market expected to grow exponentially thanks to the Holden Volt introduction, sales should grow from a measly 253 sold last year to some 2.000 units, if not more.

All in all, the world EV market will likely grow to some 200.000 units this year, almost doubling sales from the year before. And you the viewers, what do you think?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

France Full Year 2012

Renault Zoe

Despite a terrible December, when sales were down from 1.012 units in November to just 586, 2012 was a great year for EV's in France, with sales more than tripling and reaching 11.447 vehicles, keeping the french market as the third largest in the world.

Models-wise, the Renault Kangoo ZE kept the best seller crown it had earned in 2011, but the great performance of the year belonged to the Renault Twizy, landing in #2 with a great 19% share. On the other hand, the biggest loser also came from Renault, with the Fluence ZE down 26% and dropping 4 places to #9. It looks like the french sedan didn't convinced cab fleet companies...

In third comes the Bolloré Blue Car, a car used by the Autolib carsharing company, an example of the importance of fleets in this market.

Further down, notice the best-selling Plug-In Hybrid, the Toyota Prius at #7 and 4th in December, promising a successful 2013 for Toyota.

Finally, in #12 there's the "Next Big Thing" in the french market, the Renault Zoe, hoping Renault that it can complete with it the Kangoo and Twizy top spots, performing for the french carmaker a 1-2-3 podium this year.

France Dec 2012 %
Renault Kangoo ZE 168 2.869 25
Renault Twizy 96 2.232 19
Bolloré Blue Car
1.543 13
Peugeot iOn 66 1.429 12
Citröen C-Zero 13 1.335 12
Nissan Leaf 34 524 5
Toyota Prius Plug-In 60 413 4
Mia Electric 47 389 3
Renault Fluence ZE
295 3
Opel Ampera 28 190 2
Smart Fortwo ED 35 66 1
Renault Zoe 36 48 0
Chevrolet Volt 1 34 0
Mitsubishi I-Miev
24 0
Fisker Karma 2 21 0
VW Golf Blue-e-motion
15 0
Tesla Roadster
10 0
BMW Active E
10 0
TOTAL 586 11.447 100

Source: automobile-propre.com

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Austria Full Year 2012 (Updated)

2011 Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell

The austrian EV market has nearly doubled their sales to 1.024 units, a fairly respectable number given the overall dimension of the local car market, with the Renault Twizy winning the pole position with 271 units, ahead of last years winner, the Citröen C-Zero, which sold 198 cars in 2012, 40 less than in the previous year.

Unlike other markets, where a single model represents 50% or more of the market, here it's more fragmented, with the #1 having just 26% share. But despite that, Renault as a brand achieves a comfortable 57% share, thanks to the good performance of their models (Twizy #1, Kangoo #3 and Fluence #4). With this successful background, things look good for the introduction of the Renault Zoe in Austria.

Now two curious aspects of the austrian market:

First, the 13 units sold of the Mercedes A-Class E-Cell, along with the dozens sold in the previous year indicates Austria as potential hit market for the electrification effort to be made by Mercedes this year;

Second, the best selling Plug-In Hybrid car was...The Fisker Karma. With a mammoth 12 units sold. Even if there's not available data about the Prius Plug-In sales, it's still amazing that the Karma outsold the Ampera/Volt sales counted together. And it also demonstrates that Plug-In Hybrids still have a long way to go in Austria...

Austria Dec 2012 %
Renault Twizy 12 271 21
Citröen C-Zero 1 198 15
Renault Kangoo ZE 1 185 15
Opel Ampera
Renault Fluence ZE

Mitsubishi I-Miev 20 69 7
Nissan Leaf 5 64 6
Peugeot iOn
46 4
Chevrolet Volt
Mercedes A E-Cell

Fisker Karma
12 1
Smart Fortwo ED
12 1
Opel Ampera 5 10 1
Tesla Roadster
8 1
Think City 3 8 1
Chevrolet Volt 1 1 0
Volvo C30 Electric
1 0
Toyota Prius Plug-In (a)
0 0
TOTAL 60 1.193 100

(a) - Data not available

Source: automotive.co.at

Italy Full Year 2012

Renault Zoe Taxi

Italians love small cars, so it's no surprise that the Renault Twizy is the great responsible for the takeoff of EV's there. In 2012 the french quadricycle sold 1.545 units sold, achieving a enormous 66% share of the market, distancing itself from the runner-up, the Kangoo ZE, which sold just at 234 units.

The first passenger vehicles come in third, with the Nissan Leaf posting a record sale of 44 cars in December, enough to reach the third place tied with the Citröen C-Zero at 146 units.

Italy is still a BEV haven, with the best performance from a Plug-In Hybrid being a #6 by the Opel Ampera and just 3% share.

2013 will see the arrival of the Renault Zoe, which impact will help to determine the growth rate of this market.

Italy Dec 2012 %
Renault Twizy 28 1.545 66
Renault Kangoo ZE
234 10
Nissan Leaf 44 146 6
Citröen C-Zero 7 146 6
Peugeot iOn 4 116 5
Opel Ampera
62 3
Renault Fluence ZE 2 38 2
Smart Fortwo ED 2 37 2
Mitsubishi I-Miev
14 1
Tesla Roadster
7 0
Think City
3 0
TOTAL 87 2.348 100

Source: www.greenstart.it

Thursday, January 17, 2013

China Full Year 2012

Roewe E50

Hit has been said that the chinese car market is key to the success of the electric car, not just by the tremendous dimension of it, after all we are talking of a market with a whopping 15 million units sold in 2012, but also because the chinese government is interested in reducing the energy dependency on foreign oil and one way of doing so is betting in plug-in vehicles, but and this is a big but the government is even more interested in protecting the home grown product, so the Nissan Leaf's and Chevrolet Volt's of this world are sold in China like any other import, meaning a high tax on top of a already high price, which makes them pretty rare in China (We are talking dozens in a market of millions).

So, the home makers have the electric car market all to themselves, right?

Right, but the chinese EV market it's not that big. Until November 2012, the only chinese carmaker with plug-in models, BYD, had sold some 2.200 units of e6's and F3 DM's, leaving the chinese market only as the 7th largest in the world, behind smaller countries like Norway and the Netherlands.

But December came and not only the BYD e6 beat its monthly record at 512 cars sold, but the entrrance of a second chinese manufacturer in the market stirred things a bit, with the small Roewe E50 enjoying a great newcomers month with 238 sales, contributing for the chinese EV market to report a record month of 848 units sold and conquering the #3 position in the countries ranking, ahead of France and only behind Japan and the USA.

BYD Qin, to be launched this year
If this performance is repeated in the next months, and with the promised addition of new models it probably will, this could be one of the markets where the electric car growth will be more spectacular.

China Dec 2012 %
BYD e6 512 1.690 53
BYD F3 DM 98 1.201 38
Rowe E50 238 238 7
Chevrolet Volt
18 1
Nissan Leaf
15 0
Volvo C30 Electric
15 0
TOTAL 848 3.177 100

Source: BSCB; Car News China

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Czech Republic Full Year 2012

Speaking of unexpected places, sometimes EV sales come from where you least expect like is the case of Estonia or Israel.

EV sales in the Czech Republic isn't that unexpected, but it isn't also one of the first countries that comes to mind when you think of electric cars, but it has a small one.

With only 98 units sold this year, the EV phenomenon is still in its infancy, but it could grow significantly in the next years, especially if local manufacturer Skoda joins the Plug-In offensive that their VW bosses are planning in the next two to three years. For now, the I-Miev family dominates thanks to their Peugeot and Citröen sisters, respectably #1 and #2 in the ranking.

Czech Rep. YTD %
Peugeot iOn 52 53
Citröen C-Zero 26 27
Opel Ampera 9 9
Skoda Octavia EV 10 10
Fisker Karma 1 1
TOTAL 98 100

Source: sda-cia.cz

Spain Full Year 2012

Despite a terrible month of December, when were sold only 40 EV's, the spanish Plug-In market more than tripled, an amazing thing considering the crisis in the country and that the overall market shrunk by 13% regarding last year and it's at the weakest level since at least 1989...

This was a case where the local hero got the #1 spot, the Renault Twizy, made in Valladolid (In the picture there's Prince Felipe of Spain during a visit to the Twizy's factory), won the local crown in its first year on the market with a smashing 57% market share.

If we consider that the Twizy is not really a "car" (And it's not, it's classified as a quadricycle), then the best selling highway capable vehicle is the LCV Kangoo ZE with 176 units, followed closely by the Nissan Leaf with 154 cars, making it the best selling passenger car.

The fact that the best selling passenger car is only #3 on the EV ranking goes to show that the electric car is a market where sales can come from unexpected places.

Spain Dec YTD %
Renault Twizy 13 943 57
Renault Kangoo ZE 7 176 11
Nissan Leaf 2 154 9
Renault Fluence ZE
77 5
Peugeot iOn 1 73 4
Citröen C-Zero 1 58 3
Toyota Prius Plug-In 8 58 3
Opel Ampera
33 2
Mitsubishi I-Miev 8 31 2
Think City
30 2
Chevrolet Volt
14 1
Mercedes A E-Cell
6 0
Smart Fortwo ED
5 0
Seat Altea EV
3 0
2 0
Tesla Roadster
1 0
TOTAL 40 1.664 100

Source: Autoblog.es; El País

Ireland Full Year 2012

At 182 units, this is still a small market, but sales here more than tripled regarding 2011 and the Irish market hasn't been on the Plug-In Hybrids radar yet, so expect more growth coming from there in '13.

The Nissan Leaf retained last year's crown, a rare feat on the EV market, but this time it had serious competition against it, suffice to say that in the end of November the Fluence was still #1 with 3 sales in advance over the Leaf.

The other model to achieve significant sales was the LCV Kangoo ZE with 46 units, making this a Renault-Nissan dominated market.

Ireland YTD %
Nissan Leaf 69 38
Renault Fluence ZE 66 36
Renault Kangoo ZE 44 24
Peugeot iOn 1 1
Mitsubishi I-Miev 1 1
Citröen C-Zero 1 1
TOTAL 182 100

Source: Autoblog.es; beepbeep.ie