Longer-range Renault Zoe electric car, introduced at 2016 Paris Motor ShowEnlarge Photo
The first quarter of 2017 is now behind us, which means we get to take a peek at the European plug-in electric vehicle sale numbers.
The year-to-date numbers show a significant growth in sales for most electric models, according to the recent European Alternative Fuels Observatory report.
The Renault Zoe remains the top seller across the continent with 9,083 units sold, which represents 28.4 percent of total electric vehicle sales.
After a slow start, the even older Nissan Leaf has caught up with the January runner-up, the BMW i3, and has claimed the second position.
Far behind the Zoe, the aging Nissan Leaf has sold 5,940 units, sending the i3 back to third place with 3,956 sales.
The Tesla Model S comes in fourth position, taking 11.6 percent of the market with 3,715 vehicles registered.
2017 Tesla Model SEnlarge Photo
At the same time last year, the newly introduced Tesla Model X had found only one owner across all of Europe. This year so far, the electric SUV has sold close to 3,000 units.
The EAFO bases its report on the number of registrations rather than actual sales records, which has allowed it to come up with sales figures for both Tesla models. The maker is notorious for refusing to share its results broken down by country.
The all-new Hyundai Ioniq electric has sold 1,126 units, on the heels of the Kia Soul EV that sold 1,172.
The Volkswagen e-Golf (901) and e-Up (769), and the Mercedes-Benz B250e (814) make up the bottom three, with fewer than 1,000 units sold of each.
The Peugeot iOn that started the year in tenth position has downgraded to the “Others” category that includes all models that didn’t make the top 10 cut.
Their combined sale numbers represent 2.6 percent of total plug-in electric sales.
2017 Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In HybridEnlarge Photo
The report also highlights that plug-in hybrid vehicle sales have dropped significantly compared to last year’s first quarter.
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is the only non-European model that has secured a place on the leaderboard, topping the list as the best-selling plug-in hybrid model for Q1.
It landed in 5,393 driveways across Europe, earning the biggest slice of the total plug-in electric sales pie with 8.7 percent.
BMW is the best-performing brand in the plug-in hybrid category with four models listed in the top 10, starting with the 225xe Active Tourer coming in fifth position (2,164).
The 330e follows in seventh (1,893), with the X5 40e (1,397) and i3 REx (1,132) ending the list.
The Volkswagen Passat GTE landed in second place behind the Outlander with 3,570 vehicles registered, despite a strong start and a first place in January.
Volkswagen Passat GTEEnlarge Photo
The Passat is followed by the Mercedes-Benz GLC350e that sold 2,532 units, almost double its total sales in 2016.
The Volvo XC90 PHEV ranked fourth with 2,422 sales.
The Mercedes-Benz C350e and the Audi A3 e-tron complete the list with 2,150 and 1,501 units sold respectively.
— Sabrina Giacomini