Electric vehicle sales in 2013 show Nissan Leaf still No 1

11 Feb 2014

The Nissan Leaf

There has been considerable growth in the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road today, a 2013 electrified vehicle European sales report suggests.

In the report obtained by EVObsession, sales figures show a total of 66,454 electric-powered vehicles were sold in Europe last year, with almost two-thirds of that comprising 100pc EV vehicles.

One of the world’s most popular EVs, the Nissan Leaf, remained the highest selling car of its kind in Europe, with a sales total of 10,885 or 16pc of the overall market share.

Second on the list saw a European entrant into its own chart, the Renault Zoe, launched in 2012, selling 8,858 cars last year, making up 13pc of the market.

Both the Leaf and Zoe are considered the frontrunners in terms of popularising EVs to the mass market and is being pushed by a number of European governments in a bid to reach their 2020 targets for a more sustainable continent.

Two other Renault cars made up the top 10 spots, including its van model the Kangoo, the highest of its class in terms of utility vehicles, and the tiny Twizy that looks similar in style to a Smart car.

Surge in hybrid power

Interestingly, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) had some of the fastest-growing sales in Europe in December of last year, with the Mitsubishi Outlander dominating the sales chart that month with 5,003 vehicles sold making up 36pc of the market, followed by the Volvo V60 with 7,437 sales and 15pc of the market.

This has also been attributed to government incentives to purchase such vehicles, in this case from the Netherlands, to increase the number of EVs and PHEVs on its roads.

The elder statesman of the EV market, the Toyota Prius, still maintains a somewhat regular flow of sales, outselling many car models younger than itself. First launched all the way back in 1997, 4,314 of the vehicles were sold last year, making up 6pc of the marketshare.

In terms of newcomers, the BMW i3 showed a good innings, selling 1,282 after having launched in Europe in November.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic