Global plug-in vehicle registrations increased by 99% in February 2022 compared to February 2021. There were 541,000 registrations, representing 9.3% (6.4% BEV share) of the overall automotive market . That’s nearly double plug-in vehicle sales from a year ago, meaning the global auto market is already entering the Electrical disturbance zone.
Add in the 587,000 plug-free hybrid units registered in February and we have around 20% of the overall global market having some form of electrification last month. March being perhaps a record month, we should see more than 25% share of electrified registrations!
In another note on no-hold bybrids, last month’s growth rate was just 7%, the lowest since the Covid-19 lockdown months of April and May 2020. That could mean this year could be Peak HEV, with 2023 being the start of downhill sales for this type of powertrain. We’ll see.
(Toyota, take note….)
Peak HEV is just one of the weird things that happen once the EV disruption hits the auto market. It’s not just about the fuel share, as diesel sales are falling off a cliff in Europe. It is also about the ranking of OEMs, such as the rise of Chinese OEMs in their home market, the Volkswagen Group’s loss of control over Europe, or the future inclusion of Tesla among what is currently the American Big 4 ( the others being Toyota, GM, Stellantis, and Ford).
Fully electric vehicles (BEVs) accounted for 69% of plug-in registrations in February, matching the current year’s tally (70%).
The second half of the chart saw legacy models bounce back, with several re-entries and debuts, the most prominent of these being the #16 Kia EV6. The Korean model hit a record 5,360 units, so it looks like the production ramp-up of Hyundai-Kia’s E-GMP siblings is in full swing. Toyota’s RAV4 PHEV (also known as the Wildlander in China) returned to the table, in #15, as did the #18 Kia Niro EV, and even the veteran Nissan Leaf returned to the table, in #17. In the model rankings, there was a No. 1 and No. 2 win for Tesla, with the Model Y firm leading with more than 45,000 registrations. The Model 3 had 30,000 registrations, while the small Wuling Mini EV won the bronze medal.
Right next to the podium we got a BYD armada, with five (!) models between the 4th and 9th position. Only the #7 Hyundai Ioniq 5 between them (with a record 9,284 registrations, making it the best-selling legacy model). Among them, a couple deserves a mention for having recorded record performances during the slowest month of the year. This is the case of the #4 Song PHEV, with 19,061 registrations, which continues to increase its deliveries. Adding the sales of the BEV version to the tally (3,711 additional units), the midsize SUV gets 22,772 registrations, which is already higher than the total tally of the BYD Qin Plus (22,507 units). The Tang PHEV also achieved a record score, 10,032 registrations, beating the remaining full-size competition (BYD Han and Li Xiang One), meaning BYD has not one (Han), but two contenders for Best Seller in the full size category.
So if anyone wants to be number one at the high end of the market, 5-digit monthly scores are now mandatory, and that goes for everyone – be it former OEMs (we’re looking at you, Mercedes EQE), other automakers Chinese (XPeng? NIO?), or even Tesla.
But BYD also competes with the best of them at the bottom of the market. The recent BYD Dolphin (8,566 registrations) is now the clear leader in its segment, being the only subcompact/B-segment in last month’s top 20.
Still in the traditional OEM camp, despite production constraints (ahem, batteries), the Ford Mustang Mach-E joins the chart at #20. Expect the Ford model to become a regular here.
Outside the top 20, the Fiat 500e delivered 4,133 units, making it 4th in the city car category, while the compact BYD Yuan Plus recorded 4,517 registrations in its second month alone on the market — expect her to join the chart soon.
Looking at the models in this top 20 by size category, we have 3 models belonging to the full-size category (E-segment), 9 intermediate (D-segment), 4 compact (C-segment), 1 subcompact (B-segment) , and 3 city cars (segment A). Comparing them to the best sellers in the global market, where half of them are compacts (C segment), we can see that at the moment the plugins are oriented towards the high end of the market. 12 models are mid-size or full-size, and comparing the overall top 10 with the top 20 plugins, Toyota’s success is in jeopardy, with 3 in the first and only 1 in the second. But Honda does even worse, because while it has two models in the general top 10 (Civic and CR-V), it has none in the plugin… top 100!
In the year-to-date (YTD) chart, the Tesla Model 3 has moved up to 3rd position, but is down 15% quarter over quarter (the first two months of Q4 ’21 compared to the first two months of Q1 ’22), proving that Tesla’s growth now rests on the shoulders of the Model Y. But with the second Wuling Mini EV off to a slow start in 2022, down 34% QoQ, and a Tesla peak expected in March, expect the midsize sedan to hit the silver spot by the end of the quarter.
Three BYDs overtook the Volkswagen ID.4, with the No. 7 BYD Dolphin, No. 8 BYD Han EV and No. 9 BYD Tang PHEV all topping the German crossover in February.
Most impressive is the fact that the Dolphin and Tang PHEV are experiencing significant delivery accelerations, +33% QoQ and +28% QoQ respectively, in the two slowest months of the year!
In the second half of the table, the highlights are two legacy electric cars that return to the top 20. The #14 Hyundai Ioniq 5 did so even without having a presence in the huge Chinese market, responsible for more than 50% of all plugin records in the world. The Hyundai is the only model in the table to achieve such a feat. The other legacy model to join the table was the Toyota RAV4 PHEV, which joined the table in #18.
BYD still in #1
In February, BYD’s strong start to the year saw another chapter, with nearly 88,000 registrations. The Shenzhen-based automaker is expected to push some 110,000 units in March, which won’t be enough to beat Tesla in its peak month, but will allow two automakers to hit 6 figures for the first time in March. a month !
Below the top two, Chinese automakers were not as dominant as in January. This allowed others to shine, like Hyundai and Kia, jumping into the top 10 at #7 and #9, respectively. This is thanks to the success of their e-GMP models (Ioniq 5 and EV6). Peugeot jumped to #16, while Ford (#18) and Toyota (#20) joined the table, the former helped by the Mustang Mach-E’s good month and the latter by the continued success of the RAV4 PHEV.
Geely joined the top 20 at #15 after years of forgettable performances. The Chinese automaker finally seems to have acted together and seems poised to become a relevant automaker in the electric vehicle industry.
In the YTD chart, there was not much to report in the top positions. BYD is still ahead of Tesla, but expect the top spot to go to Tesla by the end of March. The question then will be: How far behind will BYD be? If the gap at that time will be around 20,000 units or more, then we can say that despite an eroding share of the plugin market, Tesla will be safe this year for another title. However, if BYD manages to stay below this threshold, we could have an interesting race on our hands. On the one hand, Tesla will bring Giga Texas and Giga Berlin online. On the other On the other hand, 2022 will be the year when BYD starts exporting electric vehicles in significant volumes. Bring the popcorn, because it might start to look fun!
Below these two, which are truly in a league of their own, the SGMW joint venture is comfortable in 3rd. Below, Volkswagen is now 4th, having overtaken BMW, with Mercedes doing the same with SAIC in the race for 6th place. Meanwhile, the #8 Volvo and the #9 Hyundai both passed Chery.
In the second half of the chart, the big news is that Geely joins the chart, at #16, with the Chinese brand looking to climb a few more positions over the next few months.
Finally, a reference goes to Ford, which, thanks to a strong February, is now down some 2,000 units under the #20 XPeng. We could see the Dearborn automaker join the table in the coming months.
On the side of OEM registrations, the leader BYD slightly increased its share, from 15.5% to 15.8%, while Tesla now occupies 2nd place, with 11.4% of share (it had 12, 8% a year ago). This relegated SAIC to 3rd place, the Chinese equipment manufacturer losing 0.3% in the process (8.8% a month ago, 8.5% now).
Below the podium, Volkswagen Group (8.3%, down from 8.5% last month) is 4th, with the German conglomerate looking to overtake SAIC next month.
As for the C-League, below the 4 major suppliers, the current leader is Geely-Volvo (6.3%, up 0.1%). It has a comfortable 1% lead over the #6 Hyundai–Kia climber, which overtook Stellantis last month, relegating the multinational conglomerate to 7th place.
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