EV sales were much surprising in Europe last month. Tesla Motors, the American start-up, has beaten Renault, an established car maker with more than 100 years of history. Renault has said several times it wanted to lead the EV market, and it’s the only manufacturer with three models on offer, but that wasn’t enough to compete against Tesla. The Renault Zoé, a car perfectly sized for Europe, found only 629 customers last month. Renault also sold 20 Fluence Z.E. and 435 Kangoo Z.E.
Next to that, Tesla has sold more than 1,000 Model S in Europe in November (527 in Norway, 408 in the Netherlands, 61 in Germany…). So the Tesla Model S vastly outsells Renault’s best-seller, the little Zoé, and more than that, Tesla has also sold more passenger cars than Renault, considering that more than 90% of all Kangoo are commercial vans (customers can get it as a family car or as an utility).
The Nissan Leaf remains the best-selling electric car in Europe (1183 sales in November), but the Model S is getting very close. Besides sales volume, if we consider cash flows, things are even more startling. With the Tesla sedan more than twice the price of the other EVs, Tesla Motors had a larger income selling electric cars in Europe than Renault and Nissan combined!
Admittedly, it was a low month for the Zoé, but we guess it’s time for a strategy rethink. Renault should give up its idea of selling its electric cars without the battery, and lease it separately. This is a deal-breaker for many customers. Selling the Zoé in Norway, Europe’s largest market for EVs, would also help. A small technical issue prevented this so far, but the Zoé should be available in Norway early next year. So Renault sales should improve, but that’s also true for Tesla which has many customers waiting in Germany.
Just my two cents here :
– Tesla sold more passenger cars than Renault in November in Europe : right
– “Tesla vastly outsells Renault EVs” : false ; Renault Kangoo and Twizy are also EVs ; Renault still outsells Tesla in November in Europe, even not including Twizy sales, just with highway-capable vehicles ; your headline is at best an error
– Tesla groups its deliveries ; we’ll see next month if the momentum is sustained
– The bulk of Tesla’s deliveries, therefore sales, is in Norway ; Renault Zoe isn’t yet commercialized in Norway ; of course you could say this is just a(nother) marketing blunder from Renault but it’s more complicated than that : Norway’s electric power doesn’t run as the rest of Europe ; ask electric engineers about the details, but as a consequence it is incompatible with the system Renault devised to charge the Zoe
up ; I’m not in the confidence, but I’ve read articles that hinted about Renault preparing a Norway-compatible Zoe offer…When and if it becomes a reality, we’ll be able to compare on a more equal basis
All in all November has been a tremendous month for Tesla (and hats off!) and a disappointing month for Renault EVs…Hope you’ll inform us also when the contrary goes, as, without doubt, it will.
Come on, all the manufacturers but Renault are selling EVs in Norway without trouble. They should stop making EVs if they can’t make them work where people wants them.
I don’t say that Renault has done right in underestimating the impact of the Norwegian market, but its initial marketing strategy focused on the chameleon charger, the equivalent of which no automaker is proposing (a charger that can accept indifferently many charging intensities), and which is incompatible with Norway’s electric supply ; that said, this error should be rectified soon apparently.
I’m not trying to denigrate Tesla’s achievments, which are terrific in regard of its present niche market, but rectifying an error (or a lie) and just stating what I clearly sense for the future, that Renault (and others) will pretty soon reap the fruits of their efforts, and that EVs, and the ZOE especially will sell in the coming years by a multiple of Tesla’s models in Europe, which is normal given their relative pricing.