European demand for electric cars continued to grow strongly in the first half. A big reason for this was the 10,000-unit boost provided by the recently launched Hyundai Ioniq. Overall, the segment grew by 27,000 units – or 56 percent – to 73,162 units in the January-June period.
Despite its strong showing, the Ioniq failed to make the top three, finishing 306 sales behind the BMW i3. The revised Renault Zoe was Europe's best-selling electric car during the half, followed by the Nissan Leaf, according to data from JATO Dynamics.
While the EV segment was Europe's fastest growing sector in the first half, the market share of battery-powered cars remained small at 0.9 percent, up from 0.6 percent during the same period last year.
Europe's second fastest growing segment, compact SUVs and crossovers, jumped 37 percent to 989,421 sales in the first six months. It received a big boost from the new Peugeot 3008, which added more than 81,000 sales during the half, helping the SUV to finish at No. 3 in the segment.
The success vindicated Peugeot's decision to make the second generation 3008 a crossover. If the 3008 had remained a minivan, it would have been stuck in a segment that shrank by 5.7 percent to 300,252 units in the first half. The compact SUV segment also got a big boost from the arrival of the new Volkswagen Tiguan, which added 55,036 sales to reach 128,033 units during the first half.
- Download PDF, above right, for first-half sales in Europe's segments