More than half of all new car registrations in Europe were battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the first quarter of 2023, according to figures from industry analyst Jato Dynamics.
The volume of all-electric models increased by 43% to over 219,000 units, which Jato says was down to an increase in model choice, appealing incentive packages and lower prices.
EV market share also reached its highest-ever level, taking up 13.4% of the European car market in the first quarter of the year.
The rise in EV uptake rounded off a healthy first quarter for Europe, with overall new car registrations increasing by 17% to 3,220,806 units. Some 1,414,815 of that figure came in March, up 26% year-on-year.
“The increase in registrations is largely explained by accumulated orders from months previous that could not be delivered due to the lack of components at the time,” said Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics.
“We’ll be watching closely to see how this growth is impacted by further inflationary pressure in the coming months.”
The Tesla Model Y was Europe’s best-selling model in Q1, with 71,683 units registered, also topping the sales chart for March. The smaller Tesla Model 3 was not as successful as its crossover counterpart, with sales down by 42% year-on-year in March, and down by 40% compared to Q1 2023.
“Increase in production alongside fewer supply chain issues enabled Tesla to finally deliver vehicles to its customers at pace. The Model Y will likely be among the 5 best-selling products in Europe at the end of this year,” Munoz said.
See below for the full top-ten best-sellers list for Europe in quarter one of 2023.
The best-selling cars in Europe in 2023 (Q1 2023)
1. Tesla Model Y, 71,683, +173% year-on-year
The Tesla Model Y has reportedly been lauded by various industry giants – Ford and Toyota among them – for its design and production efficiency. No doubt helped by price cuts felt across Europe, it sits at the front of the pack not just for EV sales but in the wider market. Ramping up production at Tesla’s Berlin, Germany, factory will be key to the firm securing its place at the top – rather than relying on imports batch-shipped from China and the US.
2. Dacia Sandero, 60,202 sales, +27% year on year
Last year’s second best-seller, the Dacia Sandero has retained its position throughout all of Q1. It’s bolstered by its exceptional value for money, which will have resonated with buyers as the cost of living crisis hit across Europe. That it’s also a competitive supermini, with a spacious interior and decent handling, makes it an especially compelling buy.