There are signs of recovery in the Italian car market, and registrations of plug-in vehicles increased at the end of the first half in this context. With a new incentive program becoming fully operational, electrified powertrain sales were widely expected, and they were.
Originally published on opportunity: energy.
Official June statistics released by UNRAE showed positive results for the advancement of electric mobility in Italy. After a few months of high uncertainty, June marked the first month of what could be a new era of stable growth for electric cars, following the recent launch of new, albeit reduced, financial incentives for low-emission vehicles. This does not mean that the Italian car market is healthy. Overall registrations fell to less than 129,000, down about 15% year-over-year (YoY) from nearly 151,000 a year ago. Internal combustion engine (ICE) powertrains, although down around 20% year-on-year in absolute numbers, have stabilized in terms of market share, with gasoline and diesels at 29.2 % and 20.7% respectively (down slightly from 30.2% and 22.5% twelve months earlier). Full and mild plugless hybrids fell slightly to 29.1%, losing their place as the most popular powertrain to gasolines for the first time in a year. A temporary breakdown?
Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) recorded their highest figure so far in 2022, 6,190 registrations. While that still meant a reduction of 11.9% YoY, it was enough to actually increase the YoY market share to 4.8% in this weak market. Pent-up demand is surely responsible for this good result, at least in part. Many potential BEV customers were waiting for the new incentive program and were able to complete their purchase with a discount. We could see some “turmoil” in the coming months as the auto market stabilizes deliveries under the new tax regime, not least thanks to ongoing talk of the recession impacting buying decisions. Full-electric cars are, however, expected to see positive results in the future, if automakers focus their attention on BEVs again and feed the appetite of customers with sufficient production figures across the continent.
Plug-in hybrids again outperformed fully electric cars, with 7,073 registrations. This result was only slightly lower than last year, which allowed PHEVs to increase their market share to 5.5% (it was 4.7% twelve months earlier). Continued attention from mainstream automakers, along with a customer base to win over, is giving PHEVs the edge, which will likely continue for some time, especially as the economy heads into a new period of economic growth. uncertainty.
With this strong performance, global plugin registrations achieved their best result in the first six months of 2022, 10.3% combined market share. June’s BEV top 10 reflects the spikes typical of end-of-quarter models, as well as a spicy new entry.
The Fiat 500 once again topped the sales chart, but it was not an easy win. With 781 registrations, it ended with a very slim advantage over the much more expensive and unincentivized Tesla Model Y, second with 769 units. Tesla’s best-selling model is now in its second show of strength in two consecutive quarter-ends, which is likely to continue as these results come out of the new BEV subsidy scheme (limited to models below €35,000 plus VAT ). The ubiquitous Smart ForTwo closed this unusual run on the podium with 723 registrations, confirming its undiminished desirability in this minicar-loving country.
Off the podium, the Tesla Model 3 followed in fourth place with 374 units. Away from its highs of last quarter, the world’s best-selling BEV now faces headwinds, given its record price rise of 20% in recent months (adding €10,000 to its 2021 price) , and coupled with exclusion from the new round of government incentives . There may be an additional element of scarcity, as the Model 3 looks sold out for the coming months, with deliveries for new Italian orders now going into early 2023. We could see it bounce back in the coming quarters as the Tesla gigafactory in Berlin intensifies and inflation eases after its peak.
A group of French models followed in the lower positions, with the all-new Renault Megane E-Tech making its Italian debut in eighth place with 189 registrations. The interesting sedan is a welcome entry, a C-segment competitor to the VW ID.3, which itself comes in tenth place with 170 units.
With four top-segment models, one wonders if fully electric cars are finally making their way to a wider, mainstream audience in Europe’s fourth-largest car market. While certainly a good sign, current economic uncertainties and challenging local market dynamics mean that a change in the pace of EV adoption in Italy has yet to be confirmed.
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