The Tesla Model I leads the Italian BEV market in November

It was another bittersweet month for Italian car sales in November. With the rest of Europe leading the way in the transition to electric mobility, the continent’s fourth-largest car market has seen mixed signs for EV adoption. Tesla, taking a decisive lead in BEV sales, has helped to raise its share of the electric car market entirely and limit losses on an annual basis.

The latest official statistics for the Italian car market are out and tell a story in line with that of recent months. Overall car sales are on the rise, electric vehicle sales not so much. Over 121,000 cars were registered in November, up nearly 14% year-on-year (y-o-y) from less than 107,000 units in November 2021. Conventional ICE powertrains were steady, with gasoline at 26.9 % and diesel with 18.2% market share (a year ago they reached 26.8% and 19% respectively). Plug-in hybrids reached 33.6%, up from 31.3% twelve months earlier.

Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) recorded 5,162 registrations in November. After disappointing results in October, it was another month of subdued sales, down nearly 26% year-on-year from nearly 7,000 units in November 2021. It was also the second-highest monthly result of 2022 so far, after the June peak when pent-up demand was finally released as new incentives were launched. Full electrics thus reached 4.2% of the market share, far from the maximum of last year (6.5% in October 2021), but also among the best figures of 2022. However, this was not an organic result, because thanks to Tesla BEV – are avoiding another monthly debacle, something we’ll see on the chart below.

Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains have followed a completely different path than fully electric cars. With 6,698 registrations, PHEVs reached a 5.5% market share. That was up nearly 18% year-on-year from less than 5,700 units twelve months ago, when they captured 5.3% market share. The stark difference to BEV’s negative result confirms a multi-year trend that sees this bridge technology maintain its advantage over its uncompromising alternative. The good performance of PHEVs allowed total plug-in registrations to reach a 9.8% market share, the second best result this year, although nowhere near the 11.8% result achieved a year earlier.

In this month of mixed signals, the monthly top 10 BEV chart shows one clear winner in a sea of ​​stunning results.

With a stellar performance, the Tesla Model I blew away all the competition by coming out on top with 1,008 registrations (the I’s best monthly tally ever), in what looks like a repeat of its recent September feat — except this wasn’t the end of the quarter. It’s clear that the increase in Berlin gigafactory production, together with a relatively attractive price (the base version costs over 7,000 euros less than the base Model 3) supports Tesla’s increasingly difficult mission in the Italian market, which raises the question of how much more could be sold if only they qualified for incentives like most other BEVs.

By a long way, the little Smart ForTwo followed in second place, with 471 registrations, less than half the number of the Model I. The Fiat 500e completed the podium with a meager 396 registrations, a long way from its previous peaks and a string of dismal performances in recent months. More compact models followed, including the once-promising Dacia Spring — in fifth position with 351 registrations — which keeps missing high, untapped potential due to production constraints and the brand’s apparent focus on other European markets.

German C-segment siblings, the VV ID.3 and Audi K4 e-tron also made token appearances in the lower ranks of the list, the only models besides Tesla’s Model I to break the usual dominance of the A- and B-segments over the Italian market. The most notable absence from the chart was Tesla’s Model 3, once a strong contender for monthly podium positions but currently sidelined by a 20% year-over-year price increase that suppressed demand. This lull could only be resolved when Tesla’s factories (including Berlin?) start producing the much-vaunted revamped Model 3, with fewer components (and an updated battery?) paired with a more attractive price to bring back the lost mod.

As the new high-end BEV models continue to struggle to break through the difficult barriers in the Italian car market (with the exception of the Tesla Model I), the main Italian mini BEVs are unable to make a positive difference and instead contribute to the weakening sales scenario that has now consolidated over the months . The extreme sensitivity of the Italian market to price means that only well-executed models with the right price will meet with success and create sustainable, long-term demand. It seems like a paradox that the top SUV of the D-segment shows the way. Will lower-priced automakers take note?


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