Originally published on opportunity: energy.
The Italian electric car market race is showing signs of fatigue, as 2022 has started with mixed results. While other European countries continued to post exponential increases in January, in keeping with year-end exuberance, the same was not quite the case for the continent’s fourth-largest car market.
UNRAE Statistics for the Italian car market show how much uncertainty is setting in. January saw an almost 20% year-on-year (YoY) drop in overall car registrations, a trend in line with previous months that shows no signs of stopping. Gasoline and diesel powertrains also maintained their downward spiraling trajectory, with 27.2% and 19% market share respectively (compared to 36% and 27% a year ago), in favor of plug-less hybrids, which increased their lead to 34.9% (against 24.3% twelve months earlier).
All-electric vehicles recorded 3,658 registrations for the month, an increase of almost 50% year-on-year from less than 2,500 units a year ago. This means a market share of 3.4%, well above last year’s 1.8%, but also far from the results of the last few months, generally almost twice as much in sales and market share. This unsatisfying result is certainly due to the end of the financial incentives at the beginning of December, with the last deliveries under the outgoing system being completed at the start of the year. Until new incentives are put in place, no additional growth can be expected in the short term.
Plug-in hybrids had similar performance to BEVs and a better overall result. With 5,461 units, they also jumped almost 50% year-on-year (compared to 3,758 registrations in January 2021) and gained a market share of around 5%. This result is in line with previous months, raising the question of whether PHEVs will still be the plugged-in powertrain of choice in the Italian market for 2022, after a slight predominance in the 2021 annual results. One thing is certain, they will also be affected by the lack of incentives in the future.
Since the first month has passed without a tax boost to e-mobility, the combined market share of 8.4% for plug-ins should probably be considered a good result – it is, after all, of substantial annual growth without any financial support. One can only wonder, however, what difference even modest, well-targeted incentives could make in supporting growth at a very different level, as the rest of Europe shows.
Which models arrived in the top 10 of this mixed start to the year? The cheapest won.
The Dacia Spring won the first monthly crown of 2022 with 656 registrations, quite far from its September records (three times more units), but enough to ward off competition from the Italian queen of the BEV, the Fiat 500e, second at 548 units. The two minis couldn’t be further apart: a basic no-frills car and a fashionable premium product. However, they are likely to be the main contenders for the top spot throughout the year. If Dacia does not encounter production constraints, it can easily win the battle due to the simple price difference compared to the national hero of mini BEVs.
Let’s not forget the Renault Twingo ZE, which ended the month in third position with 298 registrations, a stable presence on the Italian BEV monthly podium which could also aim for the top spot – if produced in sufficient numbers and correctly advertised on this ideal market. Other regular A- and B-segment models followed, starting with the Smart ForTwo in fourth place with 230 registrations, followed closely by former European favorite Renault Zoe (228 units). With less than 200 units, the Peugeot e-208 and e-2008 took sixth and seventh place, before finally seeing a model from the upper segment, the Volkswagen ID.3, in eighth position, which is still struggling to win. in the difficult Italian market. . The Opel Corsa-e and Ford Mustang Mach-e, the only D-segment car in the top 10, closed a starved Tesla sales chart, as happens quite often in the early quarter months. We’ll see the Model 3 and Y again soon, but not this month.
As the Italian car market reacted to the technological transition and the breakdown of eco-incentives, overall car sales have exploded in this cost-sensitive region, and the impacts can already be seen in lower-than-expected growth levels. for the still expensive all-electric models. . There is reason to believe that this is a short-lived problem in an otherwise unstoppable long-term transition. However, the Italian government should also consider the industrial implications of this lack of support in a country with such a heritage of excellence in the automotive industry. Unknowingly – or knowingly – slowing the pace of change will pay no dividends.
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