The European car market grew by 261% year-over-year in April 2021 (to 1,029,008 units), however, it's down 23% compared to April 2019 and remains the second lowest in 20 years.

JATO Dynamics' report reveals also that the plug-in electric car segment is up significantly, taking 15% of the market (compared to 11% a year ago).

Here is the breakdown between plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars:

  • BEVs: 71,500 (up 338% year-over-year)
  • PHEVs: 81,000 (up 507% year-over-year)
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Top 10 best-selling models

According to JATO Dynamics' data, the top-selling electric car in April - for the first time ever, was an SUV - Volkswagen ID.4. The second-best was the Volkswagen ID.3.

Felipe Munoz, global analyst at JATO Dynamics commented:

“As anticipated, the next phase of growth for EVs is going to come from SUVs. The Volkswagen ID.4 taking the lead is just the beginning of the electric-SUV trend, and we expect new models to enter the market as consumer demand increases.”

The list of the top models reveals that 2,000 units is starting to become the bare minimum to get into the top 10.

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An interesting thing is that the Volkswagen Group managed to expand its share in the all-electric segment to 34%.

"In fact, BEVs are offsetting the losses posted by Volkswagen’s traditional ICE models. For example, the Volkswagen Golf was the third best-selling model in the overall rankings as its volume decreased by 49% between April 2019 and April 2021. In April 2018, the Golf accounted for 2.93% of all new car registrations compared with just 1.73% last month."

An industry analyst Matthias Schmidt notes that the 12-month cumulative average of Volkswagen Group all-electric car sales in Western Europe is now at over 200,000, while Tesla - the global market leader (former European BEV leader) and the main point of reference - is stuck at 100,000.

Lacking the reinforcements in the form of the Tesla Model Y and the fade of Tesla Model S/Tesla Model X (awaiting refreshed versions) make it difficult to grow despite the fact that the overall market is growing fast.