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).
Editor’s note: This article was originally published on opportunity: energy.
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, the last deliveries under the outgoing system being completed at the beginning 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.
As 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 entered the Top 10 at this mixed start to the year? The cheapest wins.
Dacia Spring won the first monthly crown of 2022 with 656 sign-ups, quite a far cry 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 – but they’re 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 the mini BEVs.
Let’s not forget the Renault Twingo ZE, which closed the month in third position with 298 units, 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 models from the A and B segments followed, starting with the Smart ForTwo in fourth place with 230 registrations, followed closely by the former European favorite, the Renault Zoe (228 units).
With less than 200 units, the Peugeot e-208 and e-2008 took sixth and seventh places, before finally seeing a model from the upper segment, the VW ID.3 in eighth position, which is still struggling to impose itself on the difficult Italian market. Opel Corsa-e and the outlier Ford Mustang Mach-ethe only D-segment car in the Top 10, closed a starved list of You’re here sales, as happens quite frequently in the beginning of quarter months. We will see Model 3 and Y-model again soon, but not this month.
As the Italian automotive market reacts to the technological transition and the discontinuation of eco-incentives, overall Sale of cars crater in this cost-sensitive region, and the impacts can already be seen in lower-than-expected growth levels for the still pricey 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.