One in five new Belgian cars registered is ‘electrified’
Last nine months, one in five new cars registered in Belgium was ‘electrified’ in some way. In total, 21,8% were battery-electric (BEV), fuel cell (FCEV), plug-in hybrid (PHEV), or a classic hybrid (HEV). That is merely due to the fleet market, which delivers the lion’s share of 80% of electric vehicles. Overall the market for new cars still slows down, the second-hand market booms with rising prices as a result.
According to Belgian car federation Febiac’s analysis, the PHEV remains popular as a company car, with 37 271 (11,9%) compared to 15 276 BEVs (5%) and 15 670 HEVs (4,9%). Diesel keeps on losing terrain to gasoline, still 24,3% of new cars registered in the first nine months of this year. Gasoline cars make out 53,1%.
BEV overtaking HEV
For the first time in history, says Febiac, de fully electric car is overtaking the hybrids in the market. That might be a sign Toyota is losing its rearguard action, as a pioneer and forerunner in classic hybrid technology and still reluctant to go fully electric all the way. Still, the Corolla remains the best sold HEV while Yaris, C-HR, and RAV4 stay in the top-five, only tolerating the Hyundai Tucson among them.
The uncrowned king of the battery-electric car remains the Tesla Model 3 (1.937), with hot on its trail, the Audi e-tron (1.439) and a peloton of the VW ID.3 (988), the BMW X3 (905), and yes, the most expensive of them all, the Porsche Taycan (805).
BMW X5 most popular PHEV
The most popular PHEV is the BMW X5 (2.848 registered), with the advantage of 88 km of pure electric range. The second is the Mercedes GLE (2.376), with an e-range of 94 km. Third comes Volvo’s XC40 PHEV Recharge (2.371). This one only has an e-range of 45 km. Two other BMWs complete the top five: the Serie 3 PHEV and X1.
When adding all powertrains, the Volvo XC40, made in Ghent, is the most popular car in Flanders and Brussels. Second overall in Belgium, having to taste defeat only to the Citroën C3. The XC40 is a favorite with companies and the self-employed. The C3 is king in the private market. The Hyundai Tucson, also much liked by private individuals and self-employed, comes in third.
It’s clear already from the figures quoted above that the SUV remains the most popular car design, making out 47,3% of total registrations in Belgium in the first three quarters. Most of them are categorized as ‘middle-sized’ SUVs (27,3%). Small classic sedan family cars (17,7%) are the bulk of overall family car sales (26,9%). Breaks’ share is 12,6%.
Second-hand cars 15% more expensive
Compared to the first three quarters of 2020, a year affected heavily by the corona pandemic; some 20 000 fewer new cars were sold (313 567). Many private people hesitate to buy a new car and turn to the second-hand market, which grew by 12% compared to the year before. That market was suitable for 512 000 vehicles.
Reasons are found in the longer delivery times of new cars due to the pandemic and the chip shortages it created worldwide. But also doubts the general public about which way to go for its next car, fearing it’s too early and too expensive to go electric already. They prefer to see which way the cat jumps.
As a result, prices in the second-hand market are rising rapidly, by 10 to 15%. Supply to this market is mainly fed by lease cars which are end of term. But corona forced people to work from home, which had a secondary effect that lease companies expanded terms as cars drove fewer kilometers and companies preferred to wait to renew their fleet. Or even those willing to renew were confronted with longer delivery times.