2016 Renault Zoe electric car
The Renault Zoe again maintained the title of best-selling electric car in Europe for another month. The Renault hatchback was leading European electric-car sales in August, and we now know that it kept the lead through September, the most recent month with available data.
As has been the case all year, the Zoe's main competition was the Nissan Leaf, built by Renault's Japanese alliance partner.
The Leaf outsells the Zoe globally, but the Renault has proven popular in its home market.
Renault is now in the process of launching an updated version of the Zoe, a 41-kilowatt-hour battery pack, up from 22 kwh in earlier versions, giving it a range of 300 to 400 kilometers (185 to 250 miles) on the European test cycle—essentially doubling its range.
The longer-range Zoe will go on sale early next year, although orders are already being taken in certain European markets.
As always, European data comes from the running tally of electric-car and plug-in hybrid sales kept by the the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO).
Between January and September 2016, the Zoe racked up 15,708 sales in Europe, giving it the largest market share, at 11 percent.
The Leaf was in second place, with 13,178 sales, followed by the Tesla Model S, which achieved 10,014 sales.
The EAFO uses registration data to determine its figures, which is how it can calculate monthly Model S sales.
Tesla Motors refuses to release official monthly sales results or break down its quarterly results by country or region.
Behind the Tesla, the Volkswagen e-Golf and BMW i3 were close, with 5,525 sales and 5,421 sales, respectively.
They were followed by the Kia Soul EV (3,426 sales) and Mercedes-Benz B250e (2,968 sales).
The Tesla Model X has now accumulated enough sales to crack the top 10, reaching 2,253 sales in September and earning eighth place.
It was followed by the Volkswagen e-Up, an electric version of the Up city car that is not sold in the U.S., which achieved 1,712 sales.
Finally, the Peugeot iOn rounded out the top 10 with 1,502 sales.
The iOn is a re-badged version of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV, which is also sold at the Citroen C-Zero.
Just as the Renault Zoe extended its streak as best-selling electric car, the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-In Hybrid maintained the top spot in its category.
Through September, the Mitsubishi racked up 14,426 sales, giving it 10.1 percent of the market.
While the Outlander Plug-In Hybrid has been on sale in Europe for several years, Mitsubishi has repeatedly delayed its U.S. launch.
It's not expected to arrive here until next summer, making it more than three years late.
The Mitsubishi was followed in the European sales rankings by a pair of Volkswagens: the Golf GTE (8,651 sales) and Passat GTE (7,783 sales).
Next came the Mercedes-Benz C350e luxury sedan, with 7,193 sales, and the Volvo XC90 T8 "Twin Engine" luxury SUV, with 6,947 sales.
The BMW 330e took sixth place, with 5,457 sales, and was followed by the Audi A3 e-tron, which achieved 4,596 sales.
The final three spots were all held by BMW models.
BMW's X5 xDrive40e SUV reached 3,687 sales, while the i3 REx—which is considered a plug-in hybrid for the purposes of the EAFO tally—achieved 3,626 sales.
The 225xe Active Tourer brought up the rear with 3,584 sales.
Active Tourer hatchback models use a front-wheel drive platform, and are not to be confused with rear-wheel drive 2-Series coupe and convertible sold in the U.S.