The data is in: European plug-in vehicle sales are dropping

Renault Zoe EV, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV are leaders.

The good news is that one European Commission-funded website is collecting what it says are some pretty reliable numbers for plug-in vehicle sales. The bad news is, just like in the US, those sales appear to be on the way down. Either way, Renault is king of that particular hill.

As pointed out by EV Sales, the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO) website has gone live, and is dispensing information about electric vehicle sales, plug-in vehicle sales, and charging stations across the EC's 33 countries. According to EAFO, the Renault Zoe is the continent's best-selling EV, while the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid leads the advanced-powertrain sales category.

The Renault Zoe is the continent's best-selling EV.

Specifically, Renault has sold about 3,000 Zoes so far this year, followed by 2,556 Nissan Leafs and 1,500 Volkswagen e-Golfs. For all of 2015, the Renault Zoe's 18,536 units accounted for about 10 percent of the EC's EV market. Tesla Motors, which is notoriously stingy about releasing country- or even continent-specific sales figures, moved almost 16,000 of its Model S vehicles in Europe last year. That's about 8.5 percent of that market (by comparison, Tesla sold about 28,000 Model S vehicles in the US last year).

As for plug-in hybrids, the Outlander PHEV's 31,415 units sold in 2015 accounted for 17 percent of PHEV sales in the EC, while the VW Golf GTE's sales of 17,622 units accounted for 9.3 percent.

Another part of the EV picture - charging-station deployment - is also on the rise. The number of charging stations in the EC jumped about 75 percent last year to about 72,000 stations. The Netherlands had almost 20,000 stations, while France and the UK had almost 11,000 and almost 10,000 respectively.

Less inspiring, though, is year-over-year sales numbers this year. While the Zoe is about even with last year, Leaf sales are down about 48 percent, e-Golf sales have dropped about 50 percent, and Tesla's Model S sales are down almost 70 percent. As for plug-in hybrids, Outlander PHEV sales have also plunged almost 70 percent this year, while Volkswagen Golf GTE sales have declined almost 40 percent.

The EAFO says its website will eventually include information hydrogen fuel cell and natural gas vehicles, and you can take a gander at it here.

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Renault ZOE

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