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Published on August 17th, 2018 | by Jose Pontes

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BMW, Kia, & Porsche Shine, Tesla Sinks — Germany Electric Car Sales July 2018

August 17th, 2018 by  


The German plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) market grew 31% in July, to 5,617 registrations, with BEVs growing faster (+39%) than PHEVs (+28%). In 2018, fully electric cars are now reaching 1% market share on their own and so are plug-in hybrids, resulting in a total PEV share of 2%.

But the most interesting story in the market continues to be on the overall fuels mix side of things. There has been a steady drop in diesel vehicle sales and that continued with another 11% drop in July. Diesel vehicle sales now represent only 32% of the market. At this pace, diesel sales could be tot in this market by 2022–2023.

Looking at July best sellers, BMW had another win, this time thanks to the 225xe Active Tourer, which scored 594 deliveries, which is its second record performance in a row. Who said family-friendly MPVs weren’t hip anymore?

The Kia Soul EV and the Smart Fortwo ED returned to the top 5, but the most surprising news of July regarded the first full month of deliveries of the new Porsche Cayenne PHEV. With 227 deliveries, it was #9 last month, immediately becoming the best selling luxury PEV on the market. The second-best selling luxury PEV on the market was the Porsche Panamera PHEV, which ended the month with 194 deliveries. These are all good signs for the upcoming Taycan fully electric car from Porsche. If I were Porsche, I would start thinking right away about ways to scale up the Taycan production, if they want to avoid a Herstellung Hölle.

Model July Sales  
1 BMW 225xe A. Tourer 594
2 Kia Soul EV 423
3 BMW i3 422
4 Smart Fortwo ED 387
5 Renault Zoe 320

Over the years, the German PEV market has become known for its constant changes, but it seems July took a break from that, with few changes in the top 20. The main news was both the BMW 225xe Active Tourer and VW Golf GTE jumping three positions, to #6 and #7, respectively, with the BMW MPV now becoming the best selling PHEV.

The other change that happened was the Mercedes GLC350e surpassing the Tesla Model S for the #15 position.

Speaking of Tesla, the Model S had its lowest result (51 deliveries) since January, which could mean that the Model 3’s long shadow (and the Taycan’s too?) is starting to be felt in this market.

As for the #12 Porsche Panamera PHEV, the German sports sedan had its best result in over a year, with 194 deliveries, which together with the positive landing of the new Cayenne PHEV (227 units) could mean that Porsche has finally solved its battery constraint problem. (Well, it would have to do it sooner or later, as the Taycan will be a battery hungry beast.)

Germany was always going be a tough market to crack for Tesla (a bit like the BMW i3 in the US — “Small luxury car?!?! Is that even a thing?!?!”), but the moment of truth is nearing, as German BEVs are getting closer to production. It will be interesting to see the impact they will have on Model S and Model X sales.

One could say that the Model S will the be most pressured, because besides the foreign competition, it will have to resist the vacuum cleaner effect of its smaller Model 3 sibling.

In July, Model S deliveries (51) were down 50% year over year (YoY), while Model X deliveries (44) were down 43% … which says a lot.

In the brand ranking, we have a new leader, with BMW (17%, up 1%) surpassing Volkswagen (16%, down 1%) while the #3 Smart (11%, down 1%) is watching the new 4th placed Kia (10%) getting closer.

EV Sales July YTD YTD Market Share
1 Renault Zoe 320 3,011 8%
2 VW e-Golf 311 2,872 7%
3 BMW i3 422 2,871 7%
4 Smart Fortwo ED 387 2,720 7%
5 Kia Soul EV 423 2,447 6%
6 BMW 225xe Active Tourer 594 2,065 5%
7 VW Golf GTE 286 1,741 4%
8 VW Passat GTE 219 1,696 4%
9 Smart Forfour ED 116 1,685 4%
10 Mercedes E350e 40 1,519 4%
11 Audi A3 e-Tron 251 1,250 3%
12 Porsche Panamera PHEV 194 1,138 3%
13 Nissan Leaf 159 1,051 3%
14 Kia Niro PHEV 157 1,036 3%
15 Mercedes GLC350e 154 981 2%
16 Tesla Model S 51 907 2%
17 BMW 530e 43 814 2%
18 Mercedes C350e 39 801 2%
19 Hyundai Ioniq Electric 105 784 2%
20 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 75 741 2%
Others 1,271 7,404 19%
TOTAL 5,617 39,534 100%

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About the Author

Always interested in the auto industry, particularly in electric cars, Jose has been overviewing the sales evolution of plug-ins through the EV Sales blog since 2012, allowing him to gain an expert view on where EVs are right now and where they are headed in the future. The EV Sales blog has become a go-to source for people interested in electric car sales around the world. Extending that work and expertise, Jose is now a partner in EV-Volumes and works with the European Alternative Fuels Observatory on EV sales matters.



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