BMW Plug-Ins Shine In Germany — September EV Sales Report

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The German plug-in electric passenger car market was down 12% in September, to 4,626 registrations, with PHEVs stumbling 24% year over year (YoY). This was no doubt due to the pre-WLTP summer sales rush. Nonetheless, fully electric cars (BEVs) kept on growing (+5%), allowing full electrics to sell at the same level as PHEVs.

Year to date, pure electric cars are still 1,000 units below PHEVs, with BEVs holding 0.9% share of the broader auto market and plug-in hybrids remaining stable at 1% — which means the total PEV share is stable at 1.9%.

Looking at the fuels mix, diesel was down 44%, representing 29% of the total market, while gasoline (-25%) dropped less than the total market (-31%). The case was worse for LPG (-48%) and CNG (-51%), also hit heavily by the new fuel economy rules.

Looking at September’s best sellers, BMW had another good month, placing two models on the podium. The hot selling 225xe Active Tourer stayed on top, with 752 deliveries, landing its fourth record performance in a row. Who said family-friendly MPVs weren’t hip anymore? Now, imagine if it had decent electric range…

The VW e-Golf was second, thanks to 432 deliveries, while the BMW i3 was third, with 420 registrations.

But the surprise of the month was the revised Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, with 346 deliveries (best result in 18 months) making it #4 plug-in vehicle last month and giving the model its first top 5 presence in over a year. Will we see it here more often?

Position Model September Sales  
1 BMW 225xe A. Tourer 752
2 VW e-Golf 432
3 BMW i3 420
4 Mit. Outlander PHEV 346
5 Renault Zoe 328

Over the years, the German PEV market has become known for its changes and surprises, and September had a number of interesting developments. The main news was the continuous rise and rise of the BMW 225xe Active Tourer, now in #4, surpassing the Smart Fortwo ED and the Kia Soul EV in just one month.

The BMW nameplate is now just 236 units below leader Renault Zoe, so we might see the German MPV reach the leadership position already next month, which would be a first for the hot selling nameplate.

Other changes were the #8 Smart Forfour ED surpassing the VW Golf GTE and the Nissan Leaf climbing one position, to #12, thanks to its best result in the last 5 months — 275 registrations. With the #10 Audi A3 e-Tron only 109 units ahead, the Japanese hatchback is now running for a top 10 position.

The Mercedes GLC350e rose to #14, while the BMW 530e was also up one position to #17, thanks to a personal best result of 228 registrations, underlining the good momentum of the BMW lineup.

There is a new model in the top 20, with the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV showing up in #16, but below this ranking, there is a rising star preparing to shine in 2019. The Hyundai Kona EV had its first full delivery month in September and score 91 registrations.

Position Model September YTD PEV Market Share YTD
1 Renault Zoe 328 3,760 8%
2 BMW i3 420 3,703 7%
3 VW e-Golf 432 3,572 7%
4 BMW 225xe Active Tourer 752 3,524 7%
5 Smart Fortwo ED 264 3,318 7%
6 Kia Soul EV 120 2,906 6%
7 VW Passat GTE 41 2,065 4%
8 Smart Forfour ED 74 1,928 4%
9 VW Golf GTE 7 1,927 4%
10 Audi A3 e-Tron 31 1,612 3%
11 Mercedes E350e 18 1,604 3%
12 Nissan Leaf 275 1,503 3%
13 Porsche Panamera PHEV 35 1,431 3%
14 Mercedes GLC350e 141 1,293 3%
15 Kia Niro PHEV 60 1,226 2%
16 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 346 1,202 2%
17 BMW 530e 228 1,113 2%
18 Tesla Model S 104 1,058 2%
19 Hyundai Ioniq Electric 110 1,032 2%
20 Mini Countryman PHEV 147 1,026 2%
+ Others 693 8,636 17%
All TOTAL 4,626 49,439 100%

In the brand ranking, BMW (18%) is in the leadership position, ahead of #2 Volkswagen (16%) and #3 Smart (11%). The top three have the competition (Mercedes, Renault, and Kia, all with 8%) further behind.

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José Pontes

Always interested in the auto industry, particularly in electric cars, Jose has been overviewed the sales evolution of plug-ins on the EV Sales blog, 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 also market analyst on EV-Volumes and works with the European Alternative Fuels Observatory on EV sales matters.

José Pontes has 477 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes