Fully Electric Car Sales Up 56% In Germany — #CleanTechnica Electric Car Sales Report

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After a slip in September (-12% year over year), the German plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) passenger car market returned to a growth path, growing 6% in October with 5,292 registrations.

BEVs up, PHEVs down 

The growth was completely thanks to fully electric car (BEV) growth (+56%), as plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) stumbled 30% year over year (YoY) — no doubt due to the Summer pre-WLTP sales rush. That meant that 100% electrics outsold plug-in hybrids overall as well (62% share for BEVs in October), which is far above the 2018 share (50% each).

Last month, the PEV share reached 2.1%, with BEVs alone hitting 1.3%. For the year through October, the total PEV share remained stable at 1.9%.

Looking at October best sellers, you can see an especially good moment for a few all-electric models, with the October best seller being the VW e-Golf thanks to 784 sales, the model’s best performance in its 4 year career. The Renault Zoe was second, thanks to 609 deliveries, its best result in 16 months. While the BMW 225xe AT, the only PHEV in the top 5, was third, with 504 registrations.

But the surprise of the month was the Smart ForTwo ED. With 402 deliveries (its best result in 7 months), it was #5 last month. Will we see it here more often?

Oct. Rank Model Sales
1 VW e-Golf 784
2 Renault Zoe 609
3 BMW 225xe A. Tourer 504
4 BMW i3 426
5 Smart ForTwo ED 402

Over the years, the German PEV market has become known for its changes and surprises, and October was no exception. The main news was the sudden registration peak of the VW e-Golf, which nearly doubled its deliveries compared to September and allowed it to surpass the BMW i3 and reach the #2 spot for the year through October, just 13 units behind the leader Renault Zoe.

It will be a close race for the leadership, as the top three models are each said to have increased their production output recently. Although, if I had to bet, I would predict the e-Golf will be crowned the 2018 best seller, which would be a first for Volkswagen. So far, the best results the company has had are two third-place finishes, one in 2014 with the VW e-Up! and the second in 2015 with the VW Golf GTE.

In a month where BEVs were on the rise, we should mention the Smart ForFour ED rising to #7, putting 6 BEVs in the top 7 positions. Additionally, the Nissan Leaf jumped to #10, thanks to 306 deliveries, which was the model’s best result since March. The Japanese hatchback was the 7th BEV in the top 10.

Other changes were the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV jumping three positions, to #13, while the BMW 530e was up one position, to #16. With the Mercedes E350e only 278 units ahead of the BMW 530e, the BMW PHEV still has a shot at ending the year as the best selling luxury plugin.

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric rose to #18, thanks to a record 257 registrations, underlining the good moment for fully electric models.

Outside the top 20, the Hyundai Kona BEV delivered 78 units, which isn’t a lot, but with the Korean carmaker said to have finally solved its battery constraints, expect it to be a familiar face next year.

YTD Rank Model October YTD YTD PEV Share
1 Renault Zoe 609 4,369 8%
2 VW e-Golf 784 4,356 8%
3 BMW i3 426 4,129 8%
4 BMW 225xe Active Tourer 504 4,028 7%
5 Smart Fortwo ED 402 3,720 7%
6 Kia Soul EV 53 2,959 5%
7 Smart Forfour ED 295 2,223 4%
8 VW Passat GTE 13 2,078 4%
9 VW Golf GTE 23 1,950 4%
10 Nissan Leaf 306 1,809 3%
11 Audi A3 e-Tron 21 1,633 3%
12 Mercedes E350e 0 1,604 3%
13 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 332 1,534 3%
14 Porsche Panamera PHEV 44 1,475 3%
15 Mercedes GLC350e 80 1,373 3%
16 BMW 530e 213 1,326 2%
17 Kia Niro PHEV 99 1,325 2%
18 Hyundai Ioniq Electric 257 1,289 2%
19 Mini Countryman PHEV 153 1,179 2%
20 Tesla Model S 46 1,104 2%
+ Others 632 9,268 17%
ALL TOTAL 5,292 54,731 100%

In the brands ranking, BMW (19%, up 1%) is in the leadership position, ahead of Volkswagen (17%, up 1%), which is solidly outpacing the #3 Smart (11%). Smart’s competition (Mercedes and Renault, both with 8%) is quite far behind as well.

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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