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Published on January 19th, 2019 | by Jose Pontes


Renault Zoe Wins 2018 Electric Model Trophy In Germany, BMW Wins Manufacturer Title — Germany EV Sales Report

January 19th, 2019 by  

The German plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) passenger car market ended the year dropping 10% in December, to 5,711 registrations, with fully electric cars continuing to expand (+12% YoY) while plug-in hybrid electrics couldn’t find a way out of their hole (-35% in December). Fully electrics (BEVs) now clearly outselling plugin hybrids (PHEVs) — 67% PEV segment share for BEVs in December, and well above the 2018 average (53%).

Because the mainstream market is also down (-8%), the PEV share climbed to 2.4% in December, with BEVs alone hitting 1.6%. The final PEV share for 2018 ended at 2%, a new record.

Looking at December’s best sellers, you can see the good moment BMW had, with the German brand placing two models in the top 5. The Renault Zoe remained at a near-record level, with 944 registrations, winning another monthly best seller title.

But the surprise of the month was the Audi e-tron reaching the fifth spot, with 528 deliveries, a good start for the German electric SUV. Will we see it here more often? I bet we will…

Dec. RankModelSales  
1Renault Zoe944
2BMW i3534
3VW e-Golf529
4Audi e-Tron528
5BMW 225xe394

The German PEV market is known for close races — for its changes and surprises — and the 2018 edition was no exception.

First of all, last year’s winner, the Audi A3 e-tron, ended 2018 in … #14. Well, that was a fall, wasn’t it?

So, we have a new winner, with the Renault Zoe finally winning its first model title there, after two consecutive years as second best.

The VW e-Golf won the runner-up place, with 5,743 registrations (+90% compared to 2017), which is a repeat of Volkswagen’s highest standing in Germany since the VW Golf GTE hit #2 in 2015.

There was an interesting race for the last place on the podium, with two BMWs (i3 and 225xe Active Tourer) running for it. The hot hatch i3 (5,095 units, +18%) finally overcoming its MPV cousin.

Below the top positions, there were some interesting changes. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV went up two spots, ending in #9, while the BMW 530e also climbed two positions, to #12.

Finally, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric rose to #13, while the Mini Countryman PHEV was up to #17, underlining the good moment that the BMW Group is experiencing.

Outside the top 20, besides the aforementioned Audi e-tron ramp up, we should also mention the 104 units of the Hyundai Kona EV, with the Korean company slowly increasing its pace of deliveries.

RankPEV ModelDecember2018
2018 PEV Share
1Renault Zoe9446,3609%
2VW e-Golf5295,7439%
3BMW i35345,0958%
4BMW 225xe Active Tourer3944,8787%
5Smart Fortwo ED1884,2046%
6Kia Soul EV1513,2925%
7Smart Forfour ED1152,5524%
8Nissan Leaf2052,3804%
9Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV2782,1983%
10VW Passat GTE142,1373%
11VW Golf GTE31,9783%
12BMW 530e3671,8883%
13Hyundai Ioniq Electric1791,6953%
14Audi A3 e-Tron291,6822%
15Mercedes E350e1,6112%
16Porsche Panamera PHEV211,5352%
17Mini Countryman PHEV1781,4922%
18Mercedes GLC350e251,4642%
19Kia Niro PHEV1211,4402%
20Tesla Model S631,2482%

Looking at sub-category best sellers, the BMW 225xe Active Tourer was the Best Selling PHEV and Best Selling MPV, while the Outlander PHEV was the highest placed SUV. The StreetScooter Work (4,214 units, up 8%) continues to rule the electric LCV sector.

In the brand ranking, BMW (19%, up 1 percentage point) won its 4th manufacturer title, comfortably ahead of Volkswagen (16%), while the #3 Smart (10%) won the last place on the podium, resisting the advances of Renault (9%).

The German PEV market is one of the most unpredictable out there, so it’s not easy to say what’s going to happens this year, but I believe the market should jump north of 3% auto market share, thanks to improved models like the new BMW i3, which might reach some 6,000 units, or Renault Zoe (9,000 units?), but mainly due to new additions, like the Audi e-tron, which should reach some 6,000 deliveries, and the Tesla Model 3, which could have some 9,000 deliveries in German lands, allowing it to run with the Zoe for the 2019 title. 

Finally, there’s the Volkswagen ID Neo. Depending on when and with how many units VW starts, the German compact EV might be a drop in the ocean in 2019 or could be running from behind to steal the top selling model title from the Zoe or Model 3. 


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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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