Tesla Shines In June, But Zoe Holds Onto #1 In 2019 In Germany — EV Sales Report

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The German plug-in vehicle (PEV) market continued on the right track in June, having registered 8,631 units. Fully electric vehicles (BEVs) were up strong, +117% year over year (YoY), compensating for the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) drop of –9%, and all-electrics now represent two-thirds of plug-in registrations. The PEV share of the overall auto market was 2.7% in May, with BEVs alone hitting 1.8%. That pushed the 2019 plug-in share slightly up, to 2.6% (1.7% BEV).

After winning in February and March, the Tesla Model 3 won another monthly best seller award, thanks to 1,336 registrations. Nonetheless, it wasn’t enough to surpass the Renault Zoe in year-to-date sales (it now trails by 199 registrations).

The #2 Renault Zoe moved 1,021 units, an impressive performance for a model getting ready to receive significant changes. With the current one clocking regular 1,000/month performances, how high will the heavily revised Zoe go? 1,500? 2,000? Ladies and gents, please place your bets…

Another veteran shining in June was the #5 VW e-Golf, which had 635 registrations, its best result since January. So, it seems the German hatchback still has plenty of juice in it, even though the appealing VW ID.3 could be Osborning it by now.

Rank Model June Sales  
1 Tesla Model 3 1,336
2 Renault Zoe 1,021
3 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 915
4 BMW i3 714
5 VW e-Golf 635

Usually, there’s much to talk about in the German PEV market, but this time it seems that everyone went on vacation early. With a few exceptions, most players underperformed and haven’t made big splashes.

The major exception was Tesla. Thanks to its usual last-month-of-quarter peak, the whole lineup had an opportunity to shine. Besides the aforementioned June win for the Model 3, with 1,336 registrations, the Model S returned to the top 20, in #19, thanks to 171 deliveries, which was the nameplate’s best result in a year. Additionally, the Model X delivered 98 units, its best result since March 2018.

Comparing Tesla’s results against its German gas/diesel competition, the Model 3 ran at the same pace as the Audi A5 (1,388 units in June) and BMW 4 Series (874), but it was still far from the leader, the Audi A4 (5,296). Meanwhile, the Tesla Model S’s performance (171 registrations) was good too, almost selling at the same pace as German sports sedans (Mercedes CLS — 192 units; Audi A7 — 270; Porsche Panamera — 286). Of course, these numbers pale when we see that the Audi A6 registered 4,612 units last month. … So, still lots of room to grow, Tesla.

Finally, despite the good score of the Tesla Model X in June (98 units), the fact is that the nameplate is much below its potential. The X not only trails the fully electric Audi e-tron by far (the #8 PEV model had 1,782 registrations), but also sits well behind models like the Audi Q7 (400 units in June), Audi Q8 (507), and Porsche Cayenne (393), not to mention the BMW X5 (1,380).

Back to the PEV ranking, the other models climbing positions in the top 20 were the Mercedes E300e/de twins. They are now placed in #11, just 253 units behind their full-size sedan arch rival, the #10 BMW 530e. Will the Mercedes plug-in hybrid be able to catch the Bimmer and become the category’s best seller?

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Outside the top 20, the #22 Jaguar I-PACE (56 registrations last month) has been unsuccessfully knocking on the door of the top 20 for the past few months, and it wasn’t in June that the British nameplate joined it. To make things worse, a new landing, the Audi Q5 PHEV, should surpass it in a few months, as the Q5 PHEV registered 100 units last month, in what seems to be the start of a promising career for the Audi plug-in (at least, until the Tesla Model Y lands, and the Polestar 2, and the VW ID Crozz, but I digress…).

Rank Model June 2019 2019 EV Share
1 Renault Zoe 1,021 5,551 12%
2 Tesla Model 3 1,336 5,352 11%
3 BMW i3 714 4,521 10%
4 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV 915 4,132 9%
5 VW e-Golf 635 2,680 6%
6 BMW 225xe Active Tourer 344 2,295 5%
7 Smart Fortwo ED 309 2,057 4%
8 Audi e-Tron 246 1,782 4%
9 Hyundai Kona EV 275 1,772 4%
10 BMW 530e 218 1,609 3%
11 Mercedes E300e/de 296 1,356 3%
12 Nissan Leaf 158 1,236 3%
13 Smart Forfour ED 212 1,184 2%
14 Mini Countryman PHEV 170 1,048 2%
15 Hyundai Ioniq Electric 102 867 2%
16 Kia Soul EV (Gen I & II) 76 778 2%
17 Porsche Panamera PHEV 132 773 2%
18 Kia Niro PHEV 84 574 1%
19 Tesla Model S 171 539 1%
20 Volvo XC60 PHEV 31 483 1%
+ Others 1,186 6,995 15%
= TOTAL 8,631 47,584 100%

In the brand ranking, BMW (19%, down 1%) is the leader, with Tesla in the 2nd spot (13% share, up one percentage point) and #3 Renault close behind (12%).

Off the podium, we have Mitsubishi (9%, up 1 percentage point) recovering ground on the medalists, while Volkswagen and Hyundai, both with 7% share, are kilometers behind the best selling brands.

Interestingly, of the 6 best selling brands, only two are German. Hmmm … makes you think, doesn’t it?

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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 467 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes