Germany’s EV Market Share Keeps Growing — Hits 6.9% In February

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Germany, Europe’s single largest auto market, saw February plug-in vehicle market share hit 6.9%, consolidating January’s growth trend. Meanwhile, February’s overall auto volume fell by 10.8% year-on-year in Germany, from 268,867 to 239,943, with combustion vehicles taking all of the losses.

Of February’s 16,508 combined plug-in vehicle sales, the split between full electrics (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) was a very even 49:51 ratio. BEVs took 3.4% of the market, and PHEVs 3.5%. This represents a slight swing towards PHEVs from 2019’s overall 58:42 sales split. We may see a swing back to BEVs later in the year as more models become available in volume, notably the new VW ID.3. Also, Tesla mostly delivers to European markets in the last month of the quarter, which means it will provide a boost when March numbers roll in.

Germany’s Motor Transport Authority (VBA) hasn’t yet released specific model data for February, though the top 3 favourite models in recent months have been the Renault Zoe, BMW i3, and Tesla Model 3. Since Tesla has not completed significant volumes of cross-Atlantic shipments so far this year, we’ll have to wait till next month’s totals are in to get a balanced picture of Germany’s most popular Q1 BEV models.

LMC automotive sees Germany’s overall auto sales volume currently trending towards 3.3 million units this year, down from 3.6 million last year. This may yet shift in the coming months, given the numerous uncertainties currently in play.

February’s 6.9% EV share builds upon January’s 6.5% result. The recent up-trend has been helped by clarification early in February over Germany’s updated EV incentives. These now stand at €6000 for BEVs (€4500 for PHEVs) priced up to €40,000 and €5000 for BEVs (€3750 for PHEVs) priced up to €65,000. The incentive is funded 50:50 by the auto industry and federal government, and will remain in place until 2025 or until the government’s pot of €2.08 billion is exhausted (if it is not replenished).

With more EV models coming available throughout 2020, and at more affordable prices, Germany’s EV market share for full-year 2020 may climb to 7% or higher, potentially giving the country something approaching 250,000 total EV sales.

Adding to what look likely to be substantial 2020 sales in France, the UK, Sweden, and Norway — as well as strong growth in many lower-volume markets — there’s a good chance that 2020 will see the European region sell 1,000,000 EVs and hit 7.5% market share. That’s not far from double 2019’s result.

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Dr. Maximilian Holland

Max is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist, trying to ask questions and encourage critical thinking. He has lived and worked in Europe and Asia, and is currently based in Barcelona. Find Max's book on social theory, follow Max on twitter @Dr_Maximilian and at, or contact him via LinkedIn.

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