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German EV Market Share Triples To 7.3% In May

Europe’s largest auto market, Germany, saw plugin electric vehicle market share of 7.3% in May, up from 2.4% a year ago. Meanwhile, the overall auto market volume was down 50% year on year. New government stimulus measures will give electric vehicles a further boost in the coming months.

Europe’s largest auto market, Germany, saw plugin electric vehicle market share of 7.3% in May, up from 2.4% a year ago. Meanwhile, the overall auto market volume was down 50% year on year. New government stimulus measures will give electric vehicles a further boost in the coming months.

The May result demonstrates that relative demand for electric vehicles remains strong, averaging around 7.5% of the auto market so far in 2020.

The mix of plugin vehicles in May was fairly balanced between plugin hybrids (PHEVs) and pure battery electrics (BEVs) with a ratio of ~6:5.

We don’t yet have clear data on which BEV models were the best sellers in May. Though, the recent trend has seen the Volkswagen e-Golf, Renault Zoe, and Tesla Model 3 take the top spots.

The German government recently announced a broad package of measures to stimulate the auto market. General sales tax (VAT) will be reduced from 19% to 16% across the economy, meaning that average auto prices effectively get a roughly €1,000 price cut.

Plugin electric vehicles are strongly favoured by a slew of new measures:

Applying till the end of 2021, the existing “environmental bonus” for plugin vehicles gets boosted from €6,000 to €9,000, with all of the increase coming from government (industry contribution to this incentive remains at €3,000 per vehicle). The €9,000 applies in full to vehicles priced under €40,000 and applies at a lesser rate (€7,500) for vehicles priced between €40,000 and €65,000.

PHEVs also get a boost, with the environmental bonus now standing at €6,750 for vehicles with list prices below €40,000 and trimming down to €5,625 for list prices between €40,000 and €65,000.

Reduced company car tax for EVs also sees a boost — the 0.25% reduced rate now applies to a raised ceiling of EVs with list prices up to €60,000 (from the previous €40,000).

A sum of €2.5 billion has been allocated to boost national research and production of EV batteries as well as investment into EV charging infrastructure. There is also a €1.2 billion budget for bus and truck fleet operators (both public and private) to increase their purchase of EVs.

Ionity EV Superfast Chargers

Finally, there’s a new requirement for all petrol stations to also offer EV charging points. Though, whether these have to be fast DC charging points, or simply lower power AC charging points, remains unclear.

Overall, these stimulus measures, which come into effect immediately, are much more favourable to EVs than combustion vehicles. They will cause Germany’s EV market share to further accelerate over the coming months and years. We can expect 2020 full year EV share to reach 10% or higher, a massive acceleration over the 2019 result of 3%.

Photos courtesy of Volkswagen and Ionity, respectively.


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Max is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist, trying to ask questions and encourage critical thinking about social and environmental justice, sustainability and the human condition. 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 MaximilianHolland.com, or contact him via LinkedIn.

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