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21% Plugin Vehicle Share! Open the Gates in Germany!

The German automotive market has opened the floodgates wide open for plugin vehicles. November was yet another record month, and this time with a 24% increase over the previous record, set in October.

The German automotive market has opened the floodgates wide open for plugin vehicles. November was yet another record month, and this time with a 24% increase over the previous record, set in October. With a little fewer than 60,000 units, plugin vehicles (PEVs) scored an amazing 21% auto market share — 10% fully electric vehicles (BEVs) alone). It was indeed BEVs driving the market forward, up 553%, to 28,965 registrations, helping plugins as a whole jump an amazing 456% last month.

We are witnessing disruptive numbers now, which the yearly tally hasn’t really absorbed, as it is only at 12% (5.8% BEV). So, expect 2021 to be the real witness of the current disruption, with plugin share above 20% for plugins, and BEVs hovering above 10%.

And this is happening in a sort of stable market (-3% YoY), so this can’t be blamed on the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s just the market forces working.

Looking at last month’s best sellers, in November, the Renault Zoe reigned supreme, beating once again the Volkswagen ID.3, which was even relegated to the 3rd spot by the Hyundai Kona EV. The Kona EV is just going from strength to strength, scoring another record result, now up to 2,471 registrations.

While we expected more from the new Volkswagen hatchback, in its defense, we could say that it has some pretty fierce competition in-house, starting with the new Golf VIII PHEV, which despite having just landed a couple of months ago, is already #6, with 2,152 deliveries, while the ID.3’s predecessor, the e-Golf, seems to be refusing to go into greener pastures, having scored 1,941 registrations last month, only 498 fewer than VW’s new baby.

So, looking on the bright side, if we count all these 3 models together, we get 6,532 registrations, which is well above the tally of the leader, the Zoe. In another positive story for the German automaker, Volkswagen has placed 5 models in the best selling top 9 of November, 3 of of them (e-Up, Golf PHEV, Passat GTE) with record scores!

Other relevant performances concern the Smart Fortwo EV, which scored a record 2,386 registrations, highlighting another great month for the Daimler Group. Further, the other Smart model, the Forfour EV, also had a record performance (632 units), while Mercedes placed 5 models in last month’s top 20, two of them with record scores (GLC300e/de and CLA250e). Below the top 20, the three-pointed-star automaker had 5 other models (B250, GLA250e, EQC, GLE350e/de, EQV) hitting record performances. … Now, that’s what I call a production ramp up!

In such a high-volume month, record scores were aplenty, with more than half of the models in this top 20 table having their best ever performances. Besides the aforementioned, we should highlight the record 1,465 deliveries of the Opel Corsa-e. (It looks like Opel, a brand that many had classified as a “has been,” has returned to form under PSA, now starting to justify the investment that the French auto group made in them.) The Mazda MX-30 showed up in the top 20 as well, thanks to a record 1,211 registrations (a result of true demand, or is it a CO2-compliance thing?), while all the BMWs in the table scored record results. While the 330e and X1 PHEV performances were expected, as the first now profits from the Touring (aka station wagon) body and the second is a fresh model, the i3 record is a welcome surprise, proving that even old veterans are benefiting from the tailwind of the current plugin fever. Hell, even the Nissan Leaf had a record score (503 units)!

Outside this top 20, we had other relevant performances, like the record 571 units of the Peugeot 208 EV (well, next to the 4,287 of its Zoe arch rival, it does look kind of lame, but moving on…), and the 565 deliveries of the Porsche Taycan. On the other tip of the Volkswagen Group, the SEAT e-Mii EV also had a record 538 registrations, which added to the 592 of the Skoda Citigo EV and the 1,666 of the VW e-Up, bringing us to 2,796 units from the Volkswagen Group city triplets, which is a new record for the Bratislava electric siblings in Germany.

Regarding the 2020 table, the podium positions remained the same. While #1 Zoe is now preparing the best seller award party, below it, the silver medal is still up for grabs, as the VW Passat GTE surpassed the Tesla Model 3 and is the new runner-up — but with just 199 units separating the two models and the expected high tide of the sports sedan in December, the German model will need to step up its game much further if it wants to win the silver.

The next position change happened in #7, with the Smart Fortwo EV rising one spot. The tiny two-seater now sandwiched between two Mercedes, the #6 A250e compact and the #8 E300e/de full size model.

Speaking of Mercedes, the luxury automaker had one model jumping onto the table, with the GLC300e/de going up 4 positions, to #12, immediately above its lower riding counterpart, the C300e/de, which was down to #13. A telling tale of the current SUV fever, and another indication of the future success of the Tesla Model Y.

But the Climber of the Month was the Volkswagen ID.3, which was catapulted to #11 and should land inside the top 10 next month.

Highlighting the good moment of the Volkswagen Group, the Audi Q5 PHEV was up to #10, while in the BMW stable, the 330e climbed one position, to #19.

There were no new faces on the table this time, but it might happen in the last stage of the race, as both the Audi A6 PHEV and Opel Corsa-e are fewer than 1,000 units behind the #20 Skoda Superb PHEV, and could theoretically surpass the Czech model — particularly the Opel hatchback, if it continues to ramp up deliveries.

With smaller chances, but able to surprise everyone at the last minute, we have the VW Golf PHEV. If it continues its steep delivery ramp-up, it might be able to run from behind and secure a top 20 spot in extremis.

In the brand ranking, leader Volkswagen (16%, up 2 points) gained precious advantage over dangerous Mercedes (14%) — which, thanks to a strong ramp-up of its lineup, is becoming a formidable opponent. The ID.4’s volume deliveries will come right on time for the Wolfsburg brand in order to keep Mercedes in check. …

#3 Audi (9%, down 1 percentage point) is losing charge, while off the podium, Renault (8%) stayed ahead of BMW (7%), and it might even try to get a podium spot in December.

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Written By

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.


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