Volkswagen Leads The Way In Germany — February EV Sales Report

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The German plugin vehicle market scored 40,000 registrations in February, with both technologies rising fast (+124% year over year for BEVs and +162% YoY for PHEVs). Last month’s plugin share ended at 21% (9.4% BEV), dragging the yearly tally down slightly to 21% (9.5% BEV). Overall, this market is definitely in The Disruption Zone (aka two-digit market shares).

And in a regressing market (-19% YoY), while petrol (-41% YoY) and diesel (-35%) are falling off a cliff, every electrified category is seeing growing sales. Not only are the aforementioned BEV and PHEV registrations surging, but even plugless hybrids (HEV + MHEV) are growing, albeit at a slower pace (+42%).

Looking at last month’s best sellers, in February we had a surprise winner, with the tiny Volkswagen e-Up beating the usual front runners by registering 2,215 units, a new personal best for the veteran model (Volkswagen’s city car has been on the market for 10 years now, and its EV version has existed since 2013). In the remaining podium positions, we have the Tesla Model 3 in 2nd, surprisingly beating the Volkswagen ID.3 due to a meh! February performance, just 1,892 deliveries. That performance relegated the ID.3 to the last place on the podium.

Below the podium’s top sellers, 4th place went to another Volkswagen, with the new Golf PHEV winning the Best Seller award in the PHEV category, and making that 3 Volkswagens in the top 4! Last year’s Best Seller had to settle for 5th place, closely followed by the #6 Hyundai Kona EV.

The Smart Fortwo EV is the 6th BEV in the top 7, but below it, it’s a sea of PHEVs, with the only exceptions being the #13 BMW i3 and the #16 Audi e-tron, which kind of reflects one if the current market trends. While the BEV market is concentrated on half a dozen models. the model choice in the plugin hybrid field is far greater and spans a much wider type of customer and needs, leading to a more diversified market.

Outside this top 20, a mention goes out to the 463 units of the Fiat 500e, while the Audi e-tron GT landed with some good numbers (212 registrations), as it looks to give the stablemate Porsche Taycan a run for its money — the current leader in the full-size car BEV category.

Regarding the 2021 table, we now have a 1-2-3 lead from Volkswagen, with the ID.3 (barely) leading the table, with 3,691 registrations, just 30 more than the small e-Up, while the Volkswagen Golf PHEV now closes the podium. So it’s official, this market has become Volkswagen’s turf.

After the Volkswagen armada, several of last year’s frontrunners took time to recover from a slow January and prepare themselves for the Best Selling Non-Volkswagen trophy. That title is currently in the hands of the #4 Renault Zoe, but the #8 Tesla Model 3 should profit from another strong month in March and surpass the French hatchback by the end of the quarter.

In the second half of the table, the BMW 330e jumped two spots, to #11, and is now the Best Selling BMW. On the Audi side, a lot of changes have occurred. The Q5 PHEV has left the table, but 3 Audis have joined it. The e-tron is leading the pack, in #15, only 231 units away from the Mercedes E300e/de, so we might see a leadership change next month in the full size category.

Highlighting the good moment of the Volkswagen Group, besides 5 Volkswagens in the top 20 (yep, the e-Golf is still going, probably doing its goodbye lap around the ring…), and 3 Audis, in #21 we have the Skoda Octavia PHEV, with 1,265 registrations. Expect the popular Czech model to join the table soon.

In the brand ranking, Volkswagen (19%) is clearly leading its home market, followed by Mercedes (10%) and BMW (9%), while #4 Audi (8%) is not far away.

Further behind, #5 Renault and #6 Smart, both with 4% market share, seem unable to threaten the grip that the local heroes have on the German plugin market.

Unsurprisingly, this positioning clearly mirrors the mainstream German market, where Volkswagen has a firm lead (20% share), followed by Mercedes (10%), BMW (9%), and Audi (8%). This is a trend that should become more visible as more and more plugin markets merge with the mainstream. EV sales trends will start to follow more mainstream tastes, changing according to each market’s preferences and making it harder for a given model to be #1 everywhere.

Here are the charts above with all other plugin models added in the combined slot of “Others:”

Featured image courtesy of Volkswagen

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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 473 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes