Volkswagen Takes #1 and #2 in Hot German Plugin Vehicle Market (22% Auto Market Share!)

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The German plugin vehicle market scored over 50,000 registrations last month, with both core plugin vehicle powertrains rising fast — +413% for BEVs and +380% for PHEVs year over year (YoY). Last month’s plugin vehicle share ended at 22% (10% BEV), in line with the yearly tally of 22% (10% BEV). This market is firmly in The Disruption Zone.

Looking at last month’s best sellers, Volkswagen leads the way, taking both 1st place and 2nd place. The ID.4 e-Up and ID.3 took the top spots. That’s right, the little e-Up earned its third win in a row, a surprising performance for the veteran model. The e-Up was supposed to have a limited shelf life, but due to an unexpected turn of events (the ID.3 is not selling as well as expected …), the e-Up is now Volkswagen’s bread and butter model in its home market. Now, if only they could sell them at a profit. …

In the 3rd spot we have another surprise, with the Mercedes GLC PHEV jumping into the 3rd spot, becoming last month’s best selling PHEV. It was 300 units ahead of the Mercedes A250e, and over 400 above the Volkswagen Golf PHEV. Is the three-pointed-star SUV getting ready to run with the Volkswagen hatchback for the title of most popular plugin hybrid in 2021?

Below the podium, 4th place went to the Smart Fortwo EV — which, despite its wrinkles, is still selling in large numbers. So, the Smart Fortwo EV remains ahead of models like the Hyundai Kona EV (April’s best selling foreigner) and the new Volkswagen ID.4, which jumped to #6 last month thanks to (a still disappointing) 1,446 units.

Interestingly, among the top 8 models, only two are PHEVs, which would lead one to think that BEVs outsold plugin hybrids. However, that actually that wasn’t the case, as PHEVs represented 53% of plugin registrations in the country in April. Once again, the reason is the broader choice among PHEVs. On the pure electric side, sales are more concentrated among a small number of models.

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In the second half of the table, a reference goes out to the Opel Corsa-e jumping to #12, and its Stellantis platform partner, the Peugeot e-208, joining the table at #20 thanks to a record 806 deliveries, a small feat for the French brand that seems to be benefiting from the sales slowdown of the Renault Zoe (or causing it).

But the highlight on the last places on the table was the Skoda Enyaq, landing straight away on the 19th spot with 845 deliveries, a promising sign for the Czech EV, which should reach the top half of the table in the months to come.

Outside this top 20, a mention goes out to another MEB-based model, with the Audi Q4 e-tron delivering its first 130 units. Also in the Volkswagen Group galaxy, the sporty Cupra Formentor PHEV crossover continues to ramp up production, with April bringing a record 443 registrations.

Oh, and a final note to the first Toyota BEV deliveries in Germany. No, it’s not yet the bZ4X (why, oh why, didn’t they created a simpler codename?), but the Proace Verso EV, a Toyota badge-engineered version of the Stellantis Group midsize van-with-windows, known elsewhere as the Citroen e-Spacetourer, Peugeot e-Traveller, or Opel Zafira Life EV. “They had to start somewhere, so they started … there.”

Let’s hope these are the first of many and Toyota doesn’t take forever to create a full lineup of EVs — and not just what the company can buy from Stellantis. (Toyota buying technology from Stellantis … makes you wonder, doesn’t it?)

Regarding the 2021 table, the small Volkswagen e-Up gained significant ground over the competition. So, the little EV is currently the favorite for the Best Seller trophy (assuming Volkswagen doesn’t limit production …). Behind it, the Volkswagen ID.3, Hyundai Kona EV, and Volkswagen Golf PHEV all benefited from the Tesla Model 3’s off month and climbed a position each, which they will likely lose again in the next couple of months.

Another model on the rise was the Smart Fortwo EV, climbing to 6th, at the expense of the Volkswagen Passat PHEV, down to 7th.

In the second half of the table, there’s more to talk about. BMW had a good month, with the midsize 3 Series PHEV and the small i3 both going up one spot, to #11 and #13, respectively.

But the Climber of the Month was the Mercedes A250e, jumping 4 positions to #12, and the compact Mercedes might reach a top 10 position soon.

The Opel Corsa-e is back in the table again, now in #17, and the BEV team should increase during the next couple of months, as the Volkswagen ID.4 and Peugeot e-208 are less than 300 units from the #20 Skoda Octavia PHEV.

In the brand ranking, Volkswagen (18%) is clearly leading its home market, followed by Mercedes (10%, down 1 percentage point) and BMW (9%), while #4 Audi (7%) is not too far away.

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

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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 478 posts and counting. See all posts by José Pontes