Germany’s Plugin EV Share More Than Doubles To 23.5% In July – Combustion Share At Record Low

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Germany, Europe’s largest auto market, and the world’s 4th largest, saw plugin electric vehicle market share more than double year-on-year to 23.5% share in July 2021. Old-school combustion powertrains fell to a record low of 59.2%, with diesels under 20%. Overall auto volumes in July were down almost 30% compared to the pre-COVID July 2019 result.


July’s combined plugin result of 23.5% consisted of 10.8% full battery electrics (BEVs) and 12.8% plugin hybrids (PHEVs), a ratio roughly in line with recent months. The year-to-date cumulative plugin share now stands at 22.6% (10.7% BEV, 11.9% PHEV), up from 8.51% at this point in 2020.

Non-electric-assist combustion powertrains fell to their lowest ever share, at 59.2% (from 77.5% YOY), with diesels doing particularly badly at 19.7% (from 28.4% YOY):

Germany’s Recent Favourite BEVs

We don’t yet have much model data for July, but we know that 2021’s runner up so far, the Tesla Model 3, had its one of its customary  low-shipment months in July (just 489 units, down from June’s 4462 units). Based on recent trends, we can expect the month’s BEV best sellers to have been once again the Volkswagen siblings the e-up! and ID.3.

The Hyundai Kona, Renault ZOE, and Smart Fortwo likely rounded out the top 5 spots in July. Here’s a reminder of the data we do know –  this year’s most popular plugins up until the end of June (keep an eye out for Jose’s  updated rankings coming in a couple of weeks):

It will be interesting to see whether the Audi Q4 e-tron is starting to shift in decent volumes in Germany (update – not yet, just 239 units in July), and whether the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 had any deliveries in July (as it did in Norway at decent volume, as well as just a handful in Sweden). Update – yes, the Ioniq 5 delivered 831 units in July, putting it at #10 in the month’s BEV chart, not too far behind category rivals the Skoda Enyaq (#6, 1198 units) and VW ID.4 (#7, 1036 units).

Another exciting newcomer, the Mercedes EQS, is due to start deliveries in August, though as an expensive vehicle, don’t expect it to enter the top 10 or even top 20 ranks.

The upcoming BMW BEVs, the i4 and iX are scheduled to arrive a bit later, in November.

When will the Tesla Model Y start to arrive in Germany? Maybe in September, shipping in from Shanghai? Or will the German consumer wait patiently for the local Berlin Model Y to start to emerge at the end of this year or early next?


Right now the German plugin market share is solid at nearly 25%, but has not yet demonstrated a strong up-tick this year. This is mostly a normal annual pattern (though 2020 bucked the trend), and it’s worth remembering (2nd graph above) that plugin share came out of the gate in January already pretty high, above 20%.

August, or at latest September, usually marks a step-change for plugin share in Germany, so we will have to remain patient a bit longer to see the steepness of the growth this year. Even if growth in the coming months is slow-and-steady, rather than spectacular, since 2021 started strongly above 20%, the cumulative share for the year will be at least 24% to 25%, which will be close to double the 13.5% full year share of 2020.

However, I’m still expecting to see a decent up-tick in August or September with results above 25% and around 35% in December with a full year result in the high 20-something percent range.

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


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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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