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Germany Hit Record 27.6% Plugin EV Share In August, And There’s More To Come

Germany, the world’s 4th largest auto market, saw plugin electric vehicle share jump to a record 27.6% in August, over 2x growth in share year-on-year. Non-electrified combustion vehicle share fell to a record low 53.2% with diesel at 17.7%. The overall auto market was down some 38% from 2019 levels, at just over 193,000 units.

August’s combined plugin result of 27.6% comprised a record 14.9% full battery electrics (BEVs) and 12.7% plugin hybrids (PHEVs), a significant change in weighting towards BEVs compared to recent months. The 2021 year-to-date cumulative plugin share now stands at 23.1%, a big step up from the 9.2% by this point in 2020.

Non-electrified combustion powertrains fell to their lowest level of the modern era, at a combined 53.2%, with diesel at 17.7% and petrol at 35.5%. Although petrol still held a higher share than diesel, its position is fragile; from the graph below we can see that petrol share took most of the hit from the jump in BEV share in August.

Combined combustion share will drop permanently below 50% in the coming month or two.


Most popular BEVs

We will have to wait a few more days for the formal model data from the federal transport authority, the KBA. The aggregate brand data we do already have shows that Tesla delivered 3810 units in August, most which were almost certainly the Tesla Model 3, although we do know that some Tesla Model Y were delivered too. Given that Tesla delivered 2749 Model 3s back in the middle month of Q2 (i.e. in May), it’s likely they delivered at least that number again in August.

While we don’t know the exact Tesla model split, at those kinds of volumes, it’s likely that the Tesla Model 3 challenged this year’s favourite, the Volkswagen e-Up! for the top spot in the month of August, though not yet year-to-date.

Until we have the latest model data, here’s a reminder overview of the ranking of Germany’s top 20 BEVs from January to the end of July (repeat – we still await the August data):

 

Recently performing above trend are the Fiat 500e, Skoda Enyaq, Opel Mokka, and Hyundai Ioniq 5, which were all in monthly top 10 in July, but being more recent arrivals, are still playing catch up in the YTD ranks. Expect to see good performances from these models again in August. Keep an eye out for Jose’s report later this month for more detailed model data.

Outlook

As I noted last in last month’s report, there’s historically been a reliable uptick in plugin share in Germany in August or September, and it has evidently now arrived. With Tesla certain to make an even bigger end-of-quarter push in September, and other brands competing, the plugin share will keep on climbing. There’s a decent chance of it crossing the 30% mark in our next report.

The final quarter of 2021 will continue to break new ground, and we may see 40% breached by the end of December. Old-school combustion sales on the other hand will be lucky to stay above 40% in December. It will be quite a race to watch. What’s your prediction? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

 
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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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