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Plugin Electric Vehicles Get 28% Market Share in Germany in August!

Volkswagen ID.3 beats Tesla Model 3 in August in Germany

The German plugin vehicle market scored over 53,000 registrations last month, with BEVs growing faster (+80% YoY) than PHEVs (+43%). As a result, last month’s plugin share ended at 28% (15% BEV). If you also consider the significant fall of the overall market (-23% YoY/year over year), that means petrol sales (-42% YoY) and even more so diesel sales (-51%) are falling off a cliff.

So, this is what disruption looks like….

The yearly plugin vehicle market share stayed stable at 23% (11% BEV). There were 421,262 plugin vehicle registrations in the first eight months of the year. This market is firmly in The Disruption Zone and well ahead of last year’s score of 14% plugin vehicle market share. Will we see the final 2021 market share hit 25% 30%?

Looking at last month’s best sellers, the little Volkswagen e-Up (2,411 units) was bested this time by its ID.3 sibling, which had its best score this year, 3,750 registrations, and by the Tesla Model 3, which had its best off-peak month ever in Germany thanks to 2,946 registrations.

With both the German hatchback and the American midsizer showing strong performances in one of the slowest months of the year, I believe the story is set for the rest of the year: It will be a VW ID.3 vs Tesla Model 3 duel.

These scores allowed the compact ID.3 EV to reach #5 in the overall market, only the second time it has gotten into the top 5, with the other being a 3rd spot in the pre-registrations inflated month of December 2020. So, one could say that this is truly the first top 5 score of the ID.3. The Model 3 also hit a top 10 position last month in the overall market, ending August in #8. And it did this in an off-peak month, so imagine how high it will get in September…. Having said that, it seems the ID.3 is also rising up, so I wonder if both will reach 5,000 next month, and how high those results will allow them to go. But more on this later….

Off the podium, we have the Mercedes GLC300e/de in 4th, with 1,877 units, a new year best, allowing it also to be last month’s best selling PHEV. Behind it we have the Renault Zoe, slowly recovering its form. In 6th, we have the Cupra Formentor PHEV. It looks like the sporty crossover has struck a chord with buyers, which, even more than before, makes us want Cupra’s iteration of the MEB-platform crossover (the Cupra Tavascan). Hurry up with that one, Volkswagen Cupra!

In the second half of the table, the highlight is the landing of the Tesla Model Y in #16 with 864 registrations, a strong start for a model that is expected to perform even better than its Model 3 sibling. Expect a few monthly wins for the crossover soon and a podium presence next year in Germany’s plugin market. Of the remaining top 10, a mention goes out to the Fiat 500e, thanks to a near-record 1,285 deliveries. The little Italian was 9th last month, just behind the #8 Skoda Enyaq, which managed once again to beat its Volkswagen counterpart, the #10 ID.4, on its own turf. Ouch, that must hurt….

Another recent addition to the market is the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which debuted on the table at #18 thanks to 783 registrations. Expect the retro XL hatchback to become a regular face on the table.

Outside this top 20, the Kia Soul EV had its best score in a year, with 358 registrations, while the quirky Mazda MX-30 registered 409 units, a new year best.

Also, we should mention BMW BEVs. While the small i3 (612 registrations) seems to already be headed to the Great Beyond, the China-made iX3 is finally starting to move decent volumes. It reached a record 386 registrations last month. Meanwhile, the iX yacht had 282 registrations in its second month on the market, which is still a low number. For comparison sake, the Audi e-tron moved 643 units last month. But it is still early. Let’s see how fast BMW ramps up production of its mammoth electric SUV.

With this said, the beginning of the end of the i3 poses a problem for BMW. The company does not have an immediate BEV best seller in the lineup. True, the i4 is coming, but I wonder how high a BEV version of a somewhat niche model (4 Series) can go. Top 20 seems certain but, will it get to the top 10?

Regarding the 2021 table, the Volkswagen e-Up lost ground to the other two frontrunners, the Volkswagen ID.3 and the Tesla Model 3. Also, the German compact EV gained critical ground on the Californian in August. With September set to provide strong/record showings from both e-Up competitors, we should see some changes on the podium as Volkswagen tries to replace the e-Up with the ID.3 in front while at the same time trying to sustain the September peak effect of the Model 3. This could translate into a complicated formula for it to work out. Maybe Volkswagen should call an expert in quantum physics or Stephen Hawking’s best disciple to manage this.

One thing is certain: the last quarter of the year should bring a close race between the Volkswagen ID.3 and the Tesla Model 3, so bring on the popcorn. The coming months will be entertaining.

Elsewhere, the #5 Hyundai Kona EV and #6 Renault Zoe recovered ground over the #4 Volkswagen Golf PHEV, so we might see a 100% BEV top 5 soon.

We have a new face in the second half of the table, with the popular Skoda Enyaq starting its career in the table at #19, allowing BEVs to surpass plugin hybrids in the table (11 vs. 9). Two other BEVs are also on the rise. The Volkswagen ID.4 climbed to #11. (Somehow, we still expected more, didn’t we? Like a top 10 position as a bare minimum.) Also, the Fiat 500e surpassed its Stellantis partner, the Opel Corsa EV, and ended August in #16. The small EV is becoming as popular in the EV class as is the regular Fiat 500 in the overall market, and its success story offers a glimmer of hope for European manufacturing of city cars. One can be successful and profitable in the small EV category, even without moving production to China.

In the brand ranking, Volkswagen (17%, down 1 percentage point) is clearly leading its home market, followed by Mercedes (11%) and BMW (10%), while #4 Audi (8%) is not too far away. The “Volkswagen Premium” brand is enjoying a comfortable lead over Hyundai, Renault, and Skoda, which have 5% each.

Looking at the rankings by OEM, the standings remained the same, with Volkswagen Group having its domestic market well in control. It has an impressive 36% share, followed at a distance by Daimler (14%, down 1 point) and BMW Group (11%).

The best selling foreign (well, mostly foreign …) automotive group was Stellantis (9%). Once again, without rocking the boat, Stellantis is delivering solid performances across Europe, and in Germany in particular, where it runs ahead of the #5 Hyundai–Kia collab (8%) and the #6 Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.

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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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