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31% Of New Vehicle Sales Plugin Sales In Germany In 2022!

Almost one out of every three new vehicles sold in Germany in 2022 had a plug.

Record month! 55% plugin vehicle share in December!

The German automotive market has opened the gates to plugin vehicles. December set a new monthly record, with an amazing 171,000 registrations. Plugin vehicles (PEVs) scored an amazing 55% share (32% BEV) of the auto market in December. The full-year 2022 numbers ended at over 823,000 registrations and 31% share (18% BEV), which is a nice 5% jump over the country’s 2021 result.

This should allow the German passenger car market to become 100% BEV before the 2035 100% ZEV mandate from the European Union without a sweat.

Of course, this surge had to do with the inflated incentive-derived end-of-year rush, most likely with a significant number of pre-registered units aimed at profiting from the 2022 version of the incentives. Expect a large hangover in early 2023, particularly on the PHEV side.

In a completely disrupted market, where the stampede for plugin vehicles pulled the overall market up by 38% year over year (YoY) in December to some 314,000 units, despite everything else dropping by double digits. BEVs and PHEVs surged at similar paces, with pure electrics jumping a China-like 112% YoY to around 102,000 registrations. That’s the second BEV record score in a row in Germany. Meanwhile, plugin hybrids were up by 118%, rising to 69,658 registrations, also a second record score in a row.

Looking into 2023, expect BEVs to solidly outsell PHEVs. The sales breakdown between the two will likely change from the 56% BEV vs. 44% PHEV of 2022 to some 70% BEV vs. 30% PHEV. The market share should rise above 35% for plugins, and expect BEVs to hover above 25%. As the plugin market continues to rise moderately (20% growth being moderate), expect also to see the ICE market shrink even further from its current size.

Top Selling Electric Vehicles in Germany — December 2022

Looking at last month’s best sellers, first we should disclose that December registrations are not very representative of general market dynamics, because of the rush to allocate plugins before the year end. As such, the results have more to do with the OEMs’ capability to allocate units to a certain market than anything else.

The German market once again surprised, with the record 9,566 units of the Model 3 in December allowing it to be the leader not only in the plugin market, but in the overall German auto market! It was an unexpected performance, especially when we consider that the locally made and more in trend Model Y was beaten by more than 2,000 units. Maybe Tesla had more Model 3 units available to dump in Germany?

Still, Tesla’s crossover can’t really complain, as it ended the month in 3rd overall. Yep, two Teslas were on the podium for the overall German auto market.

Also interesting to acknowledge: with 55% plugin share, the plugin market basically merged with the overall market in December, as proven by the fact that the overall top 10 included four BEVs (Tesla Model 3, Tesla Model Y, VW ID.3, and #8 Volkswagen ID.4). It also included one PHEV (#10 Mitsubishi Eclipse PHEV). Also, the heavily electrified Fiat 500 (70% or registrations coming from the BEV version) ended the month in 2nd, while the almost PHEV exclusive (93% of sales) Ford Kuga was 4th.

Despite the VW ID.3 being relegated to the 3rd spot, the truth is that Volkswagen had plenty to celebrate. The ID.3 had a great score (6,865 units) and that put the hatchback #6 in the overall market. The larger ID.4 also had 5,193 registrations, allowing it to be 6th in the plugin table, while its sportier sibling, the ID.5, continued to ramp up deliveries, reaching a record 1,998 registrations.

Elsewhere in the Volkswagen Group mothership, the Cupra Born is also ramping up in Germany, with 3,403 deliveries. The Spanish brand also placed a second model in the top 20, with the crossover Formentor PHEV ending the month in #17 thanks to a record 2,469 registrations.

Speaking of records, in this top 20, there were plenty. Besides the ones previously mentioned, Opel placed two models on the table, both with record scores. The small Corsa EV was in 8th with 4,112 registrations, while the crossover Mokka EV was in 13th with 3,303 registrations. Still in the Stellantis stable, the Jeep Compass PHEV was #10(!!!) thanks to a record 3,616 pre-registrations registrations.

The trendy Renault Megane EV also hit a record score, with 2,970 registrations. The French hatchback-that-thinks-it’s-a-crossover is hitting its full potential as the best selling Renault model in the table. The French make placed a second model in the table, with the cheeky Twingo EV ending in #20 thanks to a record 2,118 units. That highlights a positive month for Renault. Even the veteran Zoe hit a decent 1,545 registrations.

A relevant feature of the December top 20 was the fact that there were two Chinese models in the table. The Lynk & Co 01 PHEV ended the month in #14 thanks to a record 2,990 registrations, while SAIC’s MG eHS PHEV SUV (whoa, that’s a lot of acronyms…) was #18, with a record 2,291 registrations. The Sino-British brand is recovering its former glory. Besides the aforementioned eHS SUV’s record score, the MG 4 Dragon Slayer is also making inroads in Germany. The sharp hatchback got 775 registrations in only its 4th month on the market. Meanwhile, the eZS EV scored a record 648 units.

This, added to the fact that three other models on the table are also Made in China (the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y as well as the Dacia Spring), speaks volumes about China’s current (large) production abilities.

China is rising…

Outside this top 20, BMW and Mercedes continue to ramp up their BEV lineup. The Bavarian saw its i4 (852 registrations) and iX (1,604 registrations) growing, and although the latter is still behind the Audi e-tron (2,209 registrations) in the full size category, the Big, Bad Beemer is already watching the e-tron’s large rear end appear ahead of it. Will the full size category celebrate a new leader in 2023?

Still in the BMW stable, the compact iX1 crossover had its first full month in Germany, with 807 units. A lot is expected from the small crossover — namely, becoming the best selling BEV from BMW in Europe. Will it fulfill that expectation?

First, the iX1 will have to beat the Mercedes EQA (1,481 registrations in December) and EQB (965 registrations), with both models continuing to ramp up last month, and even the veteran EQC scored a record result in December, with 917 registrations! Another record performance worthy of mention in the three-pointed-star lineup was the Mercedes EQE, which scored 668 registrations. That is still far from a positive result for the Mercedes sedan. After all, the EQE is sitting at the level of niche players like the e-tron GT (435 deliveries) and its twin sibling from Porsche, the Taycan, which reached 724 registrations in December. When will we see the Mercedes EV reach four-digit performances?

Elsewhere, besides placing four models in the top 20, Stellantis also had plenty of models shining below. Confirming a strong month from Opel, the recent Astra PHEV scored a record 1,751 registrations. On the Peugeot side, both the e-208 and the e-2008 had record performances — 1,904 units for the former and 1,288 units for the latter. Heck, even the Opel Combo EV and Citroen e-Berlingo EV vans-with-windows MPVs helped the Stellantis collective’s end-of-year push, with the Opel model reaching 311 units and the Citroen registering 290 units.

Top Selling Electric Vehicles in Germany — 2022

Regarding the final 2022 table, and comparing with previous results, the most immediate thing that appears before our eyes is that the market has diversified significantly. In 2019, the Renault Zoe won with 9% share and the models outside the table had 20% of the total market. In 2021, the Tesla Model 3 won with 5% share, with the models outside the top 20 representing the majority (52%) of all registrations. Now, the Tesla Model Y won the best seller race with 4.3% share, while the models below the 20th position represented 55.3% of sales.

This is a sign of a maturing market. As the plugin market merges with the overall market, more model availability means more choice, which equals higher diversity and, therefore, lower shares of the total plugin market for the best sellers. Expect this pattern to happen in more countries as plugin shares rise and the market diversifies.

Looking at the podium positions, this year’s winner was the Tesla Model Y, with the crossover succeeding its sedan sibling in the best seller title in Germany. Highlighting Tesla’s positive year, not only did it win the model best seller title, but it actually got a #1 plus #2 win. The Tesla Model 3 won the silver medal. At the same time, the two Tesla nameplates are becoming relevant on the overall market, as proven by the #10 position of the Model Y and #12 spot of the Model 3 in the final 2022 overall table.

The Fiat 500e ended the year in 3rd, confirming a great year for the little Italian and keeping the Ford Kuga PHEV off the podium.

As for the best selling German model, it only showed up in 5th, with the VW ID.3 ending ahead of its sibling, the #6 VW ID.4. Neither model matched market expectations due to a horrible first half of the year. Will 2023 mark a turn of the page for the two Volkswagen models?

Interestingly, Volkswagen has never won its domestic best selling model award….

Will 2023 bring new surprises to the podium positions? Expect the Tesla Model Y to remain there, most likely in #1. As for the remaining positions … everything is open for discussion. Volkswagen will try to pull both the ID.3 and ID.4 onto the podium, but that is far from a sure thing. Expect the Fiat 500e to remain a strong contender, like the Tesla Model 3, while the VW ID.BUZZ could make a surprise appearance. There’s also the Opel Corsa EV, the new Hyundai Kona EV, and the Renault Megane EV, but knowing how full of surprises the German EV market is, some dark horse might come out of nowhere and steal the show.

Off the podium, there were some last-minute changes. Opel benefitted the most from the December surge, pulling the Corsa EV to #10. It jumped four positions in just one month. Meanwhile, the stylish Mokka EV jumped from #20 to #15 last month. With a refresh and improved specs expected sometime in 2023, expect both models to climb a few more positions in 2023, with the small Corsa EV probably reaching the top 5 this year.

In the second half of the table, the Dacia Spring jumped five spots, to #11, while the Cupra Born joined the table in #17. The latter meant 5 MEB models were in this top 20. And all those MEB model registrations counted together came to a higher volume than the Tesla Model 3 & Model Y counted together.

Despite so-so performances from the VW ID.3 and ID.4, the Volkswagen Group lineup heavily populated the table, with 8 representatives. That’s well ahead of everyone else. With the exception of Stellantis (3 models), no other OEM had more than 2 models on the table.

The Ford Kuga PHEV was 2022’s best selling PHEV, succeeding the Mercedes GLC PHEV. Expect the PHEV category to lose relevance in 2023, though, with possibly only one or two representatives on the table. With a new generation just landing and bringing quite decent specs (31 kWh battery, CCS charging), expect the Mercedes GLC to recover this category title in 2023.

Looking at size categories, the #3 Fiat 500e won the city car category, succeeding the VW e-Up, with close to 30,000 registrations. That’s a nice 137% increase year over year (YoY). Expect the little Italian to consolidate its leadership position in 2023. The 2021 winner, the Renault Zoe, lost the B-segment title to the Hyundai Kona EV, but the Opel Corsa EV was a close second. Expect these two to continue their close race throughout 2023.

The #4 Ford Kuga PHEV stole the 2022 compact category title from the VW ID.3, but expect the German hatchback to recover it again in 2023.

As for the full size category, as always, the #13 Audi e-tron reigns supreme, and only the BMW iX seems able to give it a run for its money in 2023.

Top Auto Brands for Electric Vehicle Sales in Germany — 2022

In the brand ranking, leader Volkswagen (11.4%, up 0.4 percentage points) won its 3rd straight title, while Mercedes (9.7%, down half a percentage point) also repeated its result from last year and the year before, #2, getting its 3rd silver medal in a row.

Tesla (8.4%, up from 8%) surpassed BMW (8.1%, down from 8.6%) in the last stage of the race and snatched the 2023 bronze medal.

Audi (7%, down from 7.4%) ended in 5th, with the German brand ending the race with a comfortable advantage over #6 Hyundai (5.6%).

Comparing the plugin table with the overall market, the top two remain the same, but Volkswagen is well ahead in the overall market (18.1% vs 11.4%) and #2 Mercedes is ahead of the curve (9.7% vs 9.2% overall). The big difference is Tesla, 13th in the overall market with 2.6% share, greatly contrasting with its 3rd spot on the plugin table.

Top Auto Groups for Electric Vehicle Sales in the Netherlands — 2022

As for OEMs, Volkswagen Group (26.8%, up 0.4%) won again by a landslide. It was followed by Stellantis (13.8%, up 0.4%), which won its first podium position in 2022 (it had been 4th in 2021).

Mercedes-Benz (11.1%, down 0.6%) took bronze, safely ahead of #4 BMW Group (9.8%, down 0.7%) and #5 Hyundai–Kia (9.4%, down 0.4%).

Below the top 5, #6 Tesla (8.4%) surpassed the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance (8.3%), with the multinational conglomerate losing two positions compared to 2021.

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Written By

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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