2019 (Jan to June) Germany: Best-Selling Electric Car Brands and Models

June 2019: Tesla, Renault and Volkswagen were the best-selling electric car brands in Germany with the Tesla Model 3, Renault Zoe, and BMW i3 the top-selling electric car models.

Renault Zoe - Germany's Favorite Electric Car in the First Half Year 2019
Renault Zoe – Germany’s Favorite Electric Car in the First Half Year 2019

January to June 2019: Strong sales in June confirmed Tesla as the leading electric car brand in Germany during the first half of 2019. Tesla was followed by Renault, BMW, Volkswagen and Smart. The Renault Zoe was Germany’s favorite electric car during the first semester of 2019 followed by the Tesla Model 3, BMW i3 and the VW e-Golf.

Electric Car Market in Germany in 2019 (June)

In June 2019, new electric passenger vehicle registrations in Germany more than doubled compared to a year ago to 5,760 cars (+117%). As frequently happened when the overall German new car market had a weak month, electric cars managed to take a larger market share – 1.77% in June 2019 compared to 1.39% in May 2019.

Car sales in June 2019 was still influenced by holidays and after a 9% growth in May, contracted by 2% in June 2019.

During the first six months of 2019, electric cars took a 1.68% share of the total German new car market with 31,059 (+80%) electric passenger cars registered out of a total 1,849,000 (+0.5%) cars.

As before, electric car sales in Germany were mostly determined by the availability of cars. While most manufacturers have long waiting lists, the sudden availability of the Tesla Model 3 gave a huge boost to registrations in both February and March but Model 3 registrations fell sharply back in April and May to be followed by strong numbers in June. Most electric models have long waiting periods with the three months required to buy for example a BMW i3 amongst the shortest in the industry.

Waiting times for other cars are nearer to a year, which certainly put private buyers off. Volkswagen started to take orders for the ID3 that will only be available in 2020 as replacement for the current eGolf. Porsche and Mercedes-Benz also announced special electric vehicles with the planned production run of some models apparently already sold out prior to the cars hitting the market with no possibility to actually adapt production numbers to demand.

Best-Selling Electric Car Brands in Germany in 2019 (June)

New passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA identified the following as the top-selling electric car brands in Germany in June 2019 and year-to-date 2019:

1-6/19BrandJun 20191-6/2019
Total German Car Market325,2311,849,000
All Electric Cars Sold5,76031,059
% Share Electric Cars1.771.68
1Tesla1,6056,209
2Renault1,0205,551
3BMW 7094,288
4Volkswagen7223,297
5Smart5213,241
6Hyundai3772,643
7Audi2461,782
8Nissan1761,553
9Kia861,081
10Jaguar56441
11Mercedes52216
12Porsche 64195
13Peugeot16112
14Citroen 20105
15Opel670
16Mini164
17Honda01
18Seat01
19Skoda01
20Ssangyong01
21Others80203
Source: KBA

Note: all figures in this article refer to passenger vehicles registered for use as electric cars for the first time on German roads – numbers thus include research and promotional vehicles and not only sales to final consumers. Electric cars in KBA statistics are for battery electric cars only and exclude plug-in hybrids or cars with range-extender engines.

Top-Selling Electric Carmakers in Germany in 2019 (June)

In June 2019, Tesla regained the top slot at the best-selling electric car brand in Germany. Renault slipped to the second best-selling electric car brand in Germany while Volkswagen regained third place by moving ahead of both BMW and Smart. Porsche moved into the top ten at the expense of Mercedes-Benz.

Thus far in 2019, Tesla was the best-selling electric car brand in Germany followed by Renault and BMW. Volkswagen moved ahead of Smart. Hyundai remained in sixth and Audi in seventh. Nissan slipped to eighth. Kia and Jaguar again rounded out the list of the top ten best-selling electric car brands in Germany thus far in 2019 with Mercedes-Benz and Porsche just outside the top ten but with much weaker numbers.

Best-Selling Electric Car Models in Germany in 2019 (June)

According to the KBA the following where the top-selling electric car models in Germany in June 2019 and year-to-date 2019:

BrandModelJune 20191-6/2019
1TeslaModel 31,3365,352
2RenaultZoe1,0205,551
3BMWi37024,278
4VolkswagenGolf6352,680
5SmartFortwo3092,046
6HyundaiKona2751,772
7AudiE-Tron2461,782
8SmartForfour2121,195
9TeslaModel S171539
10NissanLeaf1581,236
11HyundaiIoniq102867
12TeslaModel X98318
13KiaSoul76778
14JaguariPace56441
15MercedesGLK, GLC47177
16VolkswagenUp25341
17CitroenC-Zero20105
18NissanNV20018317
19PeugeotiOn 16112
20VolkswagenCrafter14136
Source: KBA

In June 2019, the rank order of all top ten best-selling electric cars in Germany were different compared to May 2019. The Tesla Model 3 raced from fifth to a very strong top position. The Renault Zoe slipped to second and the BMW i3 to third. The VW eGolf improved two positions. the Smart Fortwo slipped from third to fifth while the Hyundai Kona improved two positions. The Audi Etron slipped from fourth, the Smart Forfour from seventh. The Tesla Model S moved into the top ten from 14th and the Nissan Leaf re-entered the top ten list of Germany’s most-popular electric cars.

During the first half of 2019, the Renault Zoe was the top-selling electric car model in Germany ahead of the Tesla Model 3. The BMW i3 was the third most popular electric car model in Germany followed by the VW Golf. Tesla and Volkswagen were the only brands with three car models among the top 20 electric cars sold in Germany thus far in 2019.

As before, the registration of electric cars was as much supply as demand driven. The whole limited production run of the Audi E-Tron and the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz EQ have reportedly already been sold out. This may only change once volumes and car availability are significantly increased. Volkswagen started taking pre-orders for the Volkswagen ID-3 (previously referred to also as the Neo) with delivery of the €40,000 cars expected mostly in 2020.

Electric Car Sales in Germany