2019 (January) Germany: Best-Selling Electric Car Brands and Models

January 2019: Volkswagen was the best-selling electric car brand in Germany but the Renault Zoe was the top-selling electric car model.

VW ID Neo at Geneva Auto Salon 2018
VW ID Neo at Geneva Auto Salon 2018

Volkswagen remained the leading electric car brand in Germany at the start of 2019. VW was followed by Renault, BMW and Hyundai. Sales of electric Smarts slipped but Audi and Kia showed strong gains. The Renault Zoe was again the favorite electric car model of the Germans in January 2019 followed by the VW Golf and BMW i3. The Audi E-Tron moved into to fourth place.

Electric Car Market in Germany in 2019 (January)

In January 2019, new electric passenger vehicle registrations in Germany increased by 68% to 4,648 cars. Electric cars had a new record market share of 1.7% of the total German new car market of 265,702 passenger vehicles (PKW) in January 2019.

As before, electric car sales in Germany were hindered by the unavailability of cars. Most 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.

It should be noted that 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.

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

New passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA identified the following as the top-selling electric car brands in Germany in January 2019:

BrandJan 2019
All Electric Cars4,648
Share of Total Car Market1.70%
1Volkswagen831
2Renault799
3BMW 645
4Hyundai496
5Smart409
6Audi407
7Kia405
8Nissan355
9Tesla137
10Peugeot70
11Mercedes22
12Jaguar16
13Mini16
14Opel14
15Citroen 5
16Porsche 5
Others16
Source: KBA

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

Volkswagen was the top-selling electric car brand in Germany in January 2019 with 831 new registrations or an 18% share of the German electric car market.

Renault was the second most-popular electric car brand in Germany in January 2019 followed by BMW and Hyundai.

Smart was long the leading electric car brand in Germany, and plans are underway to convert the brand to electric propulsion only, but sales have been weaker in recent months. Smart only narrowly outsold Audi and Kia.

Although the Nissan Leaf is internationally the top-selling electric car model, electric sales of Nissans in Germany remained relatively low.

Tesla was the only other brand in Germany with electric car registrations in January 2019 exceeding a hundred units. However, given Audi’s performance with a solo electric SUV, Tesla may struggle once the German premium car brands finally launched all-electric cars in addition to hybrids.

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

According to the KBA the following where the top-selling electric car models in Germany in January 2019:

BrandModelJanuary 2019
Total Electric Market4,648
1RenaultZoe799
2VolkswagenGolf746
3BMWi3645
4AudiE-Tron407
5KiaSoul302
6HyundaiKona291
7NissanLeaf288
8SmartFortwo264
9HyundaiIoniq203
10SmartForfour145
11KiaNiro103
12TeslaModel S91
13PeugeotiOn 70
14VolkswagenUp69
15NissanNV20067
16TeslaModel X44
17MercedesVito22
19MiniMini16
18JaguariPace16
20OpelAmpera14
21VolkswagenCrafter7
22CitroenC-Zero5
Source: KBA

The Renault Zoe was again Germany’s best-selling electric car model in January 2019. It was followed by the e-Golf and the BMW i3.

The Audi e-Tron moved into fourth place – almost a thousand were registered during the final months of 2018 but the KBA only started listing the model separately from January 2019. The Audi is by far the most-expensive of the top-ten electric car models and clearly cater for a different market than the cheaper models that are popular for fleet use and car-sharing schemes.

The Kia Soul and Hyundai Kona sold in similar numbers but availability was an issue for both models. The Nissan Leaf failed to make much inroads into the German electric car market while the Hyundai Ioniq could probably sell in much higher numbers if cars were available.

The Smart Fortwo and Smart Forfour rounded out the top ten list but both cars were far from the leading positions they commanded during the first months of 2018.

Electric Car Sales in Germany