2014 (Full Year) Germany: Electric and Hybrid Car Sales Statistics

Volkswagen E Golf at Geneva Auto Salon 2014In 2014, electric cars were sold for the first time in significant numbers in Germany. Sales of hybrid vehicles continue to grow with plug-ins increasingly popular. However, towards the end of the year, sales of electric cars were down compared to the previous year. In 2014, German car manufacturers finally brought electric mainstream cars to the market with models such as the BMW i3 and VW e-Golf offering competition to established electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and Smart. German carmakers increasingly offer hybrid cars too but these are often high-end luxury cars more aimed at foreign markets.

Electric and Hybrid Car Sales Statistics in Germany in 2014

In 2014, new electric and hybrid passenger vehicles registered in Germany according to the KBA were:

Electric % Change Hybrid % Change Plugin % Change
January 541 49.4 1,880 6.3 140 NA
February 481 0.4 1,873 -2.2 125 NA
March 823 330.9 2,511 6.9 156 52.9
April 599 25.8 2,309 11.8 302 187.6
May 934 138.3 2,687 25.6 535 NA
June 810 65.6 2,555 17.0 317 NA
July 597 15.9 2,196 0.0 460 NA
August 515 18.4 2,389 8.1 620 285.1
September 747 40.4 2,272 -5.2 398 206.2
October 841 -14.0 2,364 -18.6 402 103.0
November 630 -16.8 2,273 5.3 512 238.2
December 1,004 0.4 2,126 0.9 558 267.0
2014 8,522 40.8 27,435 4.1 4,525 226.7
2013 FY 6,051 105 26,348 23 1,385
2012 FY 2,956 21,438
Plug-in Hybrids are included in the hybrid total as well.

Electric Car Sales in Germany in 2014

The small number of electric cars on German roads has long been an embarrassment for a nation proud of its advanced automobile industry and plans by the federal government to have a million electric cars on German roads by 2020.

On January 1, 2014, only 12,156 electric cars in total were registered for use on German roads, of which 6,051 were first registered in 2013. Half of all electric cars registered in Germany in 2013 were Smarts, mostly used in car-sharing schemes.

By end September 2014, the total number of electric cars registered in Germany was already equal to the number for the whole of 2013. However, electric cars still have only around 0.3% of the total German new car market. During the final quarter of 2014, sales of electric cars were actually down on the numbers from 2013.

The sudden growth in electric car sales in Germany is largely due to German manufacturers finally offering electric cars for sale. Previously, many German carmakers, foremost Audi, often presented electric “PR” cars that never made it to market. The BMW i3, Volkswagen e-Golf and e-Up finally offer practical electric cars to many buyers. Cars such as the Tesla and BMW i8 also attracted much publicity but it will be the smaller cars that make up the numbers.

It should be noted that the numbers released by the KBA are for new cars registered rather than cars sold. These numbers thus include not only cars sold to the public but also research vehicles and probably more importantly, cars registered by the manufacturers and dealers for demonstration purposes.

Hybrid Car Sales in Germany in 2014

Hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius and Yaris, Honda Jazz and Opel Ampera have been available for several years in Germany. Although numbers are growing by high percentages each year, hybrid cars only have a market share of around 1% of the total car market.

All German carmakers have hybrid cars on offer but these are generally only for high-specification cars and larger luxury models. These offer little appeal in Germany where diesel engines are preferred for larger SUVs and many luxury cars. Volkswagen hopes to change this with the hybrid plug-in Golf GTE but it remains to be seen if German buyers would pay the price penalty over a similarly engined turbo diesel, which may remain the preferred choice for autobahn storming.