2015 (Jan to July) Germany: Electric and Hybrid Car Sales

Porsche e-hybrid at the Geneva Auto Salon 2015July 2015: Electric and hybrid car sales in Germany increased strongly but year-to-date new alternative fuel vehicle registrations increased by only 18%. German car buyers remained totally unconvinced by electric cars with plug-in hybrids selling marginally more during the first seven months of 2015. Although the increase in new electric vehicle registrations exceeded the general growth in the German car market, electric cars have a market share of only 0.3% in Germany thus far in 2015.

Electric and Hybrid Car Sales in Germany in 2015 (January to July)

New passenger vehicle registrations of electric and hybrid cars in Germany according to car sales statistics released by the KBA were as follows:

Electric % Change Hybrid % Change Plug-in % Change
January 659 21.8 1,893 0.7 593 323.6
February 436 -9.4 2,061 10.0 686 448.8
March 1,278 55.3 3,151 25.2 886 467.9
April 684 14.2 2,891 25.2 1,006 233.1
May 574 -38.5 3,073 14.4 1,054 97.0
June 1,032 27.4 2,944 15.2 754 137.9
July 962 61.1 2,859 30.2 944 105.2
2015 YTD 5,625 17.6 18,872 17.9 5,923 191.0
2014 (Jan-July) 4,785 16,011 2,035
2014 FY 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 2015 (January to July)

New electric passenger vehicle registrations in Germany increased by 17.6% during the first seven months of 2015. However, the number of electric cars registered remained low at on 5,625 cars thus far this year.

Although July 2015 saw the largest percentage year-on-year monthly increase in the registration of electric cars in Germany, the outlook is not necessarily the positive. These figures include all cars registered for use on public roads in Germany rather than actual cars sold: many of these cars are research vehicles with large numbers being pushed on the road by manufacturers as parts of car-sharing and rental schemes. Due to the small overall number, even a major event such as the Frankfurt motor show can skew the figures if many press cars are registered.

German car buyers remained very skeptical about the suitability of electric cars for general daily use. Electric car registrations in Germany represented only 0.3% of the total new passenger vehicle registrations in the country in 2015.

Hybrid Car Sales in Germany in 2015 (January to July)

More than three times as many hybrids than electric cars were registered in Germany during the first seven months of 2015. The increase in the number of hybrid cars was at 17.9% equal to the increase in electric vehicles. Hybrid cars have a market share of 1% in Germany thus far in 2015.

Plug-in hybrid sales continue to increase although at a slower rate than at the start of the year. Around 300 more plug-in hybrids have been registered in Germany in 2015 compared to purely electric cars.

Electric and hybrid cars are increasingly available from German manufacturers with prices coming down but not nearly enough to make these cars a sensible financial option for private buyers. In addition to the high purchasing prices, buyers are worried about the lack of infrastructure and the possibility that cars may fast become absolute when new technology lowers prices and extend the range. Current low petrol and diesel prices also serve as reminder that the actual production costs of fossil fuels are low and will continue to be able to undercut alternatives, at least price wise, in the foreseeable future.