2018 (Q1) Germany: Best-Selling Electric Car Brands and Models

March 2018: Smart remained the top-selling electric car brand in Germany but the VW Golf was the best-selling electric car model ahead of the Renault Zoe, Smart Forfour and Fortwo.

Smart EQ Forfour

January to March 2018: Smart was Germany’s largest electric car brand with sales well ahead of Volkswagen, Renault and Kia. The Smart Fortwo remained Germany’s favorite electric car model but the VW Golf is catching up and was ahead in March 2018. Electric cars took just over a percentage of the total German new passenger vehicle market thus far in 2018.

Electric Car Market in Germany 2018 (Q1)

The German electric car market expanded by 80% to 9,102 new electric passenger vehicle registrations during the first three months of 2018. However, with the total German new car market growing by 4% to 878,611 passenger vehicles, electric cars had only a 1,04% share of the total new car market in Germany.

In March 2018, a total of 3,792 electric cars were registered for the first time in Germany for a market share of 1,09%. This was a 73.1% increase from March 2017.

The sale of electric vehicles to especially private buyers is hindered by supply problems as manufacturers seemed unprepared for demand. Autobild reported that unexpected demand for popular models such as the Renault Zoe and e-Golf means waiting times of more than six months while deliveries of the Hyundai Ioniq Electric may be delayed for up to a year.

Best-Selling Electric Car Brands in Germany in 2018 (Q1)

New passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA showed the following as the top-selling electric car brands in Germany in March and the first quarter of 2018:

Q1: Brand March 2018 Q1/2018
  All Electric Cars 3,792 9,102
  Share of Total Car Market 1.09% 1.04%
1 SMART 911 2,576
2 VW 666 1,728
3 RENAULT 523 1,297
4 KIA 397 948
5 BMW 322 731
6 TESLA 428 666
7 NISSAN 347 379
8 HYUNDAI 62 364
9 OPEL 57 235
10 AUDI 24 52
11 MERCEDES 10 38
12 CITROEN 5 20
13 PEUGEOT 9 16
14 FORD 10 15
  Source: KBA    

Top-Selling Electric Carmakers in Germany in 2018 (Q1)

Smart maintained its lead in the German electric new car market, as it was the best-selling electric car brand in all three first months of 2018. Smart had a market share of 28% of the German electric car market.

Volkswagen remained in second place and with its 19% share of the electric car market remarkably close to its share of the overall German new car market. All indications are that VW will follow its traditional cautious approach of being late to market but then in full force.

Renault is the only other brand to have sold more than a thousand electric cars in Germany during the first three months of 2018.

Best-Selling Electric Car Models in Germany in 2018 (Q1)

According to the KBA the following were the top-selling electric car models in Germany in March and the first quarter of 2018:

Q1: Brand Model March 2018 Q1/2018
  Total Market   3,792 9,102
1 Smart Fortwo 454 1,693
2 VW Golf 534 1,449
3 Renault Zoe 523 1,297
4 Kia Soul 396 947
5 Smart Forfour 457 883
6 BMW I3 322 731
7 Tesla Model S 304 473
8 Hyundai Ioniq 61 359
9 Nissan Leaf 346 357
10 VW Up 131 277
11 Opel Ampera 57 235
12 Tesla Model X 124 192
13 Mercedes-Benz B-Class 10 38
14 Peugeot Ion 9 16
15 Ford Focus 10 15
  Source: KBA      

Top-Selling Electric Car Models in Germany in 2018 (Q1)

Thus far in 2018 the Smart Fortwo has been the best-selling electric car model in Germany but it was outsold in March 2018 by the VW Golf, Renault Zoe and Smart Forfour.

The Kia Soul, BMW i3 and Tesla Model S sold over 300 cars each in March 2018 while the new Nissan Leaf deliveries also started to propel the world’s best-selling electric car back into the top-10 list in Germany.

For other models, electric car registrations in Germany remain dismally low with many representing research vehicles rather than cars sold to consumers.

Electric Car Sales in Germany

Electric Car Sales in Germany

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance writer with over 20 years of experience in online writing. His best-selling cars website has been reporting car sales statistics since 2008 with classic car auction prices focusing on the most expensive automobiles sold at public auctions in the past decade. He also owns the travel websites European-Traveler.com and Lake Geneva Switzerland. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Finance from the University of London.