2019 (Full Year) Germany: Best-Selling Electric Cars by Brand and Model

In 2019, Tesla was the best-selling electric car brand in Germany. The top-selling electric car models were the Renault Zoe, BMW i3, and Tesla Model 3.

The Renault Zoe was the best-selling electric car in Germany in 2019 for the third successive year.

In full calendar year 2019, Tesla became the top-selling electric car brand in Germany. Renault and BMW overtook Volkswagen and Smart as leading electric car brands in Germany. The top-selling electric car model in Germany in 2019 was again the Renault Zoe, closely followed by the BMW i3 and Tesla Model 3. Electric car sales in Germany in 2019 increased by 75.5% to take a market share of 1.8%.

German Car Sales Statistics — 2022: Market Overview, Brands, Models, Electric; 2021: Market, Brands, Models, Electric; 2020: Market, Brands, Models, Electric; 2019: Market, Brands, Models, Electric

New Electric Car Sales in Germany in 2019 (Full Year)

New electric passenger vehicle registrations in Germany in 2019 increased by 75.5% to 63,281 battery-electric cars. This increased electric cars’ share of the German new car market from 1.05% in 2018 to 1.75% in 2019.

The total German new car market grew 5% in 2019 to 3,607,258 cars of which 59% had petrol engines and 32% diesel. Average CO2 emissions of new cars sold in Germany were an embarrassingly high 157 g/km.

Electric cars are expected to rapidly increase market share in Germany in 2020 and 2021. Volkswagen will introduce the electric-only ID3 mid-year and Smart is due to go electric only. All major manufacturers announced intentions to increase the availability of electric cars, or at least electrified cars, in 2020.

Best-Selling Electric Car Brands in Germany in 2019 (Full Year)

The top 15 best-selling electric car brands in Germany in full-year 2019 according to the KBA were:

Brand1-12/20191-12/2018
Total German Car Market3,607,2583,435,778
All Electric Cars Sold63,28136,062
% Share Electric Cars1.75%1.05%
1Tesla10,7111,905
2Renault9,4316,360
3BMW 9,1273,792
4Volkswagen8,2016,799
5Smart7,6496,756
6Hyundai5,0522,077
7Audi3,578982
8Nissan3,2372,530
9Kia2,0423,336
10Jaguar954191
11Mercedes69685
12Porsche 672170
13Mini49623
14Peugeot174149
15Citroen 153121
Source: KBA

Note: The KBA figures are for electric car registrations and may thus include any passenger vehicle registered for use on public roads for the first time including normal sales, demonstration and research vehicles.

Germany’s Top-Selling Electric Car Brands in 2019 (Full Year)

Tesla became the top-selling electric car brand in Germany in 2019 by increasing sales by more than five times from a year ago when it was only 8th. Even more exciting for the German car-buying public was that Tesla announced plans to built a factory in Brandenburg outside Berlin at around the same time many German producers announced cutbacks.

Renault and BMW each moved up one electric car sales rank position from a year ago. BMW more than doubled electric car sales. BMW also announced that it has produced half a million electrified vehicles by December 2019 and predicted that a quarter of all BMWs sold in Europe will be electrified by 2021.

Volkswagen slipped from first a year ago to only fourth. For Volkswagen, the electric car focus has strongly moved to the ID.3 that will be available for deliveries from mid-2020. Volkswagen produced its 250,000th electric car in December 2019 and forecasted that the million-car mark will be reached in 2023.

Smart slipped back from second to fifth. The brand intends going electric-only from 2020 but all-new models designed in cooperation with Daimler’s Chinese partners will only be introduced in two years.

Hyundai and Audi improved with sales more than doubling. Nissan and Kia slipped back with Kia electric car sales in Germany actually lower in 2019 than a year ago. For many brands, the availability of cars remained a problem.

For other brand the number of electric cars sold in Germany remained very small. Jaguar entered the top ten at the expense of Opel that fell to 16th. Opel’s electric car offering will improve with the availability of the electric Corsa from 2020. The electric Peugeot 208 and Citroen C3 on the same basis should also improved the fortunes of these companies that were early pioneers of electric cars (in cooperation with Mitsubishi).

New electric cars by Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Mini should also become available during 2020.

Best-Selling Electric Car Models in Germany in 2019

The top-selling electric cars in Germany in 2019 by models were as follows:

BrandModel1-12/20191-12/2018
1RenaultZoe9,4316,360
2BMWi39,1173,792
3TeslaModel 39,013
4VolkswagenGolf6,8985,743
5SmartForfour5,2872,552
6AudiE-Tron3,578
7HyundaiKona3,521381
8NissanLeaf2,6202,380
9SmartFortwo2,3624,204
10KiaSoul1,5913,292
11HyundaiIoniq1,5721,695
12TeslaModel S9811,248
13JaguariPace954191
14TeslaModel X716652
15NissanNV200617150
16MercedesGLK, GLC548
17MiniMini49623
18VolkswagenUp4651,019
19KiaNiro45033
20VolkswagenCrafter418
Source: KBA

Germany’s Favorite Electric Car Models in 2019

In 2019, the Renault Zoe was the best-selling electric car in Germany for the third consecutive year. It was the only top ten electric car in Germany in the same sales rank position in 2019 as a year ago.

Sales of the BMW i3 more than doubled in Germany in 2019 to move up from fourth to second. The BMW i3 just outsold the Tesla Model 3 that took third position as one of four new models in the top 20.

The electric VW Golf slipped from second to fourth. Although sales increased, Volkswagen clearly shifted the focus to the ID family. The new VW Golf 8 introduced at the end of the year will not be available as an electric car.

Sales of the Smart Forfour more than doubled to improve one rank position. The Audi E-tron is the second top-ten model introduced new in 2019. The Hyundai Kona improved from 13th to 7th in its first full year on the German market.

The Nissan Leaf slipped one position. The Smart Fortwo slipped from 3rd to 9th and the Kia Soul from 5th to 10th – both models had sales almost half of what it was in 2018. For these, as for other models, the unavailability of electric car stock remained a problem.

The total German new car market expanded by increased by 5% to 3,607,258 cars – the biggest German car market this decade. Volkswagen remained by far the best-selling brand with the VW Golf the top-selling car model.