2019 (Jan to April) Germany: Best-Selling Electric Car Brands and Models

April 2019: Renault was the best-selling electric car brand in Germany with the Renault Zoe and BMW i3 the top-selling electric car models.

Renault Zoe at Geneva Auto Salon 2019

January to April 2019: Tesla became the leading electric car brand in Germany at the start of 2019. Renault slipped to the second best-selling electric car brand in Germany thus far in 2019 followed by BMW, Volkswagen and Smart. The Tesla Model 3 became the top-selling electric car model in Germany in March 2019 and despite a weak April remained the favorite electric car in Germany thus far in 2019. The Renault Zoe was the second best-selling electric car in Germany followed by the BMW i3 and VW Golf.

Electric Car Market in Germany in 2019 (April)

In April 2019, new electric passenger vehicle registrations in Germany increased by 50.4% to 4,768 cars (but significantly less than the 6,616 electric cars registered in March 2019). The market share of electric cars slipped to only 1.53% of the total German new car market of 310,715 (-1.1%) passenger vehicles (PKW) in April 2019.

During the first four months of 2019, electric cars took a 1.74% share of the total German new car market with 20,669 (+68%) electric passenger cars registered out of a total 1,190,807 (-0.2%) cars.

As before, electric car sales in Germany were mostly determined by the availability of cars. While most manufacturers have long waiting lists, the sudden availability of the Tesla Model 3 gave a huge boost to registrations in both February and March but Model 3 registrations fell sharply back in April. Most electric 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.

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

New passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA identified the following as the top-selling electric car brands in Germany in April 2019 and year-to-date 2019:

1-4/2019BrandApril 20191-4/2019
Total German Car Market310,7151,190,807
All Electric Cars Sold4,76820,669
% Share Electric Cars1.531.74
1Tesla5754,171
2Renault9393,656
3BMW 7352,716
4Volkswagen6432,162
5Smart7081,989
6Hyundai4331,887
7Nissan2121,215
8Audi1741,214
9Kia99826
10Jaguar85299
11Porsche 3893
12Peugeot1192
13Citroen 4365
14Mercedes3962
15Mini958
Source: KBA

Note: 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.

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

In April 2019, Renault regained the lead as Germany’s best-selling electric car brand followed by BMW, Smart and Volkswagen. All these brands moved up rank positions as Tesla registrations plummeted to fifth after very strong performances in February and March when the first Model 3 cars were delivered to customers. Audi similarly slipped back after the boost received earlier in the year from E-tron deliveries.

Thus far in 2019, Tesla was the best-selling electric car brand in Germany followed by Renault, BMW and Volkswagen – the same order as for the first quarter of 2019. Smart swapped positions with Hyundai and Nissan similarly overtook Audi. Kia and Jaguar rounded out the list of the top ten best-selling electric car brands in Germany thus far in 2019.

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

According to the KBA the following where the top-selling electric car models in Germany in April 2019 and year-to-date 2019:

AprilBrandModelApr 191-4/2019
1RenaultZoe9393656
2BMWi37342715
3TeslaModel 35143699
4VolkswagenGolf4891735
5SmartFortwo4281242
6HyundaiKona2961271
7SmartForfour280747
8AudiE-Tron1741214
9NissanLeaf165982
10HyundaiIoniq137613
11JaguariPace85299
12VolkswagenUp68261
13KiaSoul60544
14VolkswagenCrafter56106
15NissanNV20047233
16CitroenC-Zero4363
17TeslaModel S40300
18KiaNiro39281
19MercedesGLK, GLC3737
20TeslaModel X21172
Source: KBA

In April 2019, the Renault Zoe regained the top slot as Germany’s favorite electric car model followed by the BMW i3. The Tesla Model 3 that was the leading electric car in February and March slipped back to third place. Model 3 registrations in Germany in April 2019 were around a quarter of the March level and half of February numbers. Model S and Model X registrations were also sharply down.

Year-to-date 2019, the Tesla Model 3 remained the most-popular electric car model in Germany followed by the Renault Zoe, BMW i3 and VW Golf. Volkswagen were the only brand with three car models among the top 20 electric cars sold in Germany thus far in 2019: the Golf, Up and Crafter.

As before, the registration of electric cars was as much supply as demand driven. The whole limited production run of the Audi E-Tron and the forthcoming Mercedes-Benz EQ have reportedly already been sold out. This may only change once volumes and car availability are significantly increased. Volkswagen announced that pre-orders for the Volkswagen ID-3 (previously referred to also as the Neo) will be taken from May 2019 with delivery of the €40,000 cars expected mostly in 2020.

Electric Car Sales in Germany