2019 (Q1) Germany: Best-Selling Electric Car Brands and Models

March 2019: Tesla was the best-selling electric car brand in Germany with the Model 3 and Renault Zoe the top-selling electric car models.

VW ID Buggy at the Geneva Auto Salon 2019

January to March 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 and Volkswagen. The Tesla Model 3 became the top-selling electric car model in Germany in March 2019 pushing the Renault Zoe into second place with the BMW i3 still in third.

Electric Car Market in Germany in 2019 (Q1)

In March 2019, new electric passenger vehicle registrations in Germany increased by 75% to 6,616 cars. Electric cars had a new record market share of 1.91% of the total German new car market of 345,523 (-0.5%) passenger vehicles (PKW) in March 2019.

During the first quarter of 2019, electric cars took a 1.81% share of the total German new car market with 15,901 electric passenger cars registered out of a total 880,092 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. The first Audi e-Tron cars were also delivered to private owners. 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 (Q1)

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

Q1/2019BrandMarch 2019Q1/2019
Total German Car Market345,523880,092
All Electric Cars Sold6,61615,901
% Share Electric Cars1.911.81
1Tesla2,3673,596
2Renault1,1362,717
3BMW 7081,981
4Volkswagen3331,519
5Hyundai4151,454
6Smart5031,281
7Audi4781,040
8Nissan3201,003
9Kia120727
10Jaguar106214
11Peugeot881
12Porsche 3055
13Mini3349
14Opel647
15Mercedes023
16Citroen 1222
Others3586
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

In March 2019, Tesla was the top-selling electric car brand in Germany for the second consecutive month with more than a third of all new electric passenger vehicle registrations. Renault was again the second most-popular electric car brand in Germany followed by BMW. Smart gained one rank position while Audi improved from ninth in February to fifth in March. VW was only the seventh best-selling electric car brand in Germany in March 2019., Hyundai and Smart. VW was sixth while Nissan and Kia swapped places. Audi slipped to ninth from sixth and Jaguar entered the top ten at the expense of Peugeot.

Thus far in 2019, Tesla was the best-selling electric car brand in Germany taking the lead from Renault. BMW slipped to third followed by Volkswagen that had uncharacteristically weak sales (but performed well at the auto shows and PR events). Hyundai, Smart, Audi and Nissan were the only other brands selling more than a thousand cars in Germany during the first quarter or 2019.

Best-Selling Electric Car Models in Germany in 2019 (Q1)

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

MarchBrandModelMarch 2019Q1/2019
1TeslaModel 322243185
2RenaultZoe11362717
3BMWi37081981
4AudiE-Tron4781040
5SmartFortwo371814
6HyundaiKona284975
7NissanLeaf227817
8VolkswagenGolf2191246
9SmartForfour132467
10HyundaiIoniq131476
11JaguariPace106214
12NissanNV20093186
13KiaNiro87242
14TeslaModel S82260
15TeslaModel X61151
16VolkswagenUp59193
17VolkswagenCrafter4350
18KiaSoul33484
19MiniMini3349
20CitroenC-Zero1020
Source: KBA

In March 2019, for the second consecutive month, the top-selling electric car models in Germany were the Tesla Model 3, Renault Zoe and BMW i3. These cars were also the leading electric car models during the first quarter of 2019.

The Audi E-Tron moved into fourth place in March 2019 with the first cars being delivered to private customers in Germany. The whole production run of the E-Tron has reportedly already been sold making registrations of the Audi, like most other electric car models in Germany, more a case of supply than demand.

Smart Fortwo sales picked up a bit in March after a slow start to the year. New investment from China may save the struggling brand that is due to go electric only in a few years time.

Registrations of the VW Golf were only eighth in March 2019. Volkswagen’s much publicised push to electrify will seemingly have to wait until 2020 when electric-only models are expected rather than electric derivatives of existing standard models.

Electric Car Sales in Germany