Volkswagen, Renault, and Tesla were the top-selling electric car brands in Germany during the first quarter of 2020. The eGolf the favorite BEV.
First-quarter 2020: Volkswagen was the best-selling battery-electric vehicle (BEV) brand in Germany, followed by Renault and Tesla. It was a similar order for the top-selling electric car models in Germany thus far in 2020: the VW eGolf ahead of the Renault Zoe and Tesla Model 3. Although the Coronavirus disrupted the market from mid-March, more electric cars were sold in Germany during the first three months of 2020 than during the full calendar year 2017.
Electric Car Market in Germany in 2020 (Q1)
New battery-electric passenger vehicle registrations in Germany increased by 63% during the first quarter of 2020 to 25,975 cars – 10,000 more than a year ago. This is almost three times more than during the first quarter of 2018 and more than the total for the full year 2017.
Electric car sales in Germany during the first quarter of recent years were as follows according to KBA statistics:
|Total German Car Market||701,362||880,092||878,611|
|% Share Electric||3.7||1.18||1.04|
Electric car sales in Germany took a record 3.7% of the total new car market during the first quarter of 2020. This figure was probably somewhat helped by the total collapse of the new car market due to the Coronavirus effect during the second half of March 2020.
Analysts have long predicted that EU fines would contribute more to electric car sales than government incentives and this seems to come to fruition in 2020. Carmakers are desperate to get electric cars registered to reduce emission fines. Good bargains are available in Germany and these are likely to increase once car dealers and registrations offices reopen.
Best-Selling Electric Car Brands in Germany in 2020 (Q1)
According to new electric passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA, the following were the top electric car brands in Germany during the first three months of 2020:
After lagging in the fourth place during the same period last year, Volkswagen moved into first place with a commanding quarter of the electric new car market in Germany during the first three months of 2020. VW thus took an even larger part of the electric car market than the nearly a fifth of the total passenger vehicle market it currently commands in Germany. Volkswagen intended a big push into electric cars during 2020 but the launch of the electric-only ID3 has been postponed to September 2020 due to continued software issues.
Renault was again in second place but it continues to rely on only the Zoe in the German electric car market. Although the Zoe was recently updated, it will face increasingly diverse competition.
Tesla slipped from first a year ago to third in Germany thus far in 2020. Tesla continued to suffer from erratic supplies.
Audi was in a distant fourth followed by BMW. Although BMW was an early mover into the electric car market, its more recent products relied on electrified rather than full battery-electric cars — something treated more kindly by the German tax regime than in many other countries.
Hyundai narrowly outsold Smart, which seems to struggle to establish itself as a battery-electric car brand only. New models are desperately needed and are likely to come from China only next year.
Mercedes-Benz continued to lag behind the competition with electric show cars but minimal actual sales.
Best-Selling Electric Car Models in Germany in 2020 (Q1)
According to new passenger vehicle registration data released by the KBA, the following were the top 25 electric car models in Germany during the first three months of 2020:
|Model||Sales 2020 (Q1)|
|3||Tesla Model 3||2,901|
|20||Tesla Model S||233|
|23||Tela Model X||181|
The VW eGolf was the most-popular electric car model in Germany during the first quarter of 2020. Volkswagen sold more than three times as many eGolfs during the first three months of 2020 than a year ago.
This was a bit of a surprise as the car was supposed to have been of the market by now. Volkswagen will not build an electric Golf 8 that was introduced in December 2019 with the ID3 supposed to take up the role of the eGolf. Software problems are delaying the introduction of the ID3 and with Volkswagen desperate to reduce EU fines, the eGolf is offered at attractive prices.
The Renault Zoe was again in second place and only 24 units behind the Golf. The Tesla Model 3 slipped from first a year ago to third with sales slightly down.
The Audi E-Tron is by far the most expensive car on the list of the top ten most popular electric cars in Germany. All E-Trons sold out before Audi even started production.
The VW Up entered the top five from 16th a year ago. As with the eGolf, the electric Up plays an important role to reduce fines. It should be replaced by the ID2 towards the end of next year.
The BMW i3 is similarly staying on the market longer than expected to reduce fines. Sales were slightly down and it slipped from third a year ago.
Electric Car Sales in Germany
- 2021: Q1, Half Year
- 2020: Q1, Half Year, Full Year
- 2019: January, February, March (Q1), April, May, June, Full Year
- 2018 – Full Year
- 2018: January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
- 2017 – Full Year