Electric Vehicles Grab 19.8% Share In Germany — Setbacks Galore for EV Transition

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By Car Brand Experts


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June witnessed plugin EVs securing a 19.8% share in Germany, a decrease compared to the previous year’s figures of approximately 24.6%, as challenges in the economy, persistently high initial EV costs, and the removal of incentives all had an impact. The total number of auto registrations reached 297,329 units, showing a YoY increase of around 6%, but still lagging by at least 10% below the usual seasonal rates of 2017–2019 (around 330,000 units). The top-selling fully electric vehicle (BEV) in June was once again the Volkswagen ID.3.

EVs take 19.8% share in Germany
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The market observed electric vehicles collectively obtaining a 19.8% share in Germany, consisting of pure electric vehicles (BEVs) at 14.6% and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) at a 5.2% share. Comparatively, the previous year’s figures were approximately 24.6% combined, with around 18.9% for BEVs and about 5.7% for PHEVs.

A decline in the market share of BEVs in Europe’s largest automotive sector is discouraging news. The underlying reasons are as outlined earlier: a feeble macroeconomic environment (coupled with weak consumer sentiment), persistently inflated entry costs for BEVs, and lingering apprehensions following the abrupt discontinuation of incentives in mid-December.

Regarding the high pricing of BEVs, it has been previously illustrated that the Fiat 500e 42 kWh (€34,990) is priced over twice as much as the base petrol version (€17,490). A similar case is observed with the Volkswagen Up!, where the ICE variant starts from €14,555, while the BEV version starts from €29,995– again, more than double the cost.

For a better perspective, with the €29,995 manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), you could almost purchase 3 (yes, three) BYD Seagull BEVs in China, each equipped with a 38.9 kWh battery (a larger battery than the 36.8 kWh e-Up!). The Seagull’s MSRP is €10,877 (even lower for models with smaller batteries). Evidently, the manufacturing cost of the BEV Up! (featuring a smaller battery) cannot feasibly amount to about 1.5 times the entire cost of a BYD Seagull (a larger vehicle with a bigger battery and more advanced technology). This scenario underscores the practice of large traditional automakers inflating prices and delaying the introduction of competitively-priced BEVs.

During Germany’s economic downturn (both Q4 and Q1 reported negative GDP, and Q2 seems poised for a similar outcome), with dwindling purchasing power among consumers, individuals budgeting for a simple small or compact vehicle such as the Fiat 500 or VW Up! are unlikely to pay a €15,000 (100%) premium for an electric option. These excessive prices of European BEVs, particularly in an economic slump, impede the advancement of the electric vehicle transition. In contrast, in China, BEVs are already competitively priced compared to their petrol counterparts.

Returning to the market share in June, both gasoline and diesel cars experienced a volume growth surpassing 12% YoY, with market shares growing to 37.6% and 17.7% respectively. This regression is undeniably disappointing, particularly considering that Habeck, Germany’s Minister of Economy (and Vice Chancellor), is a member of the Green party. A regrettable situation indeed!

EVs take 19.8% share in Germany
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Top Performing Fully Electric Vehicles

The Volkswagen ID.3 retained its position as the best-selling BEV in Germany for the second successive month, with 6,370 units sold in June.

In the second spot was the MG4, with 4,492 units, followed by the Tesla Model Y in third place, with 3,346 units.

Germany BEVs June 2024 B
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Significant changes were observed in the top 20 positions compared to last month. Notable movements included the Hyundai Ioniq 5 surging to 9th rank, up from 21st in May. Additionally, the Mini Cooper made a recovery from the 25th to the 14th spot. On the contrary, the Mercedes EQA experienced a decline from 8th to 19th position.

There were introductions of several new BEV models in Germany during June. The BYD Tang, with its 2024 version, made its German debut with 41 units registered. This premium large 7-seat SUV boasts battery choices ranging from 90 to 109 kWh (LFP) and a rated range of approximately 450 to 530 km (WLTP), priced around €70,000. Let’s await its performance in the market.

The Opel Grandland X also made its debut with 28 units registered in June. This mid-sized SUV, sharing the STLA medium platform with Peugeot e-3008 and e-5008, is sized between the two at 4,650 mm. It offers battery capacities of 73 to 98 kWh and a rated range from 525 to 700 km (WLTP). While pricing details are currently unclear, the starting price is rumored to be around €50,000.

New registrations of the Nio ES8 in Germany were also reported with 18 units in June. This large premium SUV, also known as the EL8 in some markets, has pricing information withheld due to pending decisions on tariff levels imposed on Chinese-made EVs by the EU.

Moreover, small deliveries of the Aiways U5 SUV and Xpeng G9 SUV were noted in June, likely reserved for showroom displays with pricing yet to be disclosed.

Audi marked the registration of the first 10 units of its new A6 e-tron sedan in June, sharing the PPE platform with the Q6 e-tron. As details are not yet listed on Audi’s website, including pricing and specs, these initial units are likely for showroom presentation. The rumored starting price mirrors that of the Q6 sibling, around €70,000.

Let’s now review the 3-month chart:

Germany BEVs June 24 Trailing Qtr B
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Following a strong performance in the past three months, the Volkswagen ID.3 ascended to the top of the rankings, jumping from 7th place in Q1. The MG4 surged to the 2nd position from 12th, demonstrating accelerated deliveries to beat impending tariff hikes. Similar sales boosts were seen for the Volvo EX30 (rising from 16th to 9th) and Smart #1 (from 21st to 10th) as they faced upcoming tariff increases.

Other ranking adjustments were relatively minor, yet the Volkswagen ID.7 notably climbed to 19th place, entering the top 20 for the first time from 39th.

Let’s briefly explore the performance of manufacturing groups:

Germany BEV Groups June 24 Trailing Qtr
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In Q2, the Volkswagen Group notably expanded its dominance of the BEV market, capturing a 35.9% share compared to 26.5% in Q1. Conversely, Tesla dropped to the 4th position (from 2nd) with its share declining from 16.2% to 8.0%. Meanwhile, Mercedes Group and BMW Group both advanced a spot in the rankings with their shares relatively stable.

SAIC, the owner of the MG brand, climbed to 5th place from 9th, doubling its share to 7.8%. This strategic move was likely in anticipation of the impending tariff increases, causing a shift in rankings for other brands downward.

Toyota Group notably lagged behind, reporting only 324 BEV deliveries in Q2. With a meager 2.2% share of BEVs out of the 49,225 total vehicles sold in Germany in 2024 YTD, Toyota Group’s sluggish performance stands out.

Future Prospects

The automotive market’s 6% year-over-year growth outperformed the overall German economy, which faced recession in Q4 2023 and Q1 2023. While the provisional reports indicate a weak Q2, official data is awaited.

In June, inflation decreased to 2.2% from 2.4% in May, coupled with a decline in interest rates from 4.5% to 4.25%. Manufacturing PMI weakened to 50.4 points from 52.4, and consumer confidence entering July dropped to -21.8 points from -21 in June.

The outlook for BEVs in the current year appears challenging due to economic vulnerabilities, high-priced entry-level models, and incentives’ cancellations. Furthermore, the imposition of higher tariffs on Chinese-made BEVs adds to the existing challenges. Explore more insights on the EU’s tariff policies in the report on France.

Share your perspectives on Germany’s electric vehicle transition by engaging in the comments section below.

 


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