Nissan Sees Record Peak In EV Interest In Germany After Introducing Incentives

1 year ago by Mark Kane 34

2016 Nissan LEAF

2016 Nissan LEAF

Nissan e-NV200

Nissan e-NV200

After the German government approved incentives for plug-in electric cars (up to €4,000 for BEVs / €3,000 for PHEV) and Nissan added an additional €1,000 in subsidies on top, interest in the LEAF and e-NV200 (€5,000 less expensive) has gone through the roof according to the company.

Of note: The incentives launch in the second half of May, so the upcoming April numbers (and May to a degree) will not reveal any such revolution.

So, we now have about a month and a half wait to see what will really happened in Germany with LEAF sales, where Nissan noted a “record peak in interest, with a 306 percent lift in web traffic”.

In March, Nissan was already in the midst of experiencing a new sales high for the LEAF, with 293 units sold – making it the best selling EV for the month in Germany, and 2nd overall for the year.

The base LEAF (with battery rental), including incentives, now starts at €18,365 or €24,265 (for the base EV with 24 kWh battery).

“Following the news that the German federal government has announced EUR 4,000 in bonuses for electric vehicle customers; e-mobility leader Nissan is going one step further in raising the bar to EUR 5,000 for customers of its popular LEAF and e-NV200.

Prospective buyers in Germany can expect EUR 5,000 in assistance when they buy a new Nissan LEAF or e-NV200; representing an extra 2,000 EUR in savings when compared to a Plug-in Hybrid model.”

“The 4,000 Euro bonus is co-funded, with 50% provided by the manufacturer and the German federal government matching the contribution. Nissan has taken the decision to extend the offer, with an additional 1,000 Euros on the table to take the subsidy up to Euro 5,000.”

In all likelihood, the good news via incentives is not limited to just Nissan, so we could be seeing several new EV sales records set in Germany in June.

Typically around ~2,000 total plug-in vehicles are sold each month in the country, with the exception of some fancy EU emission skirting that happened in the last quarter of 2015 (mostly with Kia Soul EVs ultimately headed to Norway).

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – through March 2016

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – through March 2016

Gareth Dunsmore, Director of Electric Vehicles for Nissan Europe said:

“This incentive marks out Nissan’s clear commitment to affordable, mass-market, pure electric vehicles (EVs). We hope that the additional incentives for pure EV adopters will encourage drivers to make the switch to 100 percent electric mobility from the get-go.

“Our commitment doesn’t stop there – since 2010, we have helped to fund an extensive network of reliable CHAdeMo chargers. In fact, Nissan has part-funded more than 3,100 compatible charging units across Europe and more than 200 in Germany alone – available at service stations, dealerships and across city centres. We’re thrilled to see that there will be an additional €200m in investment from the German federal government to support multi-standard infrastructure.”

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34 responses to "Nissan Sees Record Peak In EV Interest In Germany After Introducing Incentives"

  1. R.S says:

    The interesting thing in Nissans case is that the Leaf’s price actually didn’t change at all. Nissan, as well as Renault, already subsidized their cars with €5000, for at least one year.

    But they didn’t really advertise it that much, or changed the MSRP on their website. It might be that just the talk of cheaper EVs and the fact that the Nissan Leaf was often used as an example by the media, led to the increase of sales.

    The downside is, that the taxpayer now pays for something the OEMs already would have payed for themselves. That can’t be right in my opinion.

    1. Benz says:

      “Nissan, as well as Renault, already subsidized their cars with €5000, for at least one year.”

      Please explain.

      There was no price reduction of €5,000,- in The Netherlands, as far as I know.

      1. R.S says:

        Nissan had a €5000 “electro-mobility bonus” in Germany, since at least a year ago up until now. Since there is a 4k subsidy now, that demands that the manufacturer pays 2k and the government pays the rest, Nissan has reduced the bonus to 1k.

        So Nissan pays €2000 less than before, but the car costs exactly the same. Renault did exactly the same thing, while Peugeot and Citroen just increased their EVs price a few months ago.

        1. Benzi says:

          So, the amount that people in Germany have to pay for a Nissan Leaf now is actually the same as in the previous 12 months?

          That would be bad. Because the consumer would not benefit from the incentive program. Instead, Nissan would just benefit from it.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Benzi said:

            “That would be bad. Because the consumer would not benefit from the incentive program. Instead, Nissan would just benefit from it.”

            To argue the other side of the question: Wouldn’t a direct subsidy paid to the EV manufacturer actually spur on the EV revolution faster than an indirect subsidy paid to the buyer via a tax rebate… which the buyer may or may not qualify for?

            We’ve seen far too many EVs offered only in very limited numbers, mainly because OEMs don’t make as high a profit margin selling plug-in EVs as they do gasmobiles.

            If a direct subsidy to the OEM would increase their profit margin to be closer to, or perhaps even equal to, their profit on gasmobiles, wouldn’t that encourage them to make and sell more EVs?

            1. Benzi says:

              The incentive program in Germany is not tax related. And it was designed to directly benefit the buyer (he/she should get the price reduction). But Nissan decided to keep the benefit to themselves. And that is not what it was meant for.

            2. Benzi says:

              The most important part of the game is to get the buyer interested in buying an EV.

              1. Samwise says:

                What a load of bull, it really doesn’t matter whether you say the vendor or the consumer is getting it.
                In the end the government is giving an incentive to both consumers to purchase cars and vendors to make them available in their market, there is more than one vendor, they are all competing, while simultaneously spending vast amounts of money improving what is a brand new technology, the more money thrown at this the better at this stage! Come back in 10 years when EV profitability is the same as any other car and you might have a point, but even then getting more people to buy EV’s would still be something worth helping with.

                1. Benzi says:

                  The point is that Nissan isn’t playing the game the way they should be playing the game.

        2. Benzi says:

          “Nissan had a €5000 “electro-mobility bonus” in Germany, since at least a year ago up until now.”

          By the way, do you know when this bonus was announced in the past, that it would be a temporary bonus that would last for a year (or more)?

          1. Benzi says:

            “Nissan had a €5000 “electro-mobility bonus” in Germany, since at least a year ago up until now.”

            If this bonus was valid for only a certain limited period of time, then Nissan could also have de decided to extend it for another year or so, right?

            But Nissan hasn’t done that. So what does that say about Nissan? Does Nissan really want the people to buy EV’s instead of ICE’s?

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              I imagine that Nissan, just like every other auto maker including Tesla, wants to make money by selling cars. That’s true whether or not those cars are pure BEVs, pure gasmobiles, or something in between.

              While we all want auto makers to offer more compelling EVs, let’s keep in mind that companies are not in business for altruistic reasons, and no company can continue in business if it can’t make a profit. Even Tesla Motors, contrary to what the Tesla bashers say, has to make a profit to stay in business.

              1. Benzi says:

                When the numbers will increase the profits will start to appear.

        3. Benz says:

          “Nissan had a €5000 “electro-mobility bonus” in Germany, since at least a year ago up until now. Since there is a 4k subsidy now, that demands that the manufacturer pays 2k and the government pays the rest, Nissan has reduced the bonus to 1k.”

          Was Nissan going to reduce the bonus to 1k in May anyway? Or did Nissan just do this to because of the introduction of the incentive program in Germany?

    2. Pedro says:

      R.S you’re completely correct. That’s what I’m always saying, government incentives like those are counterproductive.

      Because they keep alive the battery high cost myth. The myth that traditional automakers use as excuse to make electric cars expensive and delay the mass market adoption. I’m glad that Tesla Motors already destroyed this myth by announcing that the battery pack cost is already below $190/kWh. And actually Tesla Motors battery packs are very complex and hard to make, they are made with thousands of tiny cells connected, monitored, cooled and protected from fire by ballistic grade aluminum armor plate. For example, the battery pack of Nissan Leaf made with larger and fewer pouch cells is a lot simpler and cheaper, around $150 at the pack level. Yet Nissan has the nerve to make the Leaf cost three times more than a Note in Europe.

      Giving government subsidies to buy electric cars only reinforces this myth. The way forward is to make a lot harder to sell polluting cars. Either by taxing them and fuels higher and/or prohibiting them in cities. Automakers prefer to sell cars with internal combustion engines, but if they can’t they’ll switch to electric cars. Not because they want it, but because they’ll have to. Selling electric cars is better than selling nothing. Governments need to understand this and push legislation this way.

      Automakers don’t want to sell EVs so they take the incentives money to keep the prices high. If they dropped the prices, governments could see that they don’t need them. Actually government incentives to buy EVs make price cuts harder to happen.

      Public money should only be invested in public transportation, never in private.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Pedro said:

        “…the battery pack of Nissan Leaf made with larger and fewer pouch cells is a lot simpler and cheaper, around $150 at the pack level.”

        You seem to be under the misconception that per-kWh prices for battery cells are very close to being the same for all auto makers. That simply isn’t so. If it was, then LG Chem would not be experiencing a rush of orders for its new, cheaper-per-kWh EV batteries.

        And you’re just guessing what the pack level costs are for Nissan, aren’t you? Or at best, you’re citing someone else’s guess. That is, unless you have some source of inside info none of the rest of use are privy to, which seems unlikely.

        Let’s recall that Nissan had a pretty fierce internal debate over whether to keep on making their own battery cells, or shutter their battery plants in favor of buying cells from LG Chem. Obviously they wouldn’t have considered that unless LG’s prices were lower than their own costs.

        My guess is that Nissan, thru its partnership with Renault, has licensed some of LG Chem’s tech, so they can reduce the costs at their own AESC battery factories. But surely their per-kWh costs are still higher than LG’s own costs for battery cell manufacturing.

      2. Djoni says:

        This is the right thing that government should do.
        After all the fault of polluting, inflate Co² and get everyone on the hook of an expensive and unstable price fuel is within the ICE car not the electric.
        While encouraging the good guy has it’s merit, they should act to banish the guilty to keep increasing the death toll and upcoming environmental nightmare.

    3. Benz says:

      “The interesting thing in Nissans case is that the Leaf’s price actually didn’t change at all. Nissan, as well as Renault, already subsidized their cars with €5000, for at least one year.”

      So, Nissan and Renault were actually selling their EV’s at a loss?

    4. notting says:

      I can confirm that for Renault. I was always quite sure that something like this will happen, but IIRC even here were postings or even articles saying like “When will Germany offer real incentives when buying a BEV/PHEV?”…

      notting

      1. Benz says:

        “I can confirm that for Renault.”

        Tell us more details about this confirmation please.

        1. notting says:

          When I was on Renault.de in the last maybe ca. 1 year, there was always that 5kEUR bonus for the Zoe, limited to a few months (multiple times renewed). Due this, the prices startet at 16.500EUR although the prices in the pricelist remained the same and the bonus was IIRC not mentioned. Maybe you should go to http://www.archive.org and there search for a version of http://www.renault.de which is a few months old.
          You’ll find it on the home page or on the Zoe starting page.

          notting

          1. Benz says:

            I think that Inside EV’s should write an article about this €5,000.- bonus of Nissan and Renault, in relation to the incentive program in Germany.

  2. Christian Speidel says:

    The incentives have yet to be approved. This will most likely happen on the 25th of May, possibly earlier. I think sales in May will actually be down sharply. We will have to wait for the numbers of June to get an idea…

    1. Benz says:

      Approved?

      By whom?

      1. Christian Speidel says:

        they still need a “kabinettsbeschluss”…

  3. jmac says:

    With Germany finally on board, EU sales should accelerate leaving U.S sales even further in the dust. EVs are also starting to show up now in Eastern Europe like Czech Rep., Poland, and even places like Bulgaria and Turkey. I see EU sales outpacing American electric car sales significantly in the near future.

    There are also a number of vehicle choices in Europe that aren’t available here. Last year Europe sold about 10.000 vans, mostly Renault Kangoo, and Nissan e/NV-200. The Nissan van is pictured in the article above.

    With incentives in place, demand for plug-ins in Germany should pick up. The quality of electric vehicles would no doubt go up if Germany ever decided to seriously build them and drop the diesel.

    Is the U.S. prepared to get left in the dust by the Europeans and Chinese ?

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      It’s about time that Europeans “got with the program”. With petrol prices about twice as high in Europe as they are here in the USA, it has been a continuing mystery to me why plug-in EV sales haven’t taken off there.

      But that’s the past. Currently, PEV sales in Europe are accelerating right along, and hopefully that trend will continue in a way it hasn’t — so far — in the USA. We can hope that American sales will also, finally, go into sustained exponential growth, with the advent of the Model ≡, the Bolt, and other 200+ mile BEVs. I also hope we will soon, and finally, start to see some PHEVs that rival the Volt for range go into production.

      Long term, it seems highly unlikely that PEV sales will grow as fast in the USA as they will in Europe. It would take a pretty remarkable set of incentives by the U.S. government to provide as much stimulus to PEV sales as doubling the cost of gasoline and diesel!

  4. Jeffrey Songster says:

    I agree about getting the eNV200 released over in the states… especially now that the battery should be able to do 100 miles. Hopefully they will release it in cargo or passenger versions.

    1. Nero says:

      It’s not super aerodynamic, I’m not overspeeding, but it’s really hard to go above 3.3m/kwh, so don’t know what do you mean by saying “should be able to do 100 miles”, especially when Nissan is not offering 30kwh battery for e-nv200. Even in the city/town driving I’ve never got 100 miles, I think 92 was the record.

  5. Benzi says:

    All of the money should have been spent on expanding the charging infrastructure as much as possible. 30,000 new charging stations would have been better than 15,000 ne charging stations, right?

    There should not have been a purchase incentive, because the car manufacturers will play games with the prices of EV’s in order to benefit themselves instead of their customers.

    1. I’d still like to see a low interest loan model for encouraging EV uptake rather than any sort of straight money give-away. This would allow EV owners to reap the financial benefits of new EV ownership from the start as well as being much less of a burden on the public purse. If it also meant a much less skewed EV car market, then so much the better. Can anyone suggest why this isn’t being done anywhere in the world (to my knowledge) yet?

      1. Benz says:

        “low interest loan model for encouraging EV uptake”

        That would be a nice option as well.

        But an improved charging infrastructure would still be my first priority.

    2. Adas L says:

      Without supercharging charging in places other than home or work makes no sense. It requires some sacrifice to wait half hour to charge Tesla to go another 250km. But it’s managable. It requires serious sacrifice to go 100km and wait 4hours to make next for hours.
      So no supercharging = no roadtrips = no need for infrastructure except outlet at home and maybe another at workplace.

  6. Nero says:

    Speaking generally, if you would look at the charger maps (even plugshare), you would see that Germany doesn’t really have good coverage, especially main motorways. So, in my opinion, not statement, it’s good to buy now if you will use it locally, not for a longer journeys