Did the BMW’ i3 and VW’ e-Up! Drift Almost Unnoticed Into German Showrooms?

JAN 31 2014 BY MARK KANE 26

BMW i3

BMW i3

According to latest eagleAID report, BMW’’s i3 and VW’’s e-Yp! drifted almost unnoticed into German showrooms.

We at InsideEVs noticed that number of registrations for EVs were low in December, despite both of these new models hitting the market.

“December’s widely expected electric car registration rush was notable mainly for its absence, thanks to a markedly lower than expected splash from BMW’s all-new i3 and VW’s equally new e-up.”

Says eagleAID.

eagleAID counted 462 electric cars registered in Germany last month. Including only 90 BMW i3s.

“Volkswagen’s all-electric e-up, which also made its German domestic dealer debut in November, appears to have slipped almost unnoticed into Volkswagen’s German dealerships.”

Source: eagleAID.com

Categories: BMW, Volkswagen

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26 Comments on "Did the BMW’ i3 and VW’ e-Up! Drift Almost Unnoticed Into German Showrooms?"

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Zero electric vehicle subsidy in Germany, and electricity at $0.30kwh = low sales.

Electricity price is not realy the problem, because a gallon of gas is 8$ too. But almost no incentives (about 100$ anual tax savings for 10 years is possible), almost no fast charging coverage (we have like 50 of the 10000 chademo in Europe, maybe 10 css and 4 superchargers).
I don’t see more incentives comming, maybe priveleges like free parking and buslane allowance. Another oil crisis could do the trick (maybe a burst of the so called fracking bubble, if it is one?). Otherwise we are about 2 to 3 years behind, but used EVs from france get realy cheap thanks to their incentives. Many people I know imported one.

Petrol is expensive here in the UK too, but the electricity prices you have in Germany make the personal economics of EVs hard to justify.

EVs typically lose around 15% wall to wheel, so for a 20kwh charge you might have to pay for 23kwh.
At $0.30 kwh that is $6.90, which at 4 miles/kwh might enable 80 miles of range.
A small petrol car can get around 40mpg on average, which would cost about $16 for the 80 miles.
So you are saving around half on petrol costs.
For 12,000 miles a year that’s a saving of $1,200 a year.

That doesn’t go far when the car costs twice what the petrol one does.

The economics aren’t wonderful here in the UK, with a £5,000 subsidy and electricity at half German rates.

You’re so hung up on money, you fail to see everything else.

If purchase price or TCO was so important, we’d only see bus, bicycles, scooters and maybe a few rental/shared-ownership econoboxes on the roads. Performance or luxury cars (or, heck, TVs, for that matter) would have never existed.

People who buy Teslas aren’t doing so to save money. They get such cars because they’re a blast to drive.
I would have gotten an EV even if its TCO was higher than a gas car. I just love the way it drives (smooth, responsive, silent), I feel better knowing I’m not needlessly messing up the planet (and my kids lungs) and if I hope to encourage others to do the same, I need to support this industry and walk the walk.
Somehow I don’t miss routine visits to gas-stations, oil changes etc either.

A gallon of gas is below 6€, but normal electricy rate here are around 0.27€ or higher if you go green. Thats pretty expensive. My car uses around 1.5 gallon per 100km. Electricity would cost (at 22kWh/100km) around 6€. So the driving cost for my car is 1.5 times higher… its a difference, but with US electricy rates it would be much lower…

Yikes! Worse than I thought!
The ‘benefits’ of Germany’s closing of their nuclear reactors in case a tsunami hits Bavaria are really starting to shine through!

That comes to a modest $0.36kwh.

No wonder VW is producing NG as well as electric versions of its cars.

That and the fact that no-one in their right mind in Germany would consider heating using their electricity somewhat blows a hole in the supposed CO2 savings from all those wind turbines, and solar which is so convenient for catching all the winter sunshine in Hamburg.


Germans voted against nuclear power, and in favor of heavy incentives towards renewables and support to their own solar industry.
Phasing out nuclear is their choice, and surrounding countries (Switzerland, Austria) have made moves in the same direction. Should something nasty ever happen in France (now the only remaining country with a significant nuclear production in which no major accident occurred), it will be regarded as very wise.

I’m sure Japan is bitting its tongue right now, faced with insanely high, and rising, cleanup costs, most of which will be borne by the public for years to come, and not through their past power bills…

Re electric heat: Germans got it right: in most situations (e.g. unless you have excess renewables to “burn”) it makes no sense indeed.
Burning any kind of fuel, e.g. natural gas, at a powerplant turns about 1/3 of that energy into electricity. Burning it at home for heat can be over 90% efficient.

Mostly the insane costs of evacuating people and cleaning up to an absurd standard.

Rational risk assessment instead of panic mode would have reduced costs by an order of magnitude.

If I were living anywhere in the evacuation zone other than bang next to the reactor since I am not an obedient Japanese person I would have moved nowhere.
The evacuation had demonstrable effects on mortality, which is more than the supposed nuclear ‘disaster’ had.

The thousands who died from the earthquake and tsunami were a disaster.
This supposed disaster with no mortalities would not sound so impressive if it were called an expensive inconvenience, which is what it actually was.

Made many times more expensive and inconvenient by listening to hysterics, of course.

Plans being made almost 3 years after the melt-down hardly qualify as “panic”, don’t you think?

People previously living in hardest-hit regions will be compensated. Clean-up will only be attempted in areas in which it is practical and cost-effective (if we can call it that), with the aim to eventually get public exposure levels down to 20mSv/year.
It’s hardly “absurd”. Health effects should be close to zero indeed. It is nonetheless 20x what is deemed acceptable by the US NRC (nuclear regulatory commission).

The gvt of Japan has borrowed some 80 BILLIONS US$ to help foot the bill. The historically very optimistic Tepco now estimates it’ll need to spend 137 billions $.

Oh, that’s before dismantling the plant is even considered. That will take another few decades. So far, efforts still focus on stabilizing it.

So yes, that’s kind of a big deal, maybe not to you but to a lot a people. I can understand the Germans: pay a little more for power for now (how much is even debatable; it’s not like the cheap rates in the US are because of nuclear), but never have to worry about this stuff happening, no matter how exceedingly improbable it might be.

That’s the beauty of electric cars. They glide silently into the showrooms and out again. 😉

Good article !

You should have a look at the KBA stats showing commercially / private sales.

Then you see that 559 BMW i3 have been sold in 2013 in Germany in total. Just 1,3% or 7 units have been sold to private persons, the rest is “commercial”, which is BMW showroom, BMW car sharing, Government and some company cars.

Compare it with ZOE, 1019 sold and 29,8% or 304 units to private persons.

That means in reality:

43 times more ZOEs have been sold to “normal” people than BMW i3.

A “normal” person would NEVER buy a BMW i3. Company car for 2 years, maybe. Own money ? No.

Think about it.


Every leased car is registered by the leasing company and counted as commercial car.

Luckily there is a much better explanation.

The i3’s most likely have all gone to The Netherlands, where 225 were registered in December. 31st of December a favourable tax incentive ended. i3 production is still in ramp-up. It likely is a matter of limited availability for the German market.

Expect January registrations to be much higher.

No the low rates in germany are not due to low production. The Zoe is not production bound but is also selling bad compared to gas cars.

We have no incetive. So you must be willing to buy a car that can drive around 130 km compared to 800km on gas. Savings around 1-2k€ a year but the price tag when buying is like 10k-15k € hichger when you compare it to gas driven engines.

I like EVs, but in germany you can not drive them because of economical reasons. Maybe because of fun, or because of enviromental reasons. And a lot of people here own only one car, so you can not use an EV for commute and have a gas car as backup. And if you drive slower than 120km/h (75mp/h) at the highway you are considered a hindrance, so range drops even more if you drive longer trips.

” if you drive slower than 120km/h (75mp/h) at the highway ”

You’re letting yourself be intimidated by the ‘Raser’. They don’t own the road.

Just as they have the right to drive faster than the 130 km/h advisory speed (on large part of the German Autobahn network), why shouldn’t you have the right to drive slower?

And then there are always big trucks driving in the right hand lane going 80-90 km/h. Just speed up when overtaking, and then go back to the right lane as soon as you can, and settle back into your preferred cruising speed. No problem.


no one cares about economical reasons in automotive.

If that would be the case, everybody would drive a DACIA, new for 6999€ incl. 3 Years Warranty, and no one would by a Mini / A1 etc.

We have in Germany 1,3 Million Photovoltaics Systems. People with a home and such a system want to drive with their own energy to a certain degree.

My plan is to have costs of 900€ a year, for Heating, Warm Water, The ZOE (15.000km) a Tesla (20.000km) and normal electricity.

This can be done with my current Photovoltaics and a Battery which i plan to purchase in 2014/2015.

This is just fun to be independent and blackout resistent !

Good luck with that one, driving your car in Germany in midwinter during the day when you will have to unplug it from your solar panels which will in any case only be getting perhaps and eighth as much power as in the summer.

I hope you are not planning to go far before returning to your freezing house.

You run your car off the grid in reality, unless you are a nightworker who does not drive in winter.

Hi Dave,

here in Germany we have triple glass windows and extreme high isolation per law. When I compare it with North California i would say 5-10x more energy efficient. Heating and Warm Water for 3 Persons is just 2500kwh per year 🙂

Of course I am not 100% off grid. That was not mentioned.
But I can lower all costs down to 900€ per year (which is of course from the grid, mostly germany wind-energy in winter 🙂

Currently I have 2500€ per year, but thats coming from the gasoline Audi A2 (1200€ just GAS for 12000 KM p.a) and from the missing home battery.

900€ is a good amount for a House, 2 EV cars and all other electricity which is possible with todays technologsy. Tomorrow with redox flow tanks I could lower it to 0 by carrying the sun from summer to winter.


‘Of course I am not 100% off grid. That was not mentioned.’


In that case why are you claiming:

This is just fun to be independent and blackout resistent !

When nothing that you are doing will make you either?

Er, it was obvious to me that “which i plan to purchase in 2014/2015” meant zd wasn’t off-grid just yet.

@DaveMart, your previous comment was also particularly uninformed.
From first-hand experience, the difference in solar production between summer and winter months is at most 3:1, and that’s for PV with low tilt (15°).
At more aggressive angles (e.g. 45°), the difference should be less than 2:1.

Oh, I see that you have no PV System.

Think about a blackout in Autumn. All PVs have to switch off, because the grid is gone. This is always the case if the grid is gone, the reason for that standard behaviour is possible grid maintenance.

So MY PV with a SMA Sunny Island 6.0H will notice that the grid is gone, SWITCH the complete Home from the grid and build a seperate island.

In Winter, there is of couse LESS sun, but there is still sun. In such a case you change priorities and dont charge both EVs.

In Summer this still can happen. But In Summer the Island is designed in a way that i can even carge the EVs.

Independent means: Others have to pay 100% to EVU, I have to pay between 20% and 25%.

As technology evolves, this 20%-25% will decrease to 0.

Trucks are allowed to drive 85/90 km/h only on highways and busses top out at 110 km/h. There is already a lot of traffic on the Autobahn, where you can jump onto with an EV and you will not even get noticed by anyone.

January registrations were indeed much higher, as I predicted: 229.

*** mod edit ***

way over the line (so yes Dave, we do agree for sure)

*** mod edit ***

I am somewhat sick of Dan’s comments, which are far beyond anything which is acceptable.
I hope you agree.