Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – May 2016

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – May 2016

Renault ZOE

Renault ZOE

As we forecasted last month, May sales struggled a bit in Germany as the country's recently approved new EV incentive program really did not get underway in May.

As a result, Germans held off buying plug-ins for the most part, as the new rebate program gives BEV purchasers up to €4,000 off the MSRP, and up to  €3,000 off the sticker price for PHEVs (details).

Regardless of the incentive to not buy an EV in May, 1,380 new registrations were made during the month - which was 15% less than year ago.

All-electric car sales (588) did manage to post a slim 2% improvement, while plug-in hybrids fell 25% to 792 sales.  As a result, the market share for plug-ins fell to 0.48% from 0.63% year ago.

What can we learn from May's result?  Absolutely nothing...as June sales will ultimately tell the tale of how much extra demand the German government has drummed up for plug-in sales - that is once the incentive is officially live.

The stated goal is to put 1 million plug-ins on German roads by 2020; and while we think that this program can only assist in that mission, a lot more incentive will still be needed to hit such a massive target.

Leading the way for all-electric sales in May for Germany was the Renault ZOE with 232 registrations (and 1,054 YTD), which was significantly more than the 86 BMW i3 sold (REx and non-REx).

The BMW i3 is currently taking a "double negative" demand hit in its home country, as both the lack of incentive and an upcoming longer range version (33 kWh and 114 miles/183 km real world range) arriving this Fall, have Germans staying away from the BMW in droves.

The Tesla Model S added 50  registrations (532 YTD), and it seems that there were also 3 Model X SUVs registered, although we suspect this was via the company itself as demonstrator EVs.

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – May 2016

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – May 2016