Germany recently achieved a major electrification milestone of one million all-electric cars on the roads.
According to the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), via Electrive, the symbolic 1,000,000 BEVs in use was reached in December, as part of a massive sales surge of plug-in electric cars.
We have been tracking electric car sales in Germany for a long time. The raw cumulative number of new BEV registrations since January 2013 amounted to 1 million units in October and currently stands at over 1.18 million, plus a little over 1 million plug-in hybrids for a total of 2.2 million rechargeable cars. However, if we exclude the cars removed from service or sold abroad, the net number of 1 million BEVs (and less than 2 million plug-ins) is very probable.
The German EV market was growing quite consistently over the years. The volume accelerated a few years ago, with the launch of locally produced models (like Volkswagen's MEB-based lineup) and the introduction of subsidies (partially a reaction to lower car sales, caused by the COVID lockdowns).
The German government set a target of 15 million electric cars on the roads by 2030, but according to the article, the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) is skeptical about that.
The basic calculation says that 145,000 new all-electric would have to be sold per month to meet the target, while the all-time record is currently just over 104,000 units (December 2022) and it's the only six-digit monthly figure so far.
With the start of 2023, the subsidy for new PHEVs ended, while the one for the new BEVs was reduced (from up to €6,000, to up to €4,500). This means that early 2023 is expected to bring a sales slowdown rather than a continuation of smooth growth.
Nonetheless, in the long term, electrification will progress as it's a major global trend to achieve zero-emission transport. With the next generation of electric cars and more platforms dedicated solely to pure electric cars, announced by German manufacturers, we might see a million new BEVs put on the road every year.