Plug-In Electric Car Sales Surge In Germany To Record High In October

NOV 20 2015 BY MARK KANE 55

The Kia Soul EV Is Eligible For The Texas Incentive...If You Can Find One To Buy That Is

Kia Soul EV

Germany set new plug-in car sales records in October, registering 2,717 units. That’s 119% more than one year ago.

Moreover, the growth comes from both BEVs, which have 1,686 registrations (100% up) and doubled its market share from 0.3 to 0.6%, as well as from PHEVs.

1,031 plug-in hybrids registered is even faster growth of 156% year-over-year and another 0.3% market share.

What’s happening that has Germany reachin 0.9% total market share for new plug-ins?

The answer is: Kia Soul EV. The Germans just love the Soul’s rounded shapemaybe.

980 Kia Soul EV registrations in Germany in October alone is nearly 60% of all BEVs.

It seems at least Germany is the European hub for Kia Soul EV deliveries – we suspect most of these sales originate from other regions (ie- Norway), but are registered from the OEM out of Germany due to allocation issues, and the desire for emissions help inside the EU.

Kia Soul EV

Kia Soul EV

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – October 2015

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – October 2015

The Renault ZOE also spiked nicely with 243 registrations. Tesla Model S improved to 121, while BMW saw more than 112 all-electric i3s out of a total of 201 i3s (BEV & REx).

Volkswagen moved a total of 380 plug-in hybrids (and about 84 BEVs). 167 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEVs was slightly ahead of 134 Audi A3 e-trons and a total of 124 plug-in hybrids from Mercedes.

That’s all the major models and brands above the mark of 100 registrations.

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – October 2015

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – October 2015

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55 Comments on "Plug-In Electric Car Sales Surge In Germany To Record High In October"

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Let’s see now, what it is that separates countries where PEVs are selling well from countries where they’re not? Government incentives for EVs, that’s what. Now let’s see, has there been anything new this year in Germany which might explain the upsurge in sales… the true reason, and not the addition of one more EV (the KIA Soul EV) to the mix?

Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say…

In August 2014, the federal government announced its plan to introduce non-monetary incentives through new legislation to be effective by 1 February 2015. The proposed user benefits include measures to privilege battery-powered cars, fuel cell vehicles and some plug-in hybrids, just like Norway does, by granting local governments the authority to allow these vehicles into bus lanes, and to offer free parking and reserved parking spaces in locations with charging points.[51][52] Not all plug-in hybrids will qualify for the benefits, only those with CO2 emissions of no more than 50 g/km or an all-electric range of over 30 km (19 mi) are eligible.
[end quote]

I’d call that a big “yes”.

I would qualify that as virtually meaningless.

If the German Federal Government passes the proposed 5k Euro subsidy then that would move the demand curve.

Robb Stark said:

“I would qualify that as virtually meaningless.”

Well, if I had taken a closer look at the graph above, I probably wouldn’t have made that post. Overall, I don’t see any significant upsurge in 2015 sales; overall, it looks more like the same gradual growth trend from previous years. Perhaps the October spike was due more to auto dealer sales promotions and/or unseasonably good weather, rather than any new guv’mint incentives this year.

Or maybe it’s fallout from dieselgate. Maybe those Germans who previously would have bought a diesel VW, are now looking a lot harder at EVs.

Or maybe it’s Norway buying Kia in Germany in increased quantities with subsequent reexport to Norway.

This is only a “can be” incentive. The state germany made the law that every city can do so. Approvements need to be allowed by each city seperately. It is pretty useless!

I hope we remove the largest subsidy of all: the U.S Gov’t subsidizing oil. The U.S provides the defense budget of all OPEC countries. OPEC countries don’t bother w/an effective military b/c the U.S provides one for them. We even fight their wars. And we die for them, Have you ever heard of thousands of OPEC countries’ soldiers dying in any war? In a truly free market, OPEC nations would pay for their own military and be able to defend themselves, but no, we subsidized that for them. On top of that, they make trillions per yr, and still they don’t pay for a useful military. Have then pay for a real army and have them fight their own wars. Then the true price of oil would be revealed. The resulting high oil price would force U.S entrepreneurs to create alternatives, either EVs, FCVs or possibly another technology that was never invented b/c oil was always so cheap Remove this subsidy for oil, and there would be no need for EV subsidies. This is the free market.

Absolutely right…claw back all the subsidies and tax credits those polluting criminals have ever gotten before touching one cent of the thoughtful, sensible incentives that actually help the world. Sheesh… I get so tired of the unwitting big oil trolls.

Actually Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s largest military budgets (about on par with Russia):

Oh yes, 80 billion a year. And they do nothing. Do they fight there own wars? How many of them helped when we invaded Iraq?

The Iraq invasion of 2003 was a war of choice based on false pretenses, and most other countries were against it (and they were right, as we now know). So why would you expect them to have sent troops into this fiasko?

If you want to complain about a lack of local involvement, you should do so in the context of the current fight against ISIS (which, BTW, wouldn’t exist without the Iraq invasion). Countries like Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey could easily handle this on their own, but of course they all have their own interests as part of the bigger sectarian conflicts in the area.

Norway is buying Kia Soul EVs through Germany.

Almost no local government uses any of these possible incentives here. I think Hamburg as the only larger German city has free EV parking. Haven’t heard of free bus lanes anywhere in the country.

I agree. Finding parking in Germany is very difficult. Those same incentives in Wisconsin wouldn’t do diddly.

VW group consistently one of if not the best selling PEV automaker in Germany, and yet this goes unnoticed by all the folks on this website who still say that VW is all talk and no show.

InsideEVs focuses on the North American market, where the VW e-Golf has sold only in compliance numbers until just last month. That’s not to say that there’s no coverage of markets outside North America, but other markets get less coverage.

We can argue about whether it’s “right” or “wrong” to focus on the North American market, and not give equal weight to Europe and other regions, but that’s the focus which the InsideEVs editors have chosen to give their website. “Those who do the work, get to set the rules.” — Pushmi-Pullyu

And most people who post here live in North America, so it’s no surprise that the e-Golf gets dismissed here as just one out of many compliance cars. If VW wants its e-Golf to be take to be taken seriously in America, then it needs to sell that EV in much greater numbers here.

Just as a random note a we were just having an internal conversation about this.

We try to spread story coverage based on the interest/readership demos by English reading people arriving at the site.

Interestingly, 3 years ago it was 85% North America – so IEV had the vast majority of news of out the US, but that has shifted to about 65% today…which is why there is so much more European/Asia coverage now than before – the fine author here (Mark) based of Europe would be one such example of the shift.

Given the trend, we wouldn’t be surprised to see it hit 50/50 in a couple year’s time (and articles to follow suit)…although I suspect the Model 3, LEAF 2.0 and Bolt will have some effect slowing/reversing the demos in 2017 for a bit.

I was curious about which countries outside North America gave the most traffic to InsideEVs, and found out it was India, Spain, and Italy, respectively, with only 58% of the traffic coming from North America. I don’t know if the above numbers are accurate.

Are there any plans to increase InsideEVs social media presence/profile?

The site estimaters are kinda handy, but a bit prone to weirdness, no clue why it says number 2 is India at 5.9%, in actual fact it is 14th @ .08%. Some random stats of interest Actual demos: NA 65.48% Germany 4.11% UK 3.73% Norway 2.73% Netherlands 2.24% Readership is ~1.2 million/month, ~40k/day — As for social media, we populate our twitter and Facebook feeds but that is it. Just our opinion but it is easy to waste hours on trying to satisfy that beast (over actually working on content), and end of the day it is evil (for websites/businesses)…at some point (like Facebook – ask Nike) they turn the tables on you and make you pay to reach the same people who you provided that social media with content for. InsideEVs is 100% organic, if people care to read us, they find us direct…we don’t rely on gimmicks, social media, links, story plants on larger platforms, etc. If all the social media closed up tomorrow (or started pay-per-play like FB) – we would be unaffected. Could we work all the other angles and have more casual and redirected traffic and bump traffic 50%? Yeah, but honestly we don’t want… Read more »

Thanks for the response. The countries listed in the “actual demos” are more of what I would have expected.

No problemo,

The website estimators are usually petty decent withing 4-5%, but they aggregate their data by signing people up to have hotbars/plug-ins to track where they are going and search engine demos

…so if for some reason a couple dozen extra people in India have this plug-in running (and like electric vehicles) it can skew the demos pretty badly.

As you point out, the numbers track very similarly (as expected) to sales/places where EVs are more accepted

Keep on doing what you love! We love you all for all the great content you publish.



Jay Cole wrote:

“Interestingly, 3 years ago it was 85% North America – so IEV had the vast majority of news of out the US, but that has shifted to about 65% today…which is why there is so much more European/Asia coverage now than before…”

Thanks for the inside InsideEVs scoop, Jay! 🙂

If coverage is shifting more towards Europe, have you given any thought to extending the Monthly Plug-in Sales Scorecard to cover European sales?

Yes, I realize that would require much more work, but if your staff is growing, maybe you could delegate that. Anyway, just asking.

Tesla sold more BEVs than VW. If the German car companies can’t sell to the Germans then something is wrong.

The eGolf here is as expensive as the i3 or the Mercedes b class EV. Most will opt therefore for mercedes or BMW. And that the eGolf has less range than the 24kWh leaf doesn’t help either.

What’s going to displace more fossil fuels? The 121 Model S’s? Or the 500+ PHEVs from VW group? Regardless, my point is that VW deserves much more credit than is given by commenters on this site given that we’re arguing over whether Tesla or VW is having a greater impact in Germany.

It’s still Tesla having the most impact. Not in the number of cars sold, but in the mental transition and when pushing the Germany (luxury) car manufacturers to respond.

The largest impact otherwise are the EU-regulations, which effectively forces the Germany manufacturers to implement EVs no matter what they want to do.

From a micro perspective though 500 PHEVs will almost always displace a lot more fuel than 100 BEVs.

I think it’s a combined effort, Tesla catches everyone’s attention, and shows them how awesome EVs are, and then companies like VW show that EVs are going mainstream (and don’t need to look weird like a Leaf). But again, I’m not trying to argue that VW is leading the charge towards electrification in any way, I’m just arguing that they deserve more credit than they get by commenters on this site.

Are you saying that luxury car buyers are somehow more important than “others”?

Jose Pontes at EV sales blog is almost 100% sure most of these Soul EVs are going to Norway, whose Kia dealerships don’t get enough cars to satisfy the demand.

Here’s the money quote:
“Norway, a place that has more imported Soul EV (991 units) this year than first time registrations (630 sales) in the same period. The norwegian Kia importer has tried to displace part of the allotment from Germany to its home market, but insiders suggest that the german Kia importer has repeatedly denied the request, mostly because of benefits (Cold hard €€€€) it gets from the mothership Kia.”

At least half of them are sold to germans, because the soul EV is above 2000 units sold in germany.

No, because oktober numbers from Norway are Oktober available from Norway. I have never seen a Soul EV in Germany in real.

Sry. ,Smartphone…i mean numbers from Soul in October are not available, the import numbers from evsalesbligspot are from January to September.

PHEVs with less than 30 miles AER should not be included. Companies make them only to comply to emission standards, greenwash and benefit the torque of the electric motor to their essentially ICE cars. The savings of toxics are minimal.
At least put them in a separate category.
For the sake of the environmental cause there should be a separate category for only electrics also.

Isn’t it the purpose of this site? Witnessing and helping the advancement of clean cars?

By putting weak PHEVS, PHEVs and BEVs in the same calculations, you play the game of the ICE car makers.

I’m in the market for a ~30 mile AER PHEV, because it will let me drive to work every day without burning any gas. That’s hardly “greenwash”.

Please specify exacly why 29 miles of AER is irrelevant and 30 miles is relevant.

I expect 50% reduced gasoline consumption by a car with 12 miles AER (for european driver).

Well it may not be 30 miles, maybe 25, I don’t know.. there has to be a threshold. Some more talented people could do the maths and statistical calculations of when those cars become useless for saving CO2 vs the miles they are driven in AER daily.
You will agree with me that 15 miles is not a green car.
You may be looking for a 30 miles AER car for your strict specific needs, but I’m not sure you will never go to the mall or else returning home. Besides, it’s more the lack of commitment from the companies that would be addressed. In 2016 any company can do better than 30 miles AER!

It is all relative to how it is being driven. Plenty of people have 20 mile commutes and then drive long distances on week ends. If the distance is over 200 miles, a high MPG PHEV would be greener than owning a BEV for the week days and an ICE to make the week end journey.

We all see an all electric highway someday. For now, even the Prius HEV has played a big roll in getting where we need to go.

For now, a single car household in many cases will be greener owning a Tesla, BMW I3 Rex, or Chevy Volt. Of course some of that depends on price.

I still favor a BEV + EREV for the best two car solution for a very long time.

Again, it is ALL relative to the driving situation.

I would expect 4 miles of AER to reduce my gasoline usage by 10% over the year. What number would be insignificant to you?

I said it before, any company can do better than 30 miles AER.
Maybe cutting the incentives for those under 30 miles would stimulate them a bit.
The goal of incentives are to get the most clean miles isn’t it?
In that spirit, these cars should be classified in a separate “weak” category by green sites.

The incentive are by kWh in the US meaning lower range = less incnetive. Your propsal was fullfilled since the start.

NO incentive below a minimum of 30 miles AER.

There is no lower limit for the AER. Even one mile would be be helpful to reduce CO2. It’s not optimal but even the Prius plug-in was doing ~20% fuel reductions.

And you say less than 30 miles is not relevant. On the contrary the optimal range would be somewhere around ~20 miles AER, where added cost vs. fuel reductions vs. currently available battery capacity makes most sense.
It’s not by chance that for example VW are doing 8-10 kWh batteries to their PHEVs, that we will see in the millions in a few years.

I want people to have lots of range, but if we would maximize the impact then 30+ miles EVs should not be produced at all because that adds too much cost and gives little added return.

I do believe that there is room for all different ranges though, including super-inefficient ones like the Model S or even the Volt for all of us that want to go all or almost all electric too. Thankfully not everything is about optimizing the impact. 😉

Just remember how the Prius plug-in was a disappointment. But it seems it was the cartel’s strategy all along, as other companies surprisingly rolled out such lame AER hybrids… It worked, as I can see in other comments, taking it for granted that any AER is good, without considering the regression from electric vehicles.

Considering that the electric motor uses it’s energy 5 times better than ICE, I don’t see the logic in describing the Tesla as “inefficient”.

Inefficient in the cost and use of batteries. Battery cost per electric mile and kWh per electric mile is really poor.

Optimally that cost and those batteries would be put in 10 times the PHEVs.
Not that I want that, but it would have been a lot more efficient.

From Street insider :

“We expect changes to cell chemistry and Gigafactory scale benefits to reduce battery cost by 50%+ by 2020.Our analysis details a potential path to a 30% cell-level cost reduction to ~$88/kWh by using a more efficient lithium-rich nickel cobalt manganese cathode ”
“The Gigafactory, which is expected to begin production in early ’16, should drive down pack-level costs by 70% to ~$38/kWh via economies of scale, supply chain optimization, increased automation, and production domestication.”

My guess is Tesla already has a ~$125 cost. You choose which speculation fits you best. NOBODY will know for sure until Tesla choose to disclose their costs… if ever…

BTW GM has no plausible reason to disclose the real cost of the most critical part of their upcoming Bolt to the competition. The only part that may still justify the high prices of BEVs.
It is a P.R. twist … aimed at us.

Don’t forget that we are still at the very beginning of this modern automotive battery era.
We don’t really know the limits of miniaturisation, new chemistries and density. But we know that an ICE is very near it’s limit (will never 50%) vs the electric motor (+90%), and that the energy density of a gallon of black poison will never change.

So tell me, cost wise, why GM can put +50 AER in the Volt and all other car makers can’t? Even the luxury ones?

Prius plug-in is the perfect lane-cheater car in California. Buy a PiP and never plug it in. Get a green sticker. Drive the HOV lane alone every day and save 30 Commute minutes each way. Great planning….sheesh. It is not far different than GE buying thousands of employees Volts and Energi cars and then also giving them gas cards for free gas.

mr. M said:

“Please specify exacly why 29 miles of AER is irrelevant and 30 miles is relevant.”

I think most of us are glad that InsideEVs gives us data on all highway-capable plug-in EV passenger vehicles sold in first-world countries, and doesn’t have the kind of arbitrary cutoff suggested by RexxSee. If someone wants to ignore some of the data, then they can apply their own personal filter.

I regularly post complaints about legacy auto makers making yet another tiny-EV-ranged PHEV, but I certainly wouldn’t suggest that InsideEVs shouldn’t cover them!

We need coverage of all highway-capable PEV passenger vehicles; bad, mediocre, good, and great. We need that range of information so we have some basis for meaningful comparisons.

In fact, I’d like to see more coverage of EVs which are not highway-capable passenger vehicles. I was glad to see an article here not so long ago about diesel-electric train locomotives. Those are EVs too!

Excellent, must be environment consumer moving away from VW dirty diesel’s cough cough.
I think VW are up to 1M recall with the latest V6 defeat device recall they were initially in denial over.

VW management is to blame as it wasn’t an isolated incident as initially claimed.

Hey VW, hope you have enough money left to go Electric properly… hear you have your overpriced bling brand Audi on board – FINALY.

EVs made up almost 20% of Kias total sales! And they just sold 90 diesel Souls, 51 petrol ones and 980 electric Souls. If the Soul EV would be a separate model, it would be the second best selling Kia in this month, just a couple of units behind the Sportage.

80-90% to Norway, and for them the numbers are normal. End of year there will be a number available how many keep in Germany. Than we will see Germany is one of the slowest growing markets behind UK, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, that’s poor.

Those are new car registrations not sales. The cars were registered in Germany.

From the chart, it appears as if Sonstige was selling well – 123 EVs in October! – until I realized Sonstige is German for “Others”.