Plug-In Car Sales In Germany Decrease Extends To July. What’s Wrong With New Incentives?

AUG 11 2016 BY MARK KANE 15

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – July 2016

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – July 2016

2016 Renault ZOE

2016 Renault ZOE

German plug-in electric car sales are several percent down, for the fourth month in a row.   Which brings us the question:

What’s wrong with the recently launched incentives that subsidize €4,000 off the MSRP for all-electric cars and €3,000 for plug-in hybrids?

The July registration number stands at 1,801, which is 6% less than year ago at 0.65% market share.

All-electric cars are particularly struggling with demand:

  • BEV – 785 (down 18% year-over-year)
  • PHEV – 1,016 (up 8% year-over-year)

However, the Renault ZOE noted another great result of 301 sales (compared to 46 year ago), and is the clear leader of beneficiaries of the incentives.

Is there a lag in the sales report causing this hiccup?  Or is the program just not significant enough to move the needle very much?

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – July 2016

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – July 2016

Results by brands:

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – July 2016

Plug-in electric car registrations in Germany – July 2016

Categories: Sales


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15 Comments on "Plug-In Car Sales In Germany Decrease Extends To July. What’s Wrong With New Incentives?"

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I was shocked as to the low adoption of electric driving in germany when I visited recently. I did not see any BMW i3 or VW eGolf on the road, and saw exactly one tesla model S in 10 days. The explanation I have to offer is – german press downplays value of electric vehicles and follows the tesla autopilot misrepresentations we have seen recently, with almost no comments fixing the perception – germans don’t like buying new cars because they lose most of its value in the first year, they also don’t like buying on credit, but rather what they can afford in cash. – being used to the autobahn where on the unrestricted stretches, 110mph is an average travel speed for a modern car, the range impact of driving fast makes the range promises look blatantly wrong. i.e. 270 miles in tesla when going 65 would translate to about 117 miles range when going 110mph. Or for shorter range vehicles like BMW i3 or the vendor imposed speed limits like VW eGolf 85 mph makes you feel like you are in a clown mobile compared to the real cars. None of that matters in most other countries where… Read more »

I agree that for big Mercedes, BMW’s, and especially Audis, high autobahn speeds are normal. I can understand why those accustomed to driving so fast would not want a Tesla Model S due to the slow “refueling” times relative to ICE cars.

However, I have driven our old Honda Insight 130 kph on unlimited speed limit autobahn stretches several times over the past 8 years and never felt like I was driving unreasonably slow. There are so many 90 kph trucks and smaller commercial vehicles on the autobahns that driving in the middle of 3 lanes feels fine. The shock waves of high-speed cars passing in the left lane are impressive, though.

The problem that most rural stretches with low enough traffic to go fast have just 2 lanes in one direction. So you either go behind some stinky truck with mandatory 90 km/h speed limiter, or go on left lane as fast as you can, because somebody coming from behind at 200+ km/h would be totally unhappy if you move left in front of him at 110 km/h without assessing speed of tiny dot in rear view mirror properly, which is not that trivial. Or just move back and forth between lanes if you want to drive a bit faster than 90 km/h trucks, which is a pain. Yes, many just go slower on right lane. But you would look silly to yourself if you would spend 100k Euros on “luxury” (that doesn’t match European definition of luxury, which is another story) car that can’t go on left lane when you want it, even if you don’t do it every time. Model S lasted at Nurburgring track just 3 minutes before going into limp mode, and to some extent it is similar to Autobahn driving if you want to push limits, full speed with frequent hard braking because of people who… Read more »

Yeah except for one fundamental problem: The average speed on unrestricted stretches for light passenger cars isn’t 110 mph. On average less than 15% of drivers exceed 106 mph. The majority of autobahn drivers – on unrestricted sections – average closer to 88 mph. Every time people talk about the autobahn they seem to come up with utterly bogus statistics and act as if the average German is driving ridiculously fast when in reality only a fifth of autobahn users drive ridiculously fast.

You are assuming the words “average” and “maximum” are the same as most EV advocates. They are totally different words. If you do something average, it doesn’t mean that sometimes you don’t need go much above average. And then what, buy 2 cars for both cases? And even 88 mph is a stress for battery car in case of long range trip, rate plummets and you waste too much time charging.

The automakers put the subsidy in their pockets and kept the price the same.

There was no price decrease in electric cars in Germany after the introduction of the 4.000 € subsidy.

This obvious conclusion is in a study of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) at the University of Duisburg-Essen.

And this is why Tesla is going to Wipe Them Out.
The Model 3, clearly, isn’t priced with the Federal Tax Credit built in.

The oil funded press seems to be World Wide, when you’re the biggest industry in the world you can afford world-wide propaganda. Like the Koch Bros spending 1 BILLION Dollars in Politics. Funding 100’s of organizations.

The sad issue is most Americans are so gullible they can’t discern truth from propaganda: Trump being the biggest example of a Generation that can’t or won’t determine Truth from Bullshit.

I wonder if it is because 50% of the rebate is paid by the car maker?

Yes, the average price per car just fell around 300€, not 1500€/2000€ like it should have.

Think everybody knows that new battery is coming for e-Golf (bad sales), BMW i3 has many orders because battery is available. Zoe and Leaf I could imagine that many potential buyers also read some EV news about upcoming battery options this year.


Most car sales are build to order. Putting a few weeks to a few months lag between signing the order and delivery of the car.

Forget Germany.
Chinese bought nearly 34,000 EV+Plugin vehicles.
If we include the Electric Buses+Trucks+Vans, the number will exceed 44,000

Probably Germans are waiting for the BMW-i3 with the extended range. Let’s see next month.

Looks like U.S. lawmakers awarding EV tax rebates to the buyer, not the auto maker, was the correct decision. It would be better if it was a point-of-sale instant rebate rather than a delayed tax rebate, but at least our lawmakers got one thing right!

I’m not sure it really makes much difference. You can be sure that when the auto makers were deciding on an MSRP for their EVs that they knew the end customer would be getting those incentives. I suspect the MSRP will suddenly get lower when the incentives are gone.