Tesla Model 3 Expected To Dominate Electric Car Market In Germany

Tesla Model 3 in Europe


Germany’s Center of Automotive Research founder expects Tesla could sell 20,000 vehicles a year in Germany.

After a rough start in 2017, the Tesla Model 3 has gone on to attain a truly commanding position on top of the United States’ plug-in sales charts. This year the U.S. plug-in market is up over 50% compared to 2017. This fantastic growth was fueled primarily by Tesla’s newest model. So it is no surprise that analysts are predicting the Model 3 will help expand the electric vehicle market in Germany as well.

According to Ferdinand Dudenhöffer, founder of Germany’s Center of Automotive Research (CAR), “If it works with the production and an early sales start of Model 3 in Germany, for Tesla altogether up to 20,000 sales in this country in 2019 are possible.”

If Tesla is able to meet these lofty expectations, it would become the country’s largest EV brand. Dudenhöffer forcasts that Smart will be the best selling brand in 2018 at around 7,000 yearly sales. The best selling individual model is likely to be the Renault Zoe or the VW e-Golf with over 6,000 units sold in 2018.

Combined, Tesla is currently selling less than 2,000 Model S and Model X each year in Germany. To reach 20,000, at least 18,000 Model 3 sales would be required. This is easier said than done. For the past 2 quarters Tesla has been consistently producing 4,500 – 5,000 Model 3’s weekly. Although Elon Musk has recently indicated that a steady 7,000 per week is within reach.

Of course 7,000 a week might still not be enough to meet global demand next year. Tesla will be greatly expanding the model’s availability in 2019. China and the rest of Europe continue to wait for the vehicle’s launch next year. Sales in the United States and Canada should remain solid in 2019 as well. Availability of the mid-range Model 3 has already made the electric sedan more accessible. Future production of the short range model will increase demand far beyond current levels.

Hopefully the electric automaker is already focused on reaching 10,000 units per week.


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2. Tesla Model 3 Range: 310 miles; 136/123 mpg-e. Still maintaining a long waiting list as production ramps up slowly, the new compact Tesla Model 3 sedan is a smaller and cheaper, but no less stylish, alternative, to the fledgling automaker’s popular Model S. This estimate is for a Model 3 with the “optional” (at $9,000) long-range battery, which is as of this writing still the only configuration available. The standard battery, which is expected to become available later in 2018, is estimated to run for 220 miles on a charge. Tesla Model 3 charge port (U.S.) Tesla Model 3 front seats Tesla Model 3 at Atascadero, CA Supercharging station (via Mark F!) Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 The Tesla Model 3 is not hiding anymore! Tesla Model 3 (Image Credit: Tom Moloughney/InsideEVs) Tesla Model 3 Inside the Tesla Model 3 Tesla Model 3 rear seats Tesla Model 3 Road Trip arrives in Tallahassee Tesla Model 3 charges in Tallahassee, trunk open.

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68 Comments on "Tesla Model 3 Expected To Dominate Electric Car Market In Germany"

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Half the price of a decent Porsche… M3 could easily sell more than 20.000/y
If the SR can scratch the 45.000EUR mark, we will see another 20.000 on top. (decent e-golf is above 40.000)

The SR version won’t be much more than half the weight, of a Panamera, either.

I think it was messaging strategy No. 7, or something, to market EVs as monstrously heavy. Make an eTron, that’s 5,500 pounds. Stuff like that.

I’m sure the German government will protect it’s automakers to make Tesla less competitive.

As I wrote in https://insideevs.com/tesla-pay-tax-credit-difference-cant-deliver-car-2018/#comment-1588856 for the Model 3 the incentive will be available but Tesla has to hurry up because it ends June 30th 2019 (+9 months after their ok for initial registration).
And Tesla is causing problems by their own to make products less competitive, e.g. not opening the (German) configurator for everybody (obviously currently only if you paid the 1kEUR) or at least releasing a HTML/PDF pricelist with all options resp. not mentioning e.g. how much charging power is usable via CSS, no word about tow-bar (very important for me) and see https://www.electrive.net/2018/12/21/datenschuetzer-halten-basler-blaulicht-tesla-fuer-unsicher/ (in German, no, that news it not about Germany).


There is like a 1% chance that EV incentives won’t be continued in Germany after June.

@ Link

I think that the German government will have a look at the upcoming incentive program of The Netherlands.

Shouldn’t we include TOC (total cost of ownership) in this topic…?

But altered to exclude all ev’s whose brand is below O.

No they won’t. Peter Altmaier will be happy to see VAG and the rest get a little “kick in the ass”. He is the guy that told them their cars are not half as sexy as Tesla

But in the end he will put big bucks in his own industry. Whether it is for battery development, charging infra or cars and buses. He is German so he will defend the German industry and couldn’t care less for the rest of Europe.

“I’m sure the German government will protect it’s automakers to make Tesla less competitive.”

Well, German regulators already moved to disallow even the lowest trim levels of the Tesla Model S from qualifying for a German tax incentive, after initially saying those would qualify. I’m not sure they can find another “creative” interpretation of the regulations to disallow even less expensive trim levels of the Model 3, but we’ll see what happens.


Of course, one can argue that Germany uses tariffs, taxes and regulatory barriers to discourage foreign competition for expensive items and luxury products, which includes automobiles. But then, so does pretty much every industrialized nation, including the U.S. even before the Trump tariffs.

Starting in 2019, all employees that decide to choose a Plug-In (BEV or PHEV) as their new company lease car, they will enjoy the benefit of having to add only 0.5% of the price of the vehicle to their taxable income per month.

This benefit for German employees will last for at least the next 3 years.

For an ICE the rate remains the usual 1%.

This will substantially increase the annual number of new Plug-In cars in Germany in 2019, 2020 and 2021.

Every year about 800,000 employees receive a new company lease car in Germany.

Just imagine what could happen in the next few years.

In the Netherlands you pay 22% income tax over the new price of the company car ICE or plug-in. 4% for a bev till 50k the rest 22% so 1% or 0,5%Will be something to laugh at. Don’t ready think it would maken any difference

@ Wouter

0.5% PER MONTH for a Plug-In model, or 1% PER MONTH for an ICE model really does make a difference.

Regarding an ICE model of €40,000.- and a Plug-In model of €40,000.- it comes down to €400.- per month or €200,- per month.

What would you prefer?

“all employees that decide to choose a Plug-In (BEV or PHEV) as their new company lease car” is a very limited number of employees. Usually that are employees driving very much with their car. Since – current Teslas can use Typ2 only up to 16.5kW (the Audi e-tron will be available with 11 or the 22kW option) – that’s the interesting number for charging at home… – Tesla is obvoiusly not willing to tell the media how much charging power is available via CCS (Model 3 without adapter, others only with) where the e-tron can up to 150kW without adapter (already got 2 places in my area where even more CCS charging power is available while Tesla says for their SCs in my area “up to 120kW” and is known to limit charging power when fast charging “too often”[1]) – the e-tron tests says like accelerating multiple times after each other in a short time is no problem since the motor has an inner water cooling – the Model 3 is not an SUV and could be “too small” for them and they might dislike adapters for charging (or the company forgets to order it), the situation is not that… Read more »

@ notting

“very limited number of employees”

Why do you think that a very limited number of employees will choose a Plug-In (PHEV or BEV) as their next company lease car in Germany in 2019?

Will they not be interested in that 0.5% rate instead of the usual 1% rate?

I never wrote that I think think that very many will do. I wrote that the potential number of people concerning that is quite low and _if_ they even decide for a BEV (that news here is not about (P)HEV!), I think the Model 3 is usually less interesting for them.


@ notting

The 0.5% rate applies to all BEV models and all PHEV models.

Of any brand.

Do you understand that?

I did and never said something different, but you don’t understand what I said.


“I never wrote that I think think that very many will do.”
Nobody ever wrote, that you wrote that very many will do. Benz wrote exactly the opposite.

“I wrote that the potential number of people concerning that is quite low”
Why do you think that? (This is in fact the question of user Benz again, hope you do not cop out again.)

Didn’t you read https://insideevs.com/tesla-model-3-dominate-ev-market-germany/#comment-1588996
That are usually managers, traveling salesman etc. (not normal employees).


Many people get a car in Germany that don’t need it for their work. It’s a hidden salary, which is popular since it is basically tax subsidized. Half of all new cars are not privately owned, so yes the changes could be a huge deal for EVs and PHEVs


Do you drive an EV? You are over thinking charging. I have a 7.2kwh charger at home. My car charges at ‘up to 120kwh’ on rapid chargers. I have a 300km real world range. I don’t even think about charging. I charge once a week over night at home which is all I need 80% of the time. On long journeys charge my car when I want to stop. I almost never have to ‘wait’ for it to charge. Its usually ready to go before me.

Charge/range anxiety may have been relevant when EVs only did 120km on a charge. But any car with a 300km range and some form of rapid charging completely eliminates that.

Tesla, Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, Hyundai, Kia, VW. Just buy what you like best. They’ll all be great.

That is what the nay-sayers do not get, and most of them have never timed themselves at the gas stations to realize how much time they often waste.

… if everything concerning charging runs fine… But practically you’ll loose very much time when you can’t charge at home at all or if a “bad situation” happend, e.g. power blackout while battery quite empty where you usually got least time for something like that in the morning when you have to go to work…
Like I said, I’m driving quite far to work and can’t charge there.


But I often hear about the superiority of the German grid system. I thought it never went out? Sounds horrible.

I did a test drive with a Model S (which was sold for a few year at that point but wasn’t even completely localized…). There’re like no EVs with 7.2kW charger in Germany. IIRC only one model has a 2-phase charger (3-phase is more common) -> 7.2kW using only one phase is not allowed if the current difference between the phases become >20A, so the manufacturers limit it to 4.6kW (230V*20A). I also drive >160km/day (mostly “interstate” (autobahn)) to work and back and can’t charge at work. That’s without detour due to traffic jams, winter, battery degradation etc. Also having power blackout at home some times (last time not long ago) or couldn’t use my garage for some weeks (or in other words: What if somebody has to relocated and not fixed place where he can always park his car and a wallbox?). Also some public chargers don’t seems to be really reliable (like software problems). Most CCS charges can do only 50kW here. So after a power blackout in the night, they’ll be completely blocked when EVs become really popular (great if you have like a time-limited working contract where it’s very easy to “fire” somebody by not extending…)… Read more »

You mean kW, not kWh, and certainly not kwh, which isn’t actually a thing. Metric units are case sensitive, and power (kW) multiplied by time (h) gives you energy (kWh).

More than 100,000 employees will choose a Plug-In model (BEV or PHEV) as their next company lease car in Germany in 2019. That’s a very likely outcome. And that annual total number of Plug-Ins will increase further in every subsequent year.

We shouldn’t forget that the majority of the people in Germany think that German cars are of a superior quality, and many of them wouldn’t even consider buying a car from a foreign brand.

Will Tesla break through this mental barrier?

Many Germans see Tesla also as a German creation, and it is not only due to Tesla Grohmann branch, Tesla has a lot of German suppliers, including Mercedes Benz.

Similarly, a lot of Germans see certain models of Ford as German cars. Yes, Ford Germany is not small and Ford cars are quite established in Germany.

No, Tesla won’t because now for decades at least here very many people are driving cars from French brands (BTW: Mercedes is using engines which were developed together with Renault and the Citan is like a sibling of the Kangoo II) and there also quite many cars from Italian (esp. Fiat) and Asian brands (ok, Nissan, Mitsubishi and Renault are working together).


@ notting

What if the Tesla Model 3 will get great reviews in Germany?

The people in Germany will not just ignore those great reviews. Some of these people will start considering the Tesla Model 3 as a serious candidate for their next car purchase.

“What if the Tesla Model 3 will get great reviews in Germany?”
That has nothing to do with what I said. As I said, there’re already that many people in Germany with non-German brand cars so that what you wrote in the first posting in this thread can’t happen (“Will Tesla break through this mental barrier?”) because it’s broken for many years now.
And I’m thinking that (in other words) most Germans buy German cars because of the “quality” is not true.

“The people in Germany will not just ignore those great reviews. Some of these people will start considering the Tesla Model 3 as a serious candidate for their next car purchase.”
See my comment https://insideevs.com/tesla-model-3-dominate-ev-market-germany/#comment-1588999

I think you got no idea what’s going on in Germany.


@ notting

“I think you got no idea what’s going on in Germany.”


Then I guess that you just might be the right person to enlighten me and all the other EV enthusiasts here on this Inside EV’s website.

Please do enlighten us about what exactly is going on in Germany.

Thank you

You’ve got no idea. Sheesh. At least use proper English, when you are trying to tell someone they have no idea about something.
Although perhaps it’s your second language and that seems to be the case. So, sorry about that.

This is true, but none of these have been any serious competition for the German premium brands, None, hence they couldn’t care less. Tesla is the first brand to challenge them on their own market, for the first time ever.

There are plenty of non-German cars sold in Germany, obviously domestic brands have an advantage in their home market, that’s true for every country in this world. GM/Ford/Crysler do better in the US, Peugeot/Renault do better in France, Fiat does better in Italy, Toyota does better in Japan, etc.

@ Link

Very true

I guess that’s why Tesla does much better in California than in the USA 🙂

Not in the premium segment though. Tesla will have a hard time in Germany. They have to convince rich-left voting clientele first.

They’ve done that just fine in California. I wouldn’t bet against them.

Indeed that is the case. When Tesla isin the news it is in a negative way. A German buys German. Even in schools teachers educate children with the idea that German products are always superior. Then, most company cars will never be Tesla because companies have agreements with VW/Audi, BMW and MB. And Tesla is considered inferior american quality.

You know, it’s not like Germany is the only place where national pride and/or a parochial (or even nationalist) attitude has caused a cultural preference for buying domestic cars. Are you old enough to remember seeing bumper stickers here in the USA which read “Buy a foreign car — Put 10 Americans out of work”?

Perhaps if GM hadn’t produced a whole series of very poorly made cars in the 1970s and 1980s, then American-made cars wouldn’t have such a poor reputation in Germany. (And perhaps GM would still be selling cars in significant numbers in Europe.)

But I don’t see much sign that Germany is any more anti-Tesla than they are against the average foreign brand. I don’t think the GM stigma touches Tesla Inc. Tesla certainly has created a great deal of excitement and desire for well-designed and well-engineered electric cars, and Germans are not immune to that.

There is some interesting EV news from the Government in The Netherlands as well. The Government in The Netherlands is in the process of establishing a new incentive program for zero emissions vehicles. Final decisions will be made in 2019. The concept Climate Plan has been unveiled on 21 December 2018. The 2 main long-term overall goals are to achieve a 49% reduction of CO2 emissions in 2030 (compared to 1990), and a 95% reduction of CO2 emissions in 2050 (compared to 1990). One of the five pillars of this Climate Plan is Mobility. And it seems that the Government wants to realize a big push for EV’s during the next decade. There will be a subsidy for private individuals who will buy a new EV (and there will be no subsidy for PHEV’s). The amount of the subsidy will be €6,000.- in the first year (2021), and it will be decreased every subsequent year by an amount of €400.- so that the amount of the subsidy will be €2,200.- in the last year (2030). The subsidy will not be tax related. And that is very good. There is one limitation though. The full amount of the subsidy will only… Read more »

Beside like the Audi e-tron, e.g. also the Zoe II should be coming up in 2019, and especially Leaf II. The Zoe I is IIRC the best-selling EV in Germany and it doesn’t even have CCS resp. >40kW charging (ok, had 43kW Typ2 but it’s hard to find a suitable charger) or batteries >=50kWh…

I think Renault-Nissan will be the toughest competitor for Tesla concerning the Model 3.


I think PSA will be a good competitor too, mainly with Peugeot 208 and Opel Corsa. If they’ll have a 50 kWh battery and 100 kW CCS charging like the announced DS 3 Crossback e-Tense, they’ll do great. They’re also very popular cars among people, probably more than Zoe and Leaf.

Let’s see… I hope they arrive sooner than later, current Zoe could get discounted before ending production. And that’s particularly interesting in Italy given the 4000€ (6000€ with old car scrapping) bonus starting in March 2019. And for Europe in general too.

There are a lot of rich people in Germany also. They are waiting eagerly I bet.

The price of the VW e-Up! has been reduced, but it still costs more than €23,000.- in Germany (I think).

But with that €4,000.- incentive it becomes the most affordable EV model (that has 4 doors and 4 seats) for urban transportation in Germany.

Therefore we just might see an increase in sales numbers of the VW e-Up! in Germany in the first half of 2019.

Wow. . So the e-up cost less in Norway, then in Germany. . I think it cost less then €18k here, after they reduced the price.
Only the Peugeot ion is cheaper.. and the cool Twizy (which is not a car) . .

In Italy €4.000 (or €6.000 with scrapping) incentives will start in March 2019, so January and February will probably be bad months for EVs… WV e-Up! is still €27.000 here, so up to €21.000 with bonus. Smart Fortwo and Forfour will be the less expensive EVs, in the 18-19k range.

https://www.electrive.net/2018/11/02/vw-senkt-preis-fuer-den-e-up-um-knapp-4-000-euro/ (in German) -> It’s even a little bit less than you said (excl. delivery). But: – At home it can only charge with 3.6kW (if you don’t spend some kEUR for a 10kW CCS wallbox and 625EUR more for the car). The Zoe can always at least 22kW, also at much cheaper wallboxes (compared with the power available) at home. – The e-up has one of the shortest BEV ranges: https://pushevs.com/2017/12/09/auto-bild-tested-range-8-electric-cars/ – Renault gives some more incentive on top of the German incentive. – The e-up has e.g. no radio if you don’t order an option containing it for extra money (in all Zoe trims included), – When I’m looking in the internet for discount, I found up to nearly 24% for the Zoe 22kWh and ca. 19% for the e-up (maybe manufacturer incentive already incl.). So in the end with 23kEUR for a e-up vs. 30kEUR for a Zoe (both incl. battery, before German/manufacturer incentives, the one by Renault is some 100EUR higher), I think the Zoe isn’t much more expensive _and_ has like much more range _and_ usually charges faster _and_ probably also has some more nice features people usually want which the e-up doesn’t have _and_… Read more »

Sustained demand at $53k+VAT, etc., should be 1.5-2x combined S/X sales, or about 4k/year. A large change in subsidies would change the ratio.

Tesla can deliver an initial burst to satisfy pent-up demand. They sold several thousand in a few week span in Canada, for example, but that market is not nearly large enough to sustain that initial 50k++ annual rate. Similarly, US deliveries are now set to drop dramatically until they release a lower cost version.

I’ll guess 10k for Germany in 2019 based on current offering, 20k if they start selling SR there in the fall.

Another Euro point of view

Agreed. IMO many make the mistake of thinking that monthly deliveries of Model 3 when addressing a 3 year waiting list is same as steady demand. What is probably going to happen is that in the first months of deliveries we will see just the right amount to be at the top of German BEV sales charts then after a few months it will go down to what is a normal amount of deliveries for a EUR 53k BEV in Germany. Maybe around 500 per month if all goes well. Now for sure we will have a lot of fanfare and noise around this site in the first months of deliveries like we heard in first months of US deliveries with silly claims like Model 3 is going to sell better than Toyota corollas etc. I am anxious to see comparative numbers of Toyota corolla to Model 3 sales in for example April 2019.

Correct, plus in Germany the majority of cars at this price level are corporate sales to fleet customers. Tesla lacks even a basic infrastructure to serve this part of the market. The big German players dominate this part of the market with extremely competitive whole sale contracts and aggressive leasing offers. I personally found the quoted leasing from Tesla almost twice as expensive as BMW or Audi with the same list price. Let´s face it, the addressable market for Tesla, particularly in Germany, is currently probably much smaller than many people think.

Nothing to face, 20.000 in 2019 is easily possible. Dudenhöffer is right. It will definitle change in 2020, but the lack of competition makes it easy for Tesla during the whole year 2019.

Talking about corporate sales. One of the biggest corporate fleets is managed by the Schwarz Group (Lidl, Kaufland, etc…). They buy all the cars exclusively from one manufacturerer (switched recently from Audi to BMW) except for EVs, the managers can get a Tesla.

Another Euro point of view

I agree there is not much competition to face Model 3 in Germany in 2019 now EUR 53k minimum price is a lot of money for a car at European standards, even German ones. Now, one factor for me which is impossible to assess not being German is how angry some Germans are about their own car industry (because of diesel gate etc.), A EUR 53k BEV is still not a very practical proposition in Germany because of the huge amounts of kWh/100km it eats at 150 km/h on a rainy cold German autobahn but if enough Germans are as angry against their own car industry as Americans seems to be about GM (by my own observation by reading Insideevs comments section) then yes we could see some serious sales figures for Model 3 in Germany in 2019.

This will be really interesting to watch. If the model 3 gets even 25% of the sales of any of the 3 series, A4 and C class that would be really impressive.

The most important question is how many units of the Tesla Model 3 Tesla will be able to produce in 2019. It’s very important that Tesla will increase the production rate towards 10,000 units per week, the sooner the better. Because Tesla will receive a lot of orders for the Tesla Model 3 from customers from Europe and China. And Tesla will also continue receiving orders from customers from the US and Canada as well. Tesla will simply not be able to produce enough units of the Tesla Model 3 to execute all the orders in 2019. It will be a very busy year for Tesla.

Tesla’s problem is production cost, not production volume. 5000/week is more than enough to satisfy global demand for their current offerings, once they exhaust pent-up demand overseas.

Completely wrong, 5000/week is not nearly enough to satisfy global demand in 2019.

I said global demand of current offerings. Demand will increase significantly when they add SR in Q1.

Total number of global Tesla Model 3 deliveries (Long Range and Mid Range) in the first half of 2019 will be more than 120,000 units.

Yes, because they will be satisfying pent-up demand overseas.

Without SR global demand would drop well below 5000/week in Q3.

It’s beyond absurd to claim that global sales of even just the current versions of the Model 3 won’t significantly rise as Tesla starts selling the Model 3 overseas. Plus, the increased level of production hopefully will finally allow Tesla to put the Standard Range Model 3 into production, causing another sharp uptick in demand both domestically and globally.

It’s hard to imagine any scenario where demand for the Model 3 will not vastly outstrip supply for the Model 3, at least until Tesla can get one (or hopefully two) new auto assembly plants up and running at high production. And contrary to what some hope, the Shanghai Gigafactory will not be producing in high volume anytime in 2019. Tesla has already said so.

“Tesla’s problem is production cost, not production volume. 5000/week is more than enough to satisfy global demand…”

You know, Doggy, it seems increasingly of late that your comments come across like you’re one of the hardcore Tesla bashers. This is certainly one of those, and it’s utterly untrue.

Tesla is going to be production constrained in 2019 and probably 2020, because they’ve almost completely maxed out the production capacity at their one-and-only assembly plant in Fremont. We’ll see Tesla’s global sales pick up significantly when they can get production running at the Shanghai assembly plant, in late 2020 at the earliest, and possibly not until sometime in 2021. (Tesla’s own PR says it will take 2-3 years to get the Shanghai Gigafactory running at full speed, so I’m merely being realistic here.)

Perhaps Tesla will start assembly at Gigafactory 1 (in Nevada), but otherwise it’s going to be at least a few years, possibly several, until we see Tesla able to satisfy global demand for the Model 3, let alone the Model Y or the Tesla Pickup and whatever else Tesla puts into production.

The idea that Tesla isn’t going to be production constrained during 2019 is ignoring reality very hard indeed!

What I said is true. What you think I said is something different.

Tesla sold almost 5000 LR-RWDs per week in July, but by late August sales dropped below 1000/week. They sold ~4000 AWD/Ps per week into November before exhausting that pent-up demand.

Sustained US demand for current models looks to be about 1500/week. That implies ~3000/week sustained global demand. Tesla can build 5000/week. Since 5000 is greater than 3000, I say production volume is no longer their problem.

Higher sustained demand depends on SR, which Musk says still costs too much to build. When I said production cost is their problem, I merely agreed with him.

Overseas pent-up demand for AWD/P should carry them through Q2. They believe the new battery pack machines plus other cost efficiencies will make a $40k+ SR viable before then. If necessary they can buy a few more months with a MR-like version for overseas. They don’t have to solve the cost problem today. But they do have to solve it.

Tesla will dominate the world market. It is the only car company that wants to sell electric cars.