Thursday, August 20, 2020

Germany July 2020

Mercedes A250e - A new star is born?

11% share! - Let the Games Disruption Begin!

If the German overall market is finally back to normal, down just 5% in July, the local plugin market is red hot right now, scoring an amazing 36,000 units performance, which not only a new record, but is 85% above the last record, made last March.

And if BEVs were up 182% YoY last month, to almost 17,000 units, PHEV registrations went though the roof, up 485%(!), to some 19,000 units , meaning that plugins as a whole that jumped an amazing 302%(!) last month, with the plugin share reaching an amazing 11% (5.3% BEV), pulling the yearly tally at 8.5% (4% BEV). 

With the recent incentive changes, the German plugin market started the second half of the year on fire, with a record month in the usually slow July, and with more record months to come (ahem, September), we may have already reached the tipping point in Germany, where disruption is visible and the status quo is changed forever, so we could see this market reach the 10% plugin share already this year, which would mean 2021 would see this market surf the steepest part of the S-Curve during that whole year.

After years asking: "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?", we can finally say that yes, we have arrived there, so let's sit back and enjoy the Disruption show unfold before our eyes...

Back at last month Best Sellers, in July the Renault Zoe was once again the Best Seller, with a record 2,851 registrations, while the VW e-Golf success streak (or is it VW self-registrations?!? Hmmm...Discuss) continues, apparently oblivious to the imminent large volume landing of the VW ID.3 (104 units in July), with the veteran hatchback scoring a record(!) result of 2,633 registrations in July, a truly surprising and outstanding result.

Speaking of outstanding performances, below the two Top Sellers, we have three models that, each in its own way, had outstanding results in July: 

- The #3 Mercedes A250e scored 1,925 deliveries, which is the best result monthly result ever by a Mercedes model, with a usable electric range (65 kms / 40 mi WLTP range), competitive pricing (starts below 40,000€) and even fast-charging(!), expect the compact Mercedes to become a familiar face in this Top 5;

- In #4 we have the Ford Kuga PHEV, that scored yet another record performance, with 1,691 units, with Ford betting heavily on the compact SUV to comply with the 95 g/km CO2 rules, so much so, that the Dearborn maker is already offering extra 5,000€ discounts on its plugin hybrid, that added to an usable 56 kms /35 mi WLTP range, makes it incredible value for money. As the year ends, expect Ford to offer deep(er) discounts of its only plugin model, so we could see this model more often here.

- The Hyundai Kona EV registered an amazing 1,688 units last month, with the Korean Crossover benefiting from the Czech-made units to finally satisfy demand and consequently flood the German market of units, now the question is: Will Hyundai be able to beat this new high in the foreseeable future?

Renault Zoe
VW e-Golf
Mercedes A250e
Ford Kuga PHEV
Hyundai Kona EV

Regarding the 2020 table, there's plenty to talk about, in the podium positions, the #2 Renault Zoe is now just 36 units behind the leader VW e-Golf, while the VW Passat GTE jumped to 3rd, displacing the Tesla Model 3, that went by July starved of fresh units.

Looking at August, the Renault Zoe should reach the top spot, while the VW midsizer will try to defend (and maybe increase its lead) over the Tesla Model 3, but expect the Californian to return big time by the Super-September month...

And why will September be Super? Well, a certain VW ID.3 lands, delivering some 6,000 units (wild guess) at once, landing immediately on the podium zone, possibly kicking out the Renault Zoe from the throne in December, and speaking of the Zoe, the French EV should register (at least) some 2,500 units in September, all while the Tesla Model 3 will benefit from an unconstrained end-of-quarter peak, and deliver some 2,500 units.

So, in just three EVs, 11,000 registrations. Add the rest of the market, with say, 30,000 units, and you get 41,000 units, not only a new record, but also reaching some 13% plugin share!

The PHEV race also saw big changes, with the VW Passat GTE (1,431 units, new record) becoming the new category leader, followed by the evergreen Audi A3 PHEV (1,056 units, new record!), while the previous leader Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV took a tumble, despite registering 597 units...Because in these disruptive times, with everyone pushing their limits (13 models in this Top 20 hit record performances in July), if one has just an OK performance, they will surely be surpassed...

Looking at other position changes, the little VW e-Up jumped three spots, to #6, thanks to a record 1,344 units, making 4 Volkswagen Group models in the Top 6, while the Hyundai Kona EV was up to #11, the Ford Kuga PHEV jumped 5 positions, to #14, and should climb higher in the coming months, but the Climber of the Month was the Mercedes A250e, that shooted from #20 to #12, highlighting a record month for Mercedes and the Daimler Group, that had 6 (!) models hitting record performances (A250e - 1,965 units; C300e/de - 942 / GLC300e - 619 / EQC - 295; Smart Fortwo EV - 1,209; Smart Forfour EV - 596). 

But Daimler wasn't the only OEM having record performances across its lineup, the Hyundai-Kia lineup also shined, with 5 record performances (Hyundai Kona EV - 1,688 units; Hyundai Ioniq Electric - 426; Kia Ceed PHEV - 603; Kia Niro EV - 613; Kia Niro PHEV - 347), but the most impressive of all was the Volkswagen Group, now that the giant has awakened, the German conglomerate had 8 (!!) models hitting record scores (VW e-Golf - 2,633 units; VW Passat GTE - 1,431; VW e-Up - 1,344; Audi A3 PHEV - 1,056; Skoda Citigo EV - 650; Skoda Superb PHEV - 609; Audi A6 PHEV - 472; Porsche Taycan - 346). Now about those that say that the Volkswagen EV efforts are just smoke screens...

Outside the Top 20, a reference also for the record 792 units of the BMW X1 PHEV and the 687 deliveries of the Mini Cooper EV, while the progresses of the Swedish Volvo in this market (record 397 units for the XC60 PHEV and 383 for the XC40 PHEV) seem puny next to the previous numbers. 

As plugins merge with the mainstream trends, expect more events like this to occurr, with brands big in the plugin niche to continue growing, but at a slower pace than the Big Boys.

In the brands ranking, Volkswagen (16%) leads the way and Audi (10%, down 1%) is the runner-up, making a 1-2 lead for the Volkswagen Group, with Mercedes (11%, up 1%) surpassing BMW (8%, down 1%) and becoming the new Bronze medalist, while the #5 Renault (8%) is already breathing on BMW's neck.

Will the French maker be able to surpass BMW in its own soil? Oh, the ignominy that would be for the Bavarians...

On a final note, the Volkswagen Group total share is now of 32% (VW - 16%; Audi - 10%, Skoda - 4%; Porsche - 2%), well above the 14% of the Daimler Group or the 12% of the Renault-Nissan Alliance. Here also, as plugins merge with the mainstream, they start to absorb the trends and tastes of the mainstream market.


  1. woohooooooo :-)

    1. That pretty much sums up my thoughts when i saw the German registration numbers :D

  2. Real celebration for me will be when BEVs hit 10%, putting EVs into the mainstream for good... Next year?

    But 11% for all PEVs, almost half of them BEVs, is of course quite a milestone already :-)

  3. Incidentally, I finally saw the e-Up! for the first time today.

    (Also, I finally saw the mythical Ampera-e a few days ago... I have to say, it actually looks quite nice in the wild. Unlike on pictures, I'd even go as far as to say it looks nicer than Kona...)

    1. The Opel Ampera was a car ahead of its time, whenever short-on-cash people ask me about what used PHEV they should buy, my template answer is: Opel Ampera.

      Usable electric range, plenty of power, forward looking design and unparalelled engineering (in its time, it was the most reliable GM model) make it a sure bet, and i even believe in a few years time, it will be a collectable classic, as one of the first (good) EV pioneers, together with the Tesla Model S, BMW i3/i8 and a couple of others.

    2. Yes, Chevy-Volt sold as Opel/Vauxhall/Holden Ampera and Buick Velite-5 is a great car with 80 km electric range that will cover 95% of the trips for at least 75% of the population.

      Ideally they should have sold it as Chevy Volt the world over just like Toyota Prius, instead they chose different fancy names. In Physics, Volt means electromotive force while Ampere is the actual current. Does it make any sense to give 2 opposite names in different continents and velites is some military term. At least they should have sold it as Volt under Opel/Vauxhall/Holden/Buick makes.

      GM did all this to confuse people and discourage buying it. When the Gen-2 was launched, they sold it in only 11 out of 50 states. This is their next attempt to discourage buying. As usual dealers did not sell well and using "BEVs are the best" excuse, they dumped Volt. Their original plan was to stop production on 2019-02-28, but they stopped it on 2019-02-15 itself. And 18 months later, still 30 Volts are out there in the inventory.

      I checked 1 and this is in Hawaii and sells for $34.955 after a $2.000 premium and $2.000 discount. This is a base trim whose price is only $34.000. And 18 months later they are commanding a higher price.

      With just 18 KWh battery, this car was engineering to go 80 km with 100 + km/l on petrol and they could have applied this tech in many other models.

    3. No doubt the Ampera (Volt) was in a league of its own -- but I'm actually talking about Ampera-e (Bolt) here.

      (Don't remember whether I've ever seen the "regular" Ampera...)

  4. What do you mean by "self-registrations"? FWIW, I'm seeing even more "We Share" e-Golfs nowadays than before.

    (And also more use of them... Apparently people feel more comfortable using them coming out of the lockdown than using mass transit?)

    1. 'self registrations' are probably a mixture of vehicles registered as company cars and car sharing.

  5. BTW, the steepest part of the S-curve actually tends to be around the middle... So still some way to go. Having said that, we might now be pretty near the point where exponential growth at a low level transitions to a phase of steeper but more linear growth.

    1. This is still a market being mostly forced by regulation, rather than pure economics, so I don't expect the exponential S-curve growth to begin until high volume PEVs vehicles don't include a hefty price premium over their ICE counterparts. We're nearly there though...

    2. With the increased Umweltbonus, I don't think there is actually much of a price premium left, if any?...

  6. If Kuga is already seeing this kind of discount, I guess it's not such an unexpected success after all... Seems more like Ford was totally counting on these (or even larger) sales figures?

    1. Ford depends on it to comply with the CO2 rules, and because it's their only plugin on sale here, they need to sell a whole lot of them, so while it might not be an immediate demand success among buyers, the fact that Ford is pushing them to the streets as hard as they can, it is in its own way a success.

      But i get your point, i will have it in mind in the next reports.

  7. @Jose Pontes : you have pushed me into an orchard full of fruits, sweetest of fruits, perhaps fruits coated with honey.
    35.917 is a massssive #. Only 5 times in the past USA sold more than 36K PEVs.
    While USA is a 1 model (Tesla Model 3) show, there seems to be so many models that sold very well there.

    Nice to see Ford Kuga rising up to #14 and soon it may become #1 PHV there though it will be eclipsed by many BEVs. So VW ID.3 has sold 104 units in July which means few more 100s will be sold in August and finally leading upto few 1000s in September.

    Tesla will also join in September in a big way. Nissan Leaf is out of the table. Germany is basically an engines turf and the PHVs wont yield their leadership to BEVs. If ID.3 lands, then the legacy automakers will try to sell more of their PHVs to ensure that BEVs dont gain. Its going to be a long war between the 2 where the diesel will be the victim #1 with petrol being victim #2. Who knows the big oil which also controls natgas may promote CNG / LNG powered vehicles as clean alternative.

    1. great comment, thanks!

    2. FWIW, VW has said pretty clearly that they see PHEVs only as a transitional technology with no longer-term future. Daimler seems to be somewhat on the fence about it... Among the German makers, only BMW seems to still fully believe in PHEVs.

    3. Used PHEVs will have zero value in 2025.
      It will be almost impossible for dealers to sell them as second hand cars. To expensive to maintain for young drivers or families. The cashburn for today buyers of PHEVs will be enormous.
      In 2025 we have enough EVs (also second hand) with decent range, new EVs will have 800 km range (if needed) and PHEVs will be dead.
      VW only! is on the right path!

    4. In 2025, second hand EVs will still be in short supply, as demand keeps increasing exponentially. Only a couple of years after (almost) all new sales are EVs, the availability of used ones will reach a similar level as the traditional used car market.

      We might very well see a major market for EV conversions of used combustion cars in the mean time...

  8. PHEV with fast charging capability is complete nonsense. It is even harmful to BEV's...

    1. Well...Depends on what side you are :D

      As a BEV owner, whenever i see an Outlander PHEV on a fast-charger i get really annoyed and wish PHEVs didn't had fast-charging, as they take too much time for the kms they win there...

      ...On the other hand, having driven a Honda Clarity PHEV for a few days, a couple of years ago, i remember at the time i wished it had fast-charging, because the battery was big enough (17kWh) to receive it, and because there were a few occasions where i could have fast-charged while stopping on the highway service stations for breakfast/lunch/snack/spread the legs.

    2. I understand, but I think that 22kW AC on-board charger could do the trick..

    3. There is some disagreement about whether 22 kW AC charging is actually a good idea. (Some argue that DC charging is more economic at these rates... VW indeed mentioned at some point that they want to offer a 22 kW DC home charger -- though I have no idea whether they'll actually go through with that.)

      FWIW, I noticed that a new public curbside AC charger opened recently around here only offers 11 kW...

  9. CoconutshaverAugust 21, 2020

    Yes. As long as you tickle the Germans at their purse, you will get attention :D The incentives are at a certain level where they can convince the usually critical German to go serious with PEVs. And I must know since I am one.

    But speaking of awaking giants... VW has just started production of more family faced ID.4 in Zwickau this week. Official introduction will be in September... They are shifting to a higher gear.

    1. Thanks for the insight into the German mindset :D

      On giant awakenings, in the Global Top 20 report, i am thinking about posting something about who are the OEMs on the fast track, those that are on the middle one, and the laggards on the slow track...

      I think it will be interesting ;-)

    2. I don't think it's a particularly German thing... You see that across all markets.

      Though the German government actually for a long time hoped to push EVs without incentives (magical thinking?) -- but ultimately they had to give in and introduce them just like others, and sales immediately started taking off, as everywhere.

  10. ...and the prices for electricity on the car charger stations is rising rapidly as more and more service providers change their previously heavily subsidized rates to the real cost. Maybe because now the chargers are used more frequently and the losses sum up...

    1. CoconutshaverAugust 21, 2020

      Yeah. Sad but true. Ionity made the first and gave a big bad example by increasing to an extortionate level. And the others now follow one by one.

      Speaking of being angry at public chargers: my vote goes to complete subsidy cut for PHEV. That's for sure. Our planet does not need this life prolonging of combustion engines.
      ... Well does this planet need humanity at all..? To be discussed ;-)

  11. 11% - share in July, 8,5% yearly-seems good, but the share of EVs in the total stock in Germany is still below 0.5%, that why electromobility can still hardly be seen on the roads.

    1. There is a saying...

      "Rome wasn't built in a day" - This is also the case, we are finally on the right track, but it will still take years, decades maybe, to finally electrify the whole fleet.

    2. either we sit on an electric car or we kill the planet.there are no other options.we have no decades left.Europe 2019-3,6%,2020>10%.we can do everything quickly the main thing is to reach people

  12. Time for Europe to follow the example of China and exclude from the sibsidies the compliance PHEVs with a range of less than 100 km.

  13. yeah José, I am all with you on this one, I've just noticed in other forums some users mistakenly comment as it should already be about 5% EVs on the streets - unfortunately it's a long way

  14. Reading from your comments, it seems that the combo of regulation + subsidy + discount + new models is what is driving the sales.

    No wonder VW chose to sell ID.3 in a hybrid method which combines VW sells online and then the vehicle is delivered thru a dealer and pays dealer some %age. All this further justifies Tesla model of selling directly online. Lets see how the chinese are selling their low priced BEVs.

    In USA, many PEVs have fallen by the wayside (Volt, Fusion, Sonata, Optima, C-Max, CT6, i8, 500e, For2, Focus, eGolf, B250e ...) and finally Prius-hybrid (grandfather of all XEVs) is hanging by the thread. This is because of automakers, dealers and the media.

    Ultimately people should demand their PEVs and if dealers dont show/sell, they should walk away claiming that they will just keep using their current vehicles until the PEVs are really sold by dealers. This way, dealers will have no other choice but to sell.

    1. It's hard to confirm for sure: but it seems that in markets that reach a certain EV sales penetration (around 10%), people actually start delaying purchases of new combustion cars, in hopes of getting EVs instead once promised models/supplies become available...

    2. I agree, it's a pattern i see also.

  15. Jose,

    It is hard to tell from the linked story, whether relatively efficient ICE vehicles also received Euro a 3k+1k (scrappage) incentive or not.
    The story said something like "state govts. with major automaker plans have hoped" to get that bonus, but not whether they got it.

    If they did, then a bit of a messy compromise but it also means that the edge given to EVs by the new package is smaller than it seems, and therefore more of the increase is driven by true demand shifts.

    In the same vein, I wonder whether PHEVs get the same incentives as BEVs?

    I tried to follow a few additional links and couldn't get the answer.



  16. Ok, sorry, I should have googled just a bit more...

    Seems like the ICE incentive didn't make it in. That's great news for the environment and sends a very strong signal to automakers, what they should focus on.

    ICE only gets the universal 6-month 3% VAT reduction.

    Here's the full(?) list of subsidies, courtesy of

    - Starting July 1 and through 2021, the subsidy is E9k for BEVs E40k. Incentive seems to go away completely above E65k.
    - Used BEVs get E5k incentive.
    - PHEVs get a not-shabby 75% of the incentive.
    - There are also various tax breaks for both private cars and company cars (the latter a very common arrangement in Europe).

    - There may be additional local/state incentives
    - There's also very generous charging-equipment incentives.

    1. Yeah, while some other European countries compromised and introduced combustion car incentives as well, Germany remained firm for once... Which I'm sure is to no small degree thanks to VW's Herbert Diess being very outspoken about where the future is.

  17. Next year, there will be no Tesla in the top 10.

  18. Next year Europe will see Tesla with higher sales because of the completely updated model range, the new Model Y production in Germany and the V3 Supercarger Network.

  19. MOST outstanding EV orders in Germany as I write: The Renault Zoe with close to 30.000 units. It beats the M3 and ID3

    1. whaaaaaat?!?!? Awesome!!! where can i know more about this???

    2. While that would be amazing, I find it hard to believe: I just saw a billboard advertising the Zoe the other day. I don't think they would put these up if they already had such a backlog of orders...