Germany sets a new EV registration record, leaving ICE in the dust

Tesla Store in Stuttgart, Germany. Credit: Twitter/@kathl_fritzsche

Germany has set a new electric vehicle registration record, as one of every three new vehicles registered in the country in October was electric, according to new data from the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA).

In October, electric vehicles accounted for 30.4 percent of new car registrations due to the current dynamics of the market, a press release from Germany Trade & Invest says. Sales of gas-powered vehicles have slowed significantly due to supply shortages and extended delivery wait times. In the meantime, automakers that offer electric options are seeing an increased rate of purchase from consumers.

“The explanation is relatively simple: Carmakers decide what sort of vehicles they allocate parts like semiconductors to. The profit margins for electric vehicles are currently quite high,” Stefan Di Bitonto, an automotive expert for Germany Trade & Invest, said. That’s because the German state subsidizes the purchase of EVs with up to EUR 6000. Additionally, dealers offer a EUR 3000 rebate, which is making buyers think that now is the right time to purchase a car. So it makes sense to put semiconductors in EVs. Everyone all around is profiting.”

The VDA says that 178,800 cars were registered in Germany in October, which was a slow month for the industry as it resulted in a 35 percent decline. However, there were 54,400 EV registrations in October, an increase of 13 percent. Additionally, registrations of purely battery-driven vehicles, more commonly referred to as BEVs, increased by 32 percent month to month.

“The examples of China and Norway, as well as the US as far as Tesla is concerned, suggest that if the state purchase premiums continue at this level, sales and registration figures for EVs will flourish,” Di Bitonto said. “This part of the automotive market is quite resistant to supply shortages because carmakers will continue to use the parts they have to build the vehicles that are the most profitable.”


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EV popularity has revealed an uptrend in registrations over the past several years. From 2019 to 2020, EV registrations more than tripled from 63,281 in 2019 to 194,163 in 2020, according to German government agency KBA. That number is set to increase by a considerable margin once again, as EV registrations from January to May of 2021 showed consumers purchased 115,296 electrified models.

Germany, a country with rich roots in ICE manufacturing with companies like Volkswagen, Porsche, and Mercedes-Benz, is evidently transitioning to accept EVs as an acceptable alternative. “It’s also clearly the case that the acceptance of EVs in Germany is growing,” Di Bitonto added. “It’s a mutually reinforcing trend. People are buying EVs now because it’s advantageous to do so, but the increase in the number of EVs on the roads will almost certainly further boost their popularity regardless of the current shortages.”

According to EU-EVsVolkswagen is Germany’s most-popular EV brand with 58,590 registrations in 2021 thus far. Tesla is second, with 27,438 units.

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Germany sets a new EV registration record, leaving ICE in the dust
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