• Matthew

Germany Charges Ahead

Hello and welcome to your daily Charge Smart blog! Today we will be talking about Germany who have surged ahead of Norway to become the leading buyer of EVs in Europe. Also, please forgive the electricity puns...


You would already have heard about Norway's success in the uptake of EVs. For a population of about 5 million, there’s more than 1 EV per 100 people now. Plug in vehicles including hybrids make up over 58% of the local car market while pure EVs consist of around 31% of the market. It is the country with the most EVs per person and it holds that record by quite a margin! Good stuff.


However, Germany has been on the rise recently. The Germans love their diesels or should I say ‘loved’. Diesel cars were very very popular in the country. Especially ones from the VW group which sells diesels through their Audi, Seat, Skoda, Porsche and VW brands. It was no surprise then that after the dieselgate scandal came to light that the Germans were unhappy.

Now we know the Germans to be a sensible group of people and once they realized that keeping their diesels meant companies were having to cheat to pass the emissions test, they really weren’t a feasible option. And once the public had grasped this concept, there was no going back for diesels.


Above: The German EV revolution has begun


Thus, began the German EV revolution. At the end of November, there was a huge bit of news that came out of Germany- for the first time in 9 years. Can you imagine, it's taken that long for another European country to surpass Norway! another country had overtaken Norway in terms of the most EVs sold in one month. Germans had purchased 57, 533 new EVs in the month while Norwegians had purchased around 700 fewer. Still, the margin of victory was small but it's a win for EVs nonetheless. Norway have been leading the charge for EVs, pardon the pun, since 2010 when the Nissan Leaf first went on sale in the Nordic country. The number reassured predictions that Germany is on the verge of becoming Europe’s EV hub. We already know that the Volkswagen Group is spearheading a campaign to launch several zero emissions vehicles over the next few years, starting with their Golf sized ID3 hatchback which is predicted to go on sale next year. BMW had some success with the i3 and the i8 when they were first launched but the Bavarian giant is now working on several more EVs which they will launch over the next few years as well as plug in hybrid versions of their current cars. The same goes for Mercedes whose EQ sub-brand released their first EV last year in the form of the EQC SUV. They too have several EVs in the works which will be launched over the next few years.

Government incentives in Norway are the biggest reason behind the success of EVs, that has meant other European countries are still playing catch-up. Tesla’s sales in Germany grew by 130% last month and with the ID3 set to command a figure of just 30,000 Euros ($NZD 50,000) when it goes on sale this year, one can expect a huge surge in VW sales in 2020. Compare that with the Tesla Model 3 which costs quite a bit more than the ID3 and VW surely have a winner on their hands.


Above: Introduction of the VW ID3 should see EV sales in Germany soar


Germany needs to be commended on their rapid uptake of EVs but they still have a long way to go. EVs only make up around 3% of new cars sales in the country while in Norway, a country that’s 16 times smaller than Germany. That figure is more than 50%. Couple this with the fact that Norway is much colder than Germany and EVs don’t really like the cold very much means that Germany should really be performing better. But for now, let’s revel in their success. Their new title is surely worth commending. On the bright side, things are getting even better as the German government is introducing better cash incentives for EVs, the benefits will initially be offered on affordable EVs which makes the ID3 a very attractive option.

China still holds the title of having the highest EV sales in the world, making up nearly half of all electric cars sold in the world. The United States ranks second and it is followed by Norway who have now been overtaken by Germany.


Above: China is still king of the EV but Nio's struggles continue.


All this comes in addition to the announcement that German Chancellor, Angela Merkel made earlier this year when she announced that the government wants a million charging points to be installed in the country by 2030. To give you an idea of the current state of affairs, there’s about 20,000 charging points in Germany. Merkel said that the car industry will need to be a participant in the effort if the target is to be achieved. It sure sounds achievable not only because the German heavyweights are putting out a lot of EVs in the next few years but they are also building the charging networks needed to keep their customers happy. The European Union’s ultimate goal is to be carbon neutral by 2050 and France have already announced that they want to ban the sale of fossil fuel cars by 2040.

We can only hope that Germany’s upward swing continues and that they set a benchmark for other large European countries to follow.


Thanks for reading! We continue with the German theme tomorrow as we look at the Porsche Taycan and find out why it's poor range isn't actually a bad thing.

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