Export of German electric cars is on the decline for the time being

As reported by the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), exports of electric vehicles decreased significantly in the first half of 2020: 41,300 units were exported from January to June. In the same period last year there were 52,200 vehicles. Most of them were delivered to Norway: In the first half of 2020 10,700 units were 26 percent and last year 23,100 units were 23 percent of exports. The statistical office cites the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic as the reason for the sharp decline.

Newly registered electric cars in 2020

(Image: Destatis)

In 2019, the number of electric vehicles sold increased sharply compared to the previous year. Last year 99,000 new electric cars were exported, an increase of 72 percent compared to 2018, when 57,700 electric cars were exported. The import of new electric vehicles rose by 39 percent from 43,500 in 2018 to 60,400 in 2019. For these figures, the statistical office counted not only electric cars but also quads with electric motors and other light electric vehicles.

This is different with imports, which were significantly higher from January to June 2020 than in the same period of the previous year: 45,300 electric vehicles were introduced in the first half of 2020, while in the same period of 2019 there were only 30,200. Germany’s main supplier of electric vehicles is France – almost a quarter of the imported vehicles came from the neighboring country, both in the first half of 2020 and in 2019.

Export of German electric cars is falling

Development of exports of e-cars

(Image: Destatis)

In 2020, electromobility will be heavily subsidized in Germany: In July, the increased so-called “innovation premium” for the purchase of an electric car or plug-in hybrid was applied for from the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA) – more often than in any other month since the introduction of the environmental bonus in June 2016. According to BAFA, a total of 69,600 applications were submitted from the beginning of the year up to and including July.

The Federal Motor Transport Authority recorded new registrations of electric cars in the past few months, in some cases three-digit increases compared to the same months of the previous year. The share of electric cars in new registrations in August 2020 was 6.4 percent, the share of newly registered cars with hybrid drives was 18.4 percent (including 6.8 percent plug-in hybrids). For comparison: In 2019 only 1.8 percent of the 3.6 million newly registered cars in Germany in 2019 had battery-electric drive. The share of newly registered cars with a hybrid drive was 6.6 percent in 2019 (including 1.3 percent plug-in hybrids).

In most European countries, the proportions were similarly low, with the exception of Norway, where according to the traffic information office Opplysningsrådet for veitrafikken (OFV), more than 60,300 new electric cars were registered in 2019; 9 percent of the total of 2.8 million cars registered in Norway were registered in last year battery-powered. According to the numbers of the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO), which provides market data on behalf of the European Commission, 152,500 cars with purely battery-electric drives and 143,800 plug-in hybrids were newly registered in the European Union in the first half of 2020.


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