German EV sales jump 34 percent in April 2023

In the first four months, there has been a remarkable surge in sales of electric cars, with Volkswagen (VW) witnessing a substantial increase in registrations during April. This surge in registrations has effectively narrowed the gap between VW and Tesla in terms of market share.

Audi Q4 e-tron

Following a slower start earlier in the year, the demand for new cars equipped with battery-electric drives is experiencing a notable upturn. According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, a total of 29,740 new electric vehicles were registered in April, surpassing the figures from the same month last year by over 34 percent.

These statistics indicate that the share of purely electric vehicles in overall new registrations reached approximately 15 percent during the previous month. It is worth noting that the decline in demand at the beginning of the year was a result of reduced production levels starting in January.

In contrast, the demand for plug-in hybrid vehicles experienced a significant decline, plummeting by nearly 46 percent to approximately 11,787 new vehicles compared to April 2022. This drop in demand highlights a contrasting trend to the rising popularity of purely electric vehicles during the same period.

Last month, Germany witnessed a total of 202,947 newly registered passenger cars, indicating a noteworthy increase of 12.6 percent compared to April of the previous year. This surge in registrations reflects a positive trend in the automotive industry, demonstrating an overall growth in consumer demand for new vehicles within the country.

Top selling electric vehicles of 2023

Here is an overview of the top-selling electric car models during the period from January to March 2023.

1. Tesla Model Y – 17,487 new registrations

In 2022, the Gigafactory near Berlin became the manufacturing hub for an electric mid-range crossover, which quickly gained popularity as the most favored electric car among Germans. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has intensified the competitive landscape by raising the stakes for the upcoming year. Recently, the prices for the base model of the Model Y were slashed by 9100 euros, accompanied by highly attractive leasing options.

Despite declining incentives, the significant price reduction for the Model Y is expected to propel it to one of the top positions in terms of vehicle registrations in Germany throughout the year. In the initial four months of the year, nearly one out of every seven newly registered electric cars in Germany was a Model Y. However, the momentum slowed down in April, with 1,636 new registrations, representing a noticeable decline compared to previous months.

2. VW ID.4/ID.5 – 9,505 new registrations

Last year, the medium-sized electric SUV faced disappointing sales in China and experienced limited success in Europe. The ongoing chip crisis further exacerbated production challenges, leading to a situation where VW dealers were unable to meet the high demand for vehicles. However, in the first four months of the year, the mid-range SUV from Wolfsburg emerged as one of the major winners in the electric vehicle market. With an impressive surge of 152 percent, registrations more than doubled compared to the previous year. The model’s popularity reached its peak in April, with a staggering 2,723 registrations, surpassing all other electric models in terms of volume.

The ID.4 has proven to be a best-selling electric vehicle within the Wolfsburg brand, contributing significantly to Volkswagen’s continued dominance as the market leader for electric cars in its home market. However, despite the ID.4’s success, another manufacturer managed to secure the top position in the model comparison, surpassing the ID.4 in terms of popularity or performance.

3. VW ID.3 – 7,335 new registrations

Volkswagen’s ID.3 initially faced challenges in gaining traction. However, the year 2023 has shown promising signs for the model. In April, the electric compact model from VW experienced notable success, with 2050 new registrations, making it one of the most successful electric models in the German market. This positive performance indicates an upward trend for the ID.3 and suggests that it is gradually gaining popularity among consumers.

The positive trajectory of the ID.3 is expected to continue throughout the year. With the recent facelift and the introduction of a new base version priced below 40,000 euros, Volkswagen aims to cater to a wider range of customers and meet their high expectations. By offering an affordable option, the ID.3 has the potential to attract more buyers and further solidify its position in the electric vehicle market. The ongoing improvements and adjustments suggest that Volkswagen is committed to enhancing the ID.3’s appeal and ensuring its success in the evolving landscape of electric mobility.

4. Audi Q4 – 4,972 new registrations

In the first quarter of 2023, the premium version of the VW ID.4 achieved a significant milestone by entering the top ten list of electric cars with the highest registrations in Germany. The mid-range SUV segment experienced a notable year-on-year increase of 74 percent, indicating a growing demand for these types of vehicles. The Volkswagen Group has made progress in improving its delivery process, ensuring a more consistent supply of models to customers. However, it’s worth noting that the Q4 model still faces one of the longest waiting times in the market, suggesting strong demand for this particular vehicle. Despite the challenges in meeting customer demands, Volkswagen’s overall performance and market presence in the electric car sector demonstrate its competitive position.

The electric Audi SUV, priced at 51,900 euros as a starting point, is now notably more expensive than the larger Tesla Model Y, which offers a range of approximately 350 kilometers. This price difference highlights the competitive landscape in the electric SUV market, with Tesla offering a larger vehicle and a longer range at a more affordable price compared to the Audi SUV. Consumers evaluating these options may consider the trade-off between vehicle size, range, and pricing when making their purchasing decisions.

5. Tesla Model 3 – 4,776 new registrations

The mid-range model from Tesla experienced a relatively slow start to the year. In the first four months of 2023, registrations of the model in Germany were only half as many compared to the previous year. This underperformance likely prompted Tesla to reduce prices for the model, as the company recognized the need to enhance its competitiveness in the market. Currently, Tesla is primarily focusing on its sister model, the Model Y, which has gained significant attention and investment. This strategic shift suggests that Tesla is prioritizing the Model Y in its efforts to capture a larger market share in the electric vehicle segment.

In April, the mass model from the US electric car manufacturer recorded a relatively low figure of 588 new registrations, indicating a weak performance. However, the recent price reductions implemented by the manufacturer are expected to have a positive impact on the number of registrations in the coming months. Lower prices generally attract more potential buyers and can stimulate demand, potentially leading to a significant increase in registrations for the model. It remains to be seen how these price adjustments will affect the sales and popularity of Model 3 moving forward.

Author: Nabeel K

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