Bucking the overall market trend, registration figures for electric vehicles (EV) rose significantly in July 2020, with triple-digit growth rates in some instances. Registrations of battery electric vehicles (BEV) increased by +181.7% and plug-in hybrids (PHEV) by +484.7% compared to the same month of the previous year.

With 35,917 electric passenger cars sold, the previous all-time high of March 2020 (19,755 cars) was surpassed by a factor of 1.8. This means that electric passenger vehicles are expanding their market share significantly, accounting for 11.4% of the total market.

July also saw the registration of 40 fuel cell passenger cars, including 2 plug-in hybrids with fuel cells. This represents an increase of 33.3% compared to the same month of last year. At present, a total of 844 fuel cell passenger cars are registered.

New registrations of passenger cars with conventional drive systems have also continued to recover. In July 2020, 314,938 passenger cars were registered (+43%), following 220,272 registrations in June. However, a comparison with the figures of same month of the previous year (-5.4%) highlights the continuing difficult situation in the automotive market overall.

Plug-in hybrids have dominated the market for e-vehicles since October 2019. This trend remains intact in July 2020: 53.2% of newly registered electric passenger cars are plug-in hybrids, 46.8% are battery electric vehicles. With a total of 11.4%, electric vehicles (BEV & PHEV) increased their share of the overall vehicle market by almost 3 percentage points in July. The distribution of the market shares of the drive types in July 2020 is therefore as follows: Gasoline 49.0%, diesel 28.4%, HEV 16.7%, PHEV 6.1%, BEV 5.3%, CNG 0.3%, LPG 0.2%.

A record number of applications for the environmental bonus (Umweltbonus) were also received. This bonus amount was increased retroactively to purchases from June 3, 2020: more than 20,000 applications (20,536; 11,374 BEV, 9,157 PHEV, 5 FCEV) were received since then. Since the beginning of the year, 70,226 applications have been lodged. This is an increase of 79.4% over the previous year (July 2019: 8,234 applications).

The slight recovery in the automotive market in July is due to the effects of the economic stimulus package. Car manufacturers are offering greater discounts and are advertising with price reductions, e.g. as a result of the reduction in value added tax (source: CAR Institut, UDE). Electric vehicles also benefit from the discount campaigns of dealers. Here, discounts of up to half the list price are offered, which is especially the case for small models such as the Skoda Citigo E or Smart EQ). Together with the increased innovation bonus (Innovationsprämie), this has led to an increase in demand for electric vehicles, which is already reflected in the figures for new registrations in July 2020. Since the figures for the environmental bonus have also reached record levels, the positive trend in the number of new registrations of electric vehicles is unlikely to subside in the coming months.

The figures compiled here by NOW GmbH for the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA – Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt) are approved for further use, provided that the source is cited: (Source: NOW, KBA data).