Germany overtakes the US as world's second-largest electric car market

Germany overtakes the US as world's second-largest electric car market

Germany is now the fastest-growing market for electric vehicles and has overtaken the US as the second-largest e-car market in the world. Compared to 2019, Germany saw the number of electric cars driving on its roads increase by more than 260 percent last year.

Germany’s love for electric cars

The number of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids on German roads skyrocketed last year. The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) has now revealed that Germany has replaced the US as the second-largest market for electric vehicles worldwide. China remains the largest market for electric cars and hybrids, with 1,25 million new vehicle registrations in 2020. Germany comes in second with just under 395.000 and is followed by the US with 322.000, France with 195.000 and the UK with 175.000.

Despite China’s huge market, the rest of the world is beginning to catch up. China’s market share only grew by 3 percent in the past year, a figure dwarfed by Germany’s market growth of 264 percent. This makes Germany the fastest growing market for electric vehicles worldwide. Frithjof Staiß, a member of ZSW’s executive board, attributes this to attractive subsidies of up to 9.000 euros for buyers and other factors such as reduced vehicle taxes for electric cars in Germany.

Chasing targets

All in all, Germany had around 569.000 electric cars and plug-in hybrids on its streets by the end of 2020. This is some way off the country’s target of having 7 to 10 million e-vehicles on the road by the end of 2030. “To do this, an average of around one million new electric vehicles have to be registered in Germany every year," says Staiß, who also suggested that even more will be needed to comply with new EU climate goals.

The German automotive industry is focusing its efforts on keeping up with the rapidly growing market. When it comes to manufacturing, the US-based Tesla reigns supreme, having produced almost 500.000 new vehicles in 2020. However, the VW group came in a close second, producing over 422.000 electric cars and plug-in hybrids, while the BMW group produced 193.000 vehicles, putting it in fourth place. Daimler claimed the title of sixth-biggest e-car manufacturer in 2020, producing 163.000 vehicles.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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