According to industry expert Stefan Bratzel, Germany will “by far” miss the federal government’s target of 15 million electric vehicles by 2030. A “reality check is necessary,” said the head of the Center of Automotive Management (CAM) in Bergisch Gladbach on Tuesday. The political goals had to be reconciled with the necessary measures.

The federal government is currently promoting the purchase of an e-car with up to 4500 euros. From September 1st, commercial buyers will no longer receive a subsidy. They account for two-thirds of new registrations. From next January, the federal government will reduce the subsidy to a maximum of 3,000 euros.

Higher interest rates slow down the leasing of e-cars

Industry expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer said that the market share of battery cars (BEV) in new registrations is likely to slip to 12 percent from September. “The reason for this is the chaotic subsidy policy of the Federal Ministry of Economics.” This means that only 440,000 electric cars should be registered this year, 31,000 fewer than in the previous year. In addition, the higher interest rates slowed down because electric cars are used more for leasing. Interest currently accounts for 25 percent of leasing rates, said the head of the CAR Center Automotive Research.

It is to be expected that electric cars will become cheaper in list prices. “But this is not yet associated with a new ramp-up of electric cars in Germany,” says Dudenhöffer. Because “the customer pays the list price minus the environmental premium, and according to Minister Habeck’s previous plans, this will be further reduced next year and set to zero in 2025”.

The stock of battery cars (BEV) in Germany rose to almost 1.2 million in the first half of the year – this corresponds to a share of 2.4 percent of a stock of a good 49 million cars. According to the Federal Motor Transport Authority, 220,000 BEVs were newly registered in the first half of the year. According to Bratzel, 750,000 new BEVs would be required this year for the targeted ramp-up. However, only 450,000 new registrations are realistic. On the current growth path, a stock of 7 to 8 million electric vehicles can be expected by 2030 – half as many as planned by the government.

The Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers called for the subsidies to be extended. “The market for e-cars in 2023 has only reached the previous year’s level to date,” said VDIK President Reinhard Zirpel. “Electric mobility is not yet a sure-fire success.”

According to Bratzel, most BEVs on German roads are from VW (207,000), followed at some distance by Tesla (146,000) and Renault (113,000). Hyundai, Smart, BMW, Opel, Audi, Mercedes and Fiat followed in midfield. Chinese brands such as MG (17,000), Volvo (9500), BYD (1448), Nio (844) and Great Wall (640) are currently not very visible. According to CAM, the proportion of SUVs and off-road vehicles in purely electric cars has grown from almost 26 to over 35 percent since the middle of last year.

However, the Chinese automakers have clear advantages over all other major automakers when it comes to vehicle volume, said Dudenhöffer. Like Tesla, they are very fast and should set up car factories in Europe as soon as critical sizes are reached: “After the Chinese battery factories, there will be car factories. It’s a matter of time.”