Registration record: worldwide stock of electric vehicles grows to 7.9 million

Posted by Christian Pfäffli on

In 2019, the number of electric cars (pure battery-electric cars and plug-in hybrids) worldwide will increase to around 7.9 million - an increase of 2.3 million compared to the previous year. The number of new registrations has again reached a record high, but grew only slightly compared to 2018. With a total of 3.8 million e-cars, China remains the undisputed world leader. It is followed by the USA with almost 1.5 million. In these two countries, in particular, the growth rate of new registrations declined.

In Germany, on the other hand, the market continued to develop positively, albeit at a lower level: In this country, almost 231,000 electricity units were on the roads at the end of 2019. The new figures come from a recent survey by the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW). According to scientists, Tesla recorded the newest registrations worldwide in 2019 with 361,000. German manufacturers have further improved compared to the previous year: BMW is in fifth place worldwide with 114,500 electric cars. VW reaches the sixth place.

New registrations have reached a new record in 2019 with 2.3 million vehicles worldwide. However, the global growth rate compared to the previous year is only four per cent, after 74 per cent in the previous year. This development is particularly due to reduced subsidies for battery electric vehicles in China and the USA. Nevertheless, the previous year's level of new registrations was almost reached in these countries: 1,204,000 new registrations were registered in China (minus 52,000) and 329,500 in the USA (minus 31,800).

Germany now ranks 3rd globally in terms of new registrations
In Germany, growth in new registrations continued to rise against the international trend - from 24 per cent in the previous year to 61 per cent. With 108,600 newly registered electric cars, Germany is now in third place worldwide, one place better than last year. Norway follows in fourth place. New registrations there amounted to 81,540.

The picture is different when it comes to the share of total new passenger car registrations. In Norway, more than every second new passenger car, 57 per cent, is electric. This is the best in the world. By way of comparison, electric cars account for three per cent of new registrations in Germany, five per cent in China and two per cent in the USA.

Looking at the stock figures, China and the USA are followed by Norway with 370,800 electric vehicles. In fourth place is Japan with around 300,000, followed by France with 274,100 and the United Kingdom with 235,700. Germany is in seventh place with 230,700 electric vehicles - also an improvement of one place compared to the previous year.

"Although the growth rate of new registrations of electric vehicles in Germany is relatively high, the market is still at too low a level," says Prof. Dr. Frithjof Staiß, managing director of ZSW. "The German government's target of a stock of seven to ten million electric vehicles by 2030 requires significantly more movement in development.

Two German manufacturers among the top 10 - Tesla number 1
In terms of cumulative new registrations, Tesla is ahead with over 875,000 electric cars. In second and third place follow the Chinese manufacturers BYD (around 737,000) and BAIC (480,000). In fifth and sixth place are two German groups: BMW (398,000) and VW (351,000).

Tesla is also the undisputed leader for new registrations in 2019 with 361,000. This is followed by BYD (219,000), BAIC (158,000) and SAIC (126,000) - all three are Chinese companies. BMW and VW also occupy fifth (115,000) and sixth (93,000) places here. The gap to the world leaders is thus clear: the new registrations of Tesla are in total much larger than those of BMW and VW together.

Tesla is also ahead in the 2019 models
Tesla's Model 3 reached the top position in the cumulative new registrations after less than three full years of sales: 445,000 registered units. The Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S models, which were still the most registered last year, follow with 434,000 and 281,000 respectively. The only German model in the top 10 in terms of cumulative new registrations is the BMW i3 with more than 155,000 registrations.

Tesla's Model 3 is also clearly ahead in the 2019 new registration statistics with 297,000 registrations. BAIC EU Series (111,000) and BYD Yuan (68,000) follow at a large distance. Best German result was achieved by the plug-in hybrids of the BMW 5 Series with 46,000 models sold (sixth place). Overall, it is striking that seven out of ten models in the top 10 new registrations are purely battery-powered models.

If one focuses exclusively on the German new registration market, a different picture emerges compared to the global figures: The Renault Zoe continues to hold first place with 9430 units. Just behind it is the BMW i3 (9380 - here the battery-electric and the version with range extender are added) and the Model 3 from Tesla (9010).

"The figures show that despite individual successes, German manufacturers need to make greater efforts to keep up with the world leaders," says Staiß. "A market success of the announced e-models is indispensable for the German automotive industry". This could also avoid fines of billions of euros from German car manufacturers: From 2021 onwards, high fines will be due if the fleet of vehicles sold emits too much CO2 on average. Instead, these funds could be used for investments and value creation in Germany - for example, for in-house battery cell production.

Database: Vehicles that fill up with electricity
For the evaluation of the ZSW, passenger cars and light commercial vehicles with an exclusively battery-electric drive or with range extender as well as plug-in hybrids were recorded, i.e. all vehicles that can be charged externally. Therefore, so-called full hybrid vehicles, which drive electrically over shorter distances with a comparatively small battery but cannot be charged externally, as well as mild hybrid vehicles and vehicles with fuel cells were not included. The evaluation is based, among other things, on data from the Federal Motor Transport Authority and international authorities and associations.

Source: Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg - Press release of 26.02.2020


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