05 Jan 2023, 13:40
Sören Amelang

Battery electric cars catch up with new diesels in Germany

Clean Energy Wire / Handelsblatt

The share of newly registered battery electric cars has met the level of registrations of diesel cars in Germany for the first time in 2022, thanks to strong sales in anticipation of subsidy cuts. While the share of battery-driven EVs rose almost one third to 17.7 percent of new registrations, the share of diesels fell ten percent to 17.8 percent, according to figures from transport authority KBA. Registrations of plug-in hybrids, which also count as electric cars in the government’s classification, rose from about 11 percent to a share of 13.7 percent. The share of petrol-powered cars fell around 11 percent to 32.6 percent. Thanks to the growing popularity of low-emission vehicles, the average CO2 output of new cars registered in Germany fell around eight percent to 109.6 grammes per kilometre. Total registrations rose 1.1 percent to 2.65 million.

In December, electric car registrations more than doubled to 174,200 compared to a year ago, said car industry association VDA, according to a report in business daily Handelsblatt. More than half of all cars registered during that month were either battery electric or plug-in hybrids. "This development suggests that purchases were being brought forward," the association said with a view to the expiry of government subsidies for plug-in hybrids at the end of the year, as well as a reduction of subsidies for purely battery-powered cars.

According to a 2022 report by consultancy PwC, Germany ranks midfield in the preparedness for EVs, with a relatively strong performance in the area of government incentives and increasing customer demands. The boom of battery electric cars could face a significant hurdle in 2023, as rising power prices and the end to state support could eat up cost advantages compared to combustion engine vehicles, calculations by the Center for Automotive Research (CAR) had found.

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