11 Jun 2024, 13:35
Benjamin Wehrmann

Germany leads Europe’s electric car production, 2nd globally behind China

Clean Energy Wire

The German car industry produces the most electric cars in Europe and globally comes second only to China, said industry association VDA. Of the total of 4.1 million cars produced in Germany in 2023, 1.27 million had an electric engine (battery electric and plug-in hybrid cars), of which 955,000 were purely electric, the lobby group said. “No country in Europe produced more e-cars than Germany and production is set to increase further this year,” the association said. The second largest e-car producers in Europe were Spain (256,000 vehicles) and France (225,000 vehicles).

Total revenue in 2023 by carmakers and suppliers was more than half a trillion euros, placing the country firmly ahead of France (142 billion euros) and Italy (72 billion euros) as the largest national automotive industry, VDA added. Some 780,000 people were employed in the car industry in Germany in the past year (France: 215,000, Poland: 209,000). VDA stressed that the national industry leads global research and development rankings, with 29 percent of all patents in the sector “coming from German inventors.”

Home to major manufacturers such as Volkswagen, Daimler or BMW, the German automotive industry traditionally has been a key sector of Europe's biggest economy and has significant influence on the country's general industrial policy strategies. The industry that also comprises a large number of supplier companies still heavily relies on the sales of combustion engine cars and faces a considerable challenge in the transition towards electric vehicles. Parts of the German government coalition are among the most active advocates of a continued use of combustion engines also in a climate neutral economy, arguing that engines powered with green hydrogen or biofuel will be an important component for mastering the transition the transport sector.

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