Don't count on the German electric-vehicle market to get another recharge from the government. According to a panel of government officials, automakers and unions, the country will fall short of its goal of selling a million EVs by 2020 unless the government ratchets up EV subsidies. Instead, by that time, the panel expects about 600,000 battery-electric vehicles to have been sold. The reasons for the potential missed target include a lack of infrastructure, high battery costs and less-than-expected single-charge range. On top of this, German economy minister Philipp Roseler said that, beyond a 10-year vehicle-tax exemption for people who buy EVs before the end of 2015, further incentives are unlikely.

Both Volkswagen and BMW have announced plans for their first production EVs to be available to the German public next year. Earlier this month, the publication Automobile reported that BMW may delay the debut of its i3 EVs, along with its entire "i" line of battery-electrics, because of concerns that demand won't meet expectations, but that report was later walked back.


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  • 23 Comments
      SVX pearlie
      • 8 Months Ago
      A mere 600k vs 1 million BEVs by 2020? That's a pretty rosy picture for Germany. Over 8 years, that's an average of 125k BEVs annually dropping to 75k annually. In the much larger USDM, we're barely selling 20-25k annually, and that number is predominantly EREV Volts, not "pure" BEVs. To reach 75k, that's 1.5 Hamtramck plants running full tilt. I can't even see how they're getting to 600k for the DDM.
        SNP
        • 8 Months Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        But our hybrid/phev market will balloon over that same time frame. Volt + Cmax + Prius + Fusion + Camry. Today's standard hybrid fusion+camry already gets high 30mpg. Once the plugin + li-ion packs go in, I can see it going much farther, lets hope they dont nerf the engines like what they did with the prius.
          throwback
          • 8 Months Ago
          @SNP
          I agree hybrids will grow naturally especially in larger vehicles. EVs can still sell on merit, but the prices have to come down and they have to be compelling cars first, and foremost. The Model S is an example at the high end and the Leaf could be one on the lower end if Nissna can reduce the price in the next generation car.
          SVX pearlie
          • 8 Months Ago
          @SNP
          IMO, Hybrids aren't an issue - at some point, hybrids will be 80+% of the market. The big thing is that gas prices may be easing. If gas cannot stay over $4/gal in the US, the pressure is off for both EVs and hybrids.
          Rotation
          • 8 Months Ago
          @SNP
          Who cares about the mpg? We're talking about EVs. If has no all-electric range, it doesn't count for this at all. Camry doesn't. Fusion doesn't. Prius doesn't. Dunno about the Cmax.
          SNP
          • 8 Months Ago
          @SNP
          I dont think it's completely like that, I can see how hybrids by itself can be as cost competitive as ICE. If the li-ion hybrids become only 2-3k more than ICE and gas prices dont drop, people will flock to hybrids. Gas prices dont have to go up to cause people to buy hybrids, cause it certainly cant drop (unless the global econ goes into meltdown worse than 2008 for several decades).
        Marco Polo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @SVX pearlie
        SVX pearlie, You make some good points.
      Smoking_dude
      • 8 Months Ago
      In Germany there are only ~5000 EVs on the road. But At least 1000 ppl signed up for the Twizzy and first owners are very happy with it. VW Golf 3 City-Stromer (EV) only 150 build VW Golf 3 Diesel Plug-in with 16,3 kWh battery, and capable of 94 MPG! Never went into series... VW Golf 5 Diesel plug in Hybrid. Cancelled. Even had 3 Electric motors. Volt like EV range and savy diesel. Potential SELLER, but only one handmade car was ever built. Same with golf 6 Hybrid, thid time with TSI engine. Hybrid Touran (van) PROMISED to be ready in 2008, never made. Audi Duo only a few Audi A4 Duo was a diesel plug-in. but canceled after a short peroid. Smart HyPer (Hybrid Performance) never made... Merdedes A-Class electric... Look at the new 2012 A-Class. No room for batteries anymore. Toolig for the old send to CHINA. HOW ARE THEY GOING TO SELL 1.000.000 EVs ? But there is Opel with the Ampera, at least. Great car, but they don't market it right. it is competitive with an upper class audi, ppl would like it for company use. the ampera is quiet and even in EV only mode agile and nice to handle. Driven carefully, but not slowly the range really can be stretched. Renault has Evs now in every store, they DO it. Twizzy, Zoe Fluence, Kangoo, real cars, and they even sell them. ~140 miles for zoe and fluence, possible chademo option. but the german carmakers... Oh well. At least I heard that the A1 is coming and was not canceled. as incentive every gas station should be equipped with chargers. compared to the amount spend for bailout this should be a steal. This would be a good stimulus. but the carmakers get money for building e-bikes and single prototypes that are meaningless. oh crud...
        Anne
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        You didn't mention BMW, which seems to be very serious. But they take it careful and gründlich. And Opel got the Ampera thrown in their lap by GM. "Here it is, deal with it"
          Nick
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Anne
          The rumor is, BMW may cancel nearly all its EVs except for the electric supercar of which only a few hundred may be built.....don't give BMW credit for what they haven't don yet..
        EVdriver
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        Exactly. German auto makers have been playing this dirty games for decades. Forget them, once and for all.
      Nick
      • 8 Months Ago
      600,000 EVs in Germany ny 2020? At this rate they'll have to sell 80,000 per year ! How many EVs were sold in Germany lately? A dismal number.
      Spec
      • 8 Months Ago
      In addition to incentives, it might help if the Germans actually built some EVs. Except for the Smart ED that is soon to start being built, there are no German EVs. Audi: Dropped the Etron VW: Promises EVs in 2014 Porsche: Nothing BMW: Working on the i3 and i8 but they are not available. Dailmer: just the Smart ED as mentioned above.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Ford and Opel ( GM ) are German car manufacturers? This is all coming as news to me.
        Marco Polo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Spec, "it might help if the Germans actually built some EVs" ! Lol ! But you missed 2 German manufacturers, Ford and Opel.
      PR
      • 8 Months Ago
      Sounds like much ado about nothing. Back in 2008, before the economic crash, Germany came up with a plan to put 1 million EV's on the road by 2020. They went ahead and published the plan in Nov of 2008 despite the global economy being on a downward spiral. In retrospect, if they would have known then what we know now, they probably shouldn't have published this paper that was developed before the global economy went to hell, and the EU was pushed into stagnation since then. They were probably horribly over-optimistic about a recovery. But to be perfectly honest, even reaching half their original pre-global economic crash goal within the same timeframe is much much better than I would honestly expect. http://www.elektromobilitaet2008.de/konferenz/presseerklaerung/view Global economic meltdowns are the sh-ts for sales projections like this. Holding anyone accountable to meeting targets that were conceived before the global meltdown is fairly silly.
        Marcopolo
        • 8 Months Ago
        @PR
        PR, It's 2012 . How long can the GFC be blamed for every disaster? Even at the height of optimism, (when there were no production EV's) a hundred thousand Ev's per year in a car market where hybrids by 2011 had a record year with only 12 600 units sold after being available for 11 years , was always wildly optimistic. Germany has 42.8 million motor vehicles registered. The German Auto-market is about 2.5 motor vehicle sales per annum. Like Australia, the nearly 6 million German Greens don't buy EV's ! ( Not even, two-wheel EV's, as Vectrix etc discovered! ) The German Automakers are cautious, and have huge investments in two competitive technologies, FCV, and diesel. Most of the German manufacturers, will wait and analyse the sales impact of Renault and Nissan before committing more resources to EV production. Auto-manufacturing is a business, not a moral crusade ! The Germans are quite happy to watch others lose money taking the risk of creating the market. This may not be palatable news, but it's reality. A lot rests on the success of the humble Zoe.
          Nick
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Marcopolo
          Marcopolo Its true that the Germans are taking the cautious approach, and let the others lose money to build a market for EVs......however, look at what being the first to market has done for Toyota and its Prius? The Prius is king of hybrids because it was the 1st out there, and no other hybrid comes even close. In other words, it can pay off big time to make bold moves and be the first to market.
          PR
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Marcopolo
          Marco whined "It's 2012 . How long can the GFC be blamed for every disaster?" The answer is: As long as it legitimately is relevant, like in this case where I directly traced the pre-financial collapse targets to be directly impacted the the global financial collapse. The other answer is until someone builds a time machine and goes back and stops the banks from leveraging "sh!t deals" (as they themselves called them) at outrageous 20 to 1 and worse ratios, so that a relatively small number of forclosures triggered bank defaults that in turn triggered more forclusoures. You right-wingers who desperately want to try and pretend that all that never happened, all seem blind to the reality in front of your faces. The global economy is STILL suffering from the effects. Bashing me for daring to point out the clear reality that we are still feeling the impacts of the economic crash just makes you look ignorant. It reminds me of the same mindset (though not the same impact) as the neo-nazi's who complain about people still talking about the Holocaust -- as if 6 million+ people would suddenly pop back to life if everyone just pretended it never happened.
          Marco Polo
          • 8 Months Ago
          @Marcopolo
          Nick, Very true Nick, but Toyota's domestic market has proved hybrid successful, where the Germans dominate in diesel. (and FCV)
      Chris
      • 8 Months Ago
      Here is some info on the rumors of the 'i' brand being delayed or reduced from a BMW exec involved with the 'i' brand...Automobile mag was a bit sloppy or reaching for straws - BMW has been very tight lipped about the cars even after the article came out. Logic would state why are they investing so much in this new brand with public stores and soon to be seen promotions if they are going to stop. I drive an ActiveE and it is as real as can be....it is too early to tell of course if the 'i' brand arrives on time...but from what I see and hear from BMW it is on its way. Anyway, read below and make your own call. http://insideevs.com/exclusive-bmw-exec-denies-unplugging-electric-car-plans/ myactivee.blogspot.com if curious what these cars are like
      Letstakeawalk
      • 8 Months Ago
      Ford-Werke GmbH subsidiary of Ford. Adam Opel AG subsidiary of GM.
      Rotation
      • 8 Months Ago
      Right, so these subsidiaries are German, but do they build any EVs?
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