Forecast of electric cars in Germany by 2030
Billion dollar business with used German e-cars?
The target of 15 million electric cars in Germany by 2030 will not be achievable. In addition, the tax-subsidized export of electronic cars is rampant.
The proclamation of major goals is part of the standard policy repertoire, of course even when it comes to electric cars. The Merkel government had shown the way and in 2016 had set the goal of having one million electric cars on German roads four years later. As it is known, it took a little longer and then only worked out in the middle of 2021 as the environmental bonus had increased to a record level of almost five digits.
The new traffic light government announced a much more ambitious target at the end of 2021. “Our goal is at least 15 million fully electric cars by 2030,” says page 22 of the coalition agreement. Frankfurt-based Dataforce, a market research firm specializing in the automotive market, had already used the announcement as an opportunity for a more detailed analysis last year. Their conclusion summarized briefly: It will not work.
Ideally, eleven million plug-in machines
On the way to completing electrification, market experts now count plug-in hybrids as part of electrified vehicles in a new stock forecast from May 4, 2022 and state: Even that is not enough. For the so-called “plug-in vehicles”, ie BEV and PHEV rechargeable, analysts expect a realistic number of about eleven million for 2030. For comparison: Currently (since March 2022) in Germany are registered a total of 48.54 million passenger cars. Even if that number does not continue to grow as in previous years, it means that by 2030, EVs will make up 23 percent of the car fleet, less than a quarter.
For this, however, everything would have to work optimally, both the production and the willingness of the customers to buy. As is well known, the former is currently extremely flawed, the delivery time is getting longer and longer. And the announced reduction of purchase premiums for electronic cars or their removal for plug-in hybrids by 2023 will not exactly increase demand.
Tax subsidies for export cars
Another aspect foretold by Dataforce to achieve the self-imposed goal sounds vague at first: newly registered electric vehicles must also stay in Germany. But in their market analysis, the Frankfurt-based company made a finding that has what it takes to question the whole funding practice: Accordingly, 40.4 percent of all BEV / PHEVs just registered in 2018 are not most registered in Germany three years later. .
Since it can be assumed that these vehicles, which are not more than three years old, did not collectively fall victim to accidental death or were destroyed, it is clear that this is a good deal at the expense of the German taxpayer: subsidized vehicles . have been taken overseas as used cars after a short period of ownership. A circumstance known for a long time, but not on this scale.
Agile traders and their clients have been using a completely legal loophole for some time. A new electronic car is registered, the subsidy is paid and the vehicle is resold after six months as a used car in other EU countries at the new price minus the amount of the subsidy. This is a good business for all parties involved: the seller drives a new car virtually free for half a year, the buyer (mostly cars go to Scandinavian countries) gets a new car at a much lower price thanks to the statement as a used car a new car would cost there. And traders make money anyway from back and forth.
So far, it is estimated that about one in eight vehicles spend the rest of their lives abroad this way, backed by German Stromer subsidies. But Dataforce analysis makes you sit back and notice. If this trend continued in the coming years, with about 40 percent of BEVs and PHEVs leaving the country within three years, billions would be at risk. In 2021 alone, the Federal Office for the Economy and Export Control (Bafa) paid more than three billion euros for the “innovation premium” for EV buyers for 585,000 applications.
The retention period should be extended
One way to slow down this benefit at the expense of the tax fund would be to extend the retention period of new subsidized vehicles to at least 24 months. An extension of six to 12 months has already been vaguely announced by politicians, but nothing has happened to date. After all: From 2023, history will be a little less valuable if German subsidy bonuses evaporate as planned.
Undoubtedly – this strengthens sales in the long run.
Absolutely not – if you want a Stromer, you have to pay for it yourself.
Electrification of road traffic is one of the main goals of German policy. However, there are obstacles along the way. Even if the ambitious target of 15 million e-cars by 2030 were to be achieved (which Dataforce experts doubt), most passenger cars in Germany would still consist of combustion models. In their analysis, however, market experts discovered another surprising aspect.
Accordingly, over 40 percent of subsidized electric cars and plug-in hybrids are no longer in Germany after three years. The environmental bonus and innovation bonus were originally planned to create a range of cheaper electronic cars used in the German market in the long run. Because many drivers are dependent on the used market because new vehicles are unaffordable for them. If the trend identified by Dataforce continues, according to which almost half of the electric vehicles subsidized as new cars leave the country after a short time, the usefulness of the German financing practice may be questioned.