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Highlights

33,000 BEVs, PHEVs sold in Aug. as cash incentives rise: CAM

Public interest increases, 28,000 chargers now available: BDEW

Musk met energy minister Altmaier, Tesla factory visit

London — Sales of electric vehicles in Germany reached a record 13.2% market share in August and could hit 250,000 in total this year after the government boosted cash and other incentives, consultancy CAM said Sept. 3.

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August saw some 33,000 battery EVs (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) sold, bringing year-to-date EV sales to 162,666 units, including 77,181 were pure battery-driven BEVs.

Sales in the first eight months of 2020 are already 50% above 2019.

CAM predicts 2020 sales of BEVs and PHEVs to rise 130% on year to 250,000, lifting EVs' market share to 8.9% as total 2020 car sales are seen 19% lower at 2.8 million, with diesel car sales falling sharply.

"Electro-mobility in Germany strongly benefits from the federal government's cash bonus which significantly improved the viability of EVs," CAM project director Stefan Bratzel said.

Longer term support would be needed, however, to achieve a 2030 target of up to 10 million EVs, consultancy Deloitte said in June. with proposed measures potentially leading to 8.5 million EVs in Germany by 2030.

The government in June boosted existing EV cash incentives by Eur3,000/EV to Eur9,000/EV. Add in a proposed 3% VAT cut and the list price of a Eur40,000 EV could be cut by almost a quarter.

Nudge economics are at play too. Berlin plans to cap household power prices and increase fuel prices, extending CO2 pricing to transport.

German car manufacturers plan to triple the number of EV models available, with VW starting mass production last September at its first pure EV factory at Zwickau and Tesla set to follow 2021 at Gruenheide.

Overall, EVs still represent under 1% of German cars with the government targeting one million EVs on the road for 2022.

Research into power demand of electric cars varies, but some experts estimate around 2.5 TWh/year additional demand from 1 million EVs.

Government efforts increasingly focusing on public transport to help reach decarbonization targets with some 1,000 e-buses already financed as major cities like Hamburg and Berlin start to roll-out regular e-buses.

Utility lobby BDEW said 11.3% of Germans plan to buy an EV at some stage, up from 9.3% in October 2019, based on a poll it commissioned.

The BDEW statement Sept. 3 flagged improved public perception of EVs with public charging points rising above 28,000, of which three quarters were operated by utilities.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk met with German energy and economy minister Peter Altmaier Sept. 2 ahead of a visit to Tesla's new Gruenheide gigafactory outside Berlin with construction underway before a Sept. 4 public consultation deadline for the plant. Production at the 500,000/year factory is set to start mid-2021.