Freight train with electric cars
Photo: Hendrik Schmidt / dpa
The number of new registrations on the German car market rose by 1.1 percent last year: a total of around 2.65 million new cars were registered in 2022, as reported by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA).
The proportion of petrol and diesel vehicles continued to decline, and alternative drive systems ended 2022 with a positive sign.
The proportion of new registrations of petrol engines was 32.6 percent, in 2021 it was 37.1 percent.
Diesel vehicles also fell by a fifth, so that pure combustion engines accounted for just over half of all new passenger cars.
Plug-in hybrids with a combined electric motor and combustion engine, on the other hand, increased significantly to a share of 13.7 percent, purely electric cars increased to 17.7 percent, with other alternative drive systems sharing the rest.
Because of the drive change, average CO2 emissions fell from 118.7 to 109.6 grams of the climate-damaging gas per kilometer.
In December alone, new registrations went up by almost 40 percent - apparently driven by the last-minute panic about the reduction in purchase premiums for electric vehicles at the turn of the year.
Plug-in hybrids have not been subsidized since the beginning of the year.
The subsidy premiums for battery and fuel cell cars have fallen.
Electric cars and plug-in hybrids in the majority
According to the KBA, more than 104,000 purely electric cars were newly registered in December 2022 - more than twice as many as in December 2021. This means that almost every third new car was a battery vehicle, and the previous record share (22.2 percent) set in November was clearly exceeded.
There are also almost 70,000 plug-in hybrids.
The two groups together account for more than half of the cars newly registered in December.
For 2023, associations and experts expect that plug-in hybrids in particular will sell less well.
The increase in the number of registrations in the fourth quarter is also likely to be related to the fact that car manufacturers are again able to access important parts such as chips more easily - and cars that have been ordered for a long time came onto the road.
»The ability to deliver is still a challenge, but has improved significantly.
The manufacturers can gradually work off the currently high order backlog,” said Reinhard Zirpel, President of the Association of International Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.
»Fireworks of new registrations in this segment«
»The 2022 car year was historically bad, and the extremely strong December doesn’t change that.
Because the coming months will show that it was a flash in the pan and not the end of the crisis on the new car market," said Peter Fuss from the auditing firm Ernst & Young, according to a statement.
He refers to the reduction in premiums: "This has led to a veritable explosion of new registrations in this segment."
For this year and 2024, automotive expert Ferdinand Dudenhöffer from the Duisburg Center Automotive Research predicts falling numbers of new electric cars.
That would also set Germany back in its climate goals: the drive turnaround is considered a key means of reducing excessive CO2 emissions in traffic to the legally permitted level.
The federal government is divided on how to achieve the goal, but is concerned about the progress of e-mobility.
According to SPIEGEL information, Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) is inviting people to a mobility summit next Tuesday to discuss the problem with the industry and various ministers.