Electric cars near 2 percent of German market (plug-in hybrids included), surging past US


2017 Audi A3 e-tron Sportback

2017 Audi A3 e-tron Sportback

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While Volkswagen's diesel scandal has fallen out of the public eye in the United States, its effects continue to be felt in Europe, where diesel-powered cars have long reigned supreme.

Falling sales of diesel vehicles in many European countries are somewhat balanced by a boost for electric and plug-in hybrid cars across the continent.

The latest figures from the country of Germany are indicative.

DON'T MISS: European electric and plug-in hybrid sales for Jan-July 2017

For the month of August, sales of battery-electric cars in Germany were up 137 percent and sales of plug-in hybrids were up 214 percent.

Combined, the two varieties of cars that plug in are now approaching 2 percent of new-car sales in Germany.

The latest sales data comes from CleanTechnica, which shows a 1.88-percent market share for battery-electric and plug-in hybrid cars together.

2016 BMW 225xe

2016 BMW 225xe

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The absolute numbers are still low: that 1.88 percent represents 4,794 vehicles, whereas in the U.S., sales this year have ranged from 11,000 to 18,500 depending on month.

But the market percentage for new electric and plug-in hybrid cars sold in the smaller German market has surged past that of the United States, where it's roughly 1 percent.

At the same time, new diesel car sales fell 13.8 percent in August while gasoline vehicles rose 15 percent.

READ THIS: German upper house asks EU to ban new gas, diesel car sales by 2030

Not only have investigations into potential emission cheating started to soil diesel's reputation, but many European countries have moved to ban the sale of new cars powered by fossil fuels in the near future.

Norway and the Netherlands have the most current timetables in place; both countries plan to ban the sale of new cars powered by gasoline or diesel by 2025.

France and the United Kingdom followed in the two countries' footsteps and announced various bans to take effect by 2040.

2016 BMW 225xe

2016 BMW 225xe

Enlarge Photo

Germany is considering its own measure to ban the sale of new vehicles with internal-combustion engines in the country after 2030.

Not shockingly, German consumers sway heavily towards electric and plug-in cars built by German manufacturers.

German sales figures show the Audi A3 e-tron as the most popular electrified car sold in the country.

CHECK OUT: Used diesel demand drops in Germany over fear of software upgrades

In fact, of the 30 vehicles listed on the sales chart supplied by Clean Technica, 19 of the electrified cars hail from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Smart, Volkswagen, or BMW—all German makes.

Despite this, the Renault Zoe electric car is also very popular in the country, as it is across the entire continent of Europe: The small electric car regularly tops European electric car sales.

[hat tip: Ed Neidermeyer via Brian Henderson]

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