There are currently around 100,000 electric cars in storage in Germany, waiting for buyers. But demand is stagnating. Why is this happening and are electric cars now becoming cheaper? The background.

According to the Chemnitz Automotive Institute (CATI), demand for electric cars was particularly low in Germany in 2023. According to Werner Olle from CATI, around 100,000 electric cars, both imported and manufactured in Germany, are waiting for buyers. This is due to a record high in production and the sudden end of the environmental bonus.

E-cars: Record production leads to record low

In March 2023, CATI had forecast an increase of 75 percent compared to 2022 in newly produced battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in Germany: around one million more electric vehicles despite a changed funding framework.

The figures published by the Federal Statistical Office on May 6, 2024 confirm the forecast of 973,000 vehicles produced. Werner Olle commented:

On the one hand, we are pleased with the forecast reliability of our analyses, which has also proven itself in the difficult year of 2023. On the other hand, however, the data also show that there are clear limits to the decoupling of production and domestic demand in the medium term.

Electric cars as export hits?

The production record is also linked to the very high export share of 80 percent of the electric cars produced in this country. This makes it possible to largely decouple production and domestic demand.

Of the approximately 973,000 electric cars produced in 2023, around 786,000 units worth 36 billion euros were exported abroad. This corresponds to an increase of 58 percent compared to the previous year.

According to Olle, however, the production stockpile can only be reduced with discounted offers, because “the export valve cannot heal all wounds.” Will electric cars now become cheaper due to the low demand in Germany?

For many end consumers, this would certainly be an attractive decision-making aid after the end of the e-car subsidy. Because ultimately, it's the money that counts – and contextually also the battery life.

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