E-cars 2020 in Germany: Renault Zoe in front of Tesla Model 3, converted Golf in between

With 194,000 new registrations of all-electric cars, their market share in Germany reached a record value of 6.7 percent last year, with an increase in the last few months in particular and, at 10 percent in December, higher than in any other. These figures were already known and gave the impression that the German electric car market was being driven primarily by the availability of new models. In fact, there were three old friends at the head of the new German registrations, two of them very old and one of them a combustion engine conversion.

Renault Zoe in front of VW e-Golf and Tesla Model 3

This is based on data on the individual models in 2020, which were published by the Federal Motor Transport Authority (KBA) at the end of last week. The most popular electric car in Germany was therefore Renault’s Zoe, which also had a straight nose in front in most of the individual months: There were a total of 30,376 new registrations and thus made up almost a quarter of Renault sales in Germany. At the same time, it was the manufacturer’s best-selling model and was also well above its fossil platform relative Clio, which was newly registered 24,654 times in the past year.

Second place in the pure electric car registrations in Germany in 2020 was also not achieved by Tesla with the much-praised Model 3, but by a vehicle that the KBA does not even list individually due to its close proximity to a combustion engine: the Volkswagen e-Golf . The numbers for this are hidden in the total of 136,324 new registrations of the Golf, which was the best-selling car in Germany in 2020, as VW proudly announced.


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Not from the Federal Motor Transport Authority, but from VW itself it was learned that 17,438 of these Golfs were the purely electric variant, which outwardly differs little from the combustion brother. The information can be found in a Twitter message from the VW factory in Dresden, known as the Transparent Factory, where the electric version was also recently produced. But that is just as over as in Wolfsburg, because production of the e-Golf was discontinued in December.

As a replacement, production of the completely electric VW ID.3 began in 2020, which was delivered from September and had a respectable 14,493 new German registrations in this short time. In doing so, he was sometimes referred to as number two of the year behind Renault Zoe. But as the figures from the manufacture show, this is not correct, because this title still belongs to the old e-Golf.

Electric car year in transition

The new VW electric car almost came in at least 3rd place in 2020, but the Tesla Model 3 was the only completely electric model in the top German trio to date. According to the KBA figures, the basic Tesla in Germany came to 15,202 New registrations, so a little more than the VW ID.3. But unlike Model 3 and Renault Zoe, the E-VW was only delivered in the last three and a half months of 2020. This suggests that interest in modern electric cars is quite high in the country – 2020 was really already an electric car year, but at the same time still one of the transition.


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