You won't be too surprised who's the winner now.
While electric vehicles are still not fully catching on in the US, they're quickly becoming more and more popular in Europe, specifically Norway. For the past few years, Norway dominated over the rest of Europe as having the largest number of EVs on the road, but it's now been defeated. By which country? That would be Germany. You know, the home of the Autobahn and Nurburgring. According to Automotive News Europe, Germany surpassed Norway as Europe's biggest market for electrified vehicles.
This is a clear-cut sign consumers there are more open to the technology than ever. The timing of this also couldn't be better for German automakers such as Volkswagen and Daimler, both of whom are about to begin rolling out all-new EVs with the aim of taking on Tesla. So how popular, really, are EVs in Germany? EV sales increased 70 percent in the first quarter of this year, for a total of 17,574 vehicles sold. It's important to note, however, this figure not only includes pure electric vehicles, but also plug-in hybrids as well. Two of the most popular EVs in Germany include the BMW i3 and Nissan Leaf, while the BMW 2-Series Active Tourer plug-in hybrid, which isn't sold in the US, is also a very common sight.
Throughout Europe, in general, electrified vehicles sales are increasing, most lately by 41 percent. What's interesting is that full-on EV sales are up by 35 percent and plug-in hybrids by 47 percent. Diesel vehicles sales, however, dropped by 17 percent. Teslas, which not too long ago were rare in Germany, are also increasing in popularity, but this is one area where Norway still has Germany beat. Norway remains Tesla's third-biggest market after the US and China. But some analysts believe Tesla's European popularity will soon begin to dwindle. "Tesla's golden age is nearing its end and it will become a product among many," said Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler.
"As the consumer pool for electric cars grows, tolerance over quality issues may be lower too as it's less about the early adopters who went for Teslas based on novelty." In other words, VW and Daimler's upcoming EV lineups are likely going to change things.