What is influencing the performance and pricing of BEVs in Germany?

19 June 2024

How are battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) performing in Germany’s new and used-car markets and what is influencing their pricing? Autovista24 editor Tom Geggus asks Andreas Geilenbruegge, head of valuations and insights at Schwacke (part of J.D. Power) for his assessment.

As one of Europe’s leading automotive markets, Germany is a key player in the region’s electrification. However, BEVs have seen varied performances across the country’s new and used-car markets recently. By analysing current pricing pressures, there is the potential to unlock solutions to stabilise values.

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Show notes

Are BEVs to blame for German new-car market decline?

Monthly Market Update: Hybrid residual values outperform wider market in May

How to recharge Europe’s battery-electric vehicle market

BEVs made in China face new provisional EU tariffs on top of existing duties

How is Aviloo advancing its EV battery analysis?

How important are BEV battery health certificates?

Varied BEV performance

The German new-car market dropped by 4.3% year on year in May with 236,425 registrations. However, BEVs looked to be responsible for this market-wide slump as the only powertrain to lose market share in the month.

Deliveries of all-electric passenger cars fell by 30.6% year on year, with 29,708 deliveries. This was not only the technology’s biggest monthly drop so far in 2024 but also marked four consecutive months of decline.

Meanwhile, BEVs have seen better results in the used-car market. Geilenbruegge highlighted that transactions of all-electric cars have nearly doubled. With figures up, demand appears to be growing. However, this has also been accompanied by pressure on prices.

Supply and demand

One of the biggest influences on prices in recent years has been the growing volume of BEVs hitting the used car market. Looking back at 2021 and 2022, the heavy use of new-car purchase incentives and the launch of more all-electric cars resulted in strong uptake.

Now these models are entering the used-car market as leases end and companies de-fleet. This means the supply of younger used BEVs has increased exponentially. What matters is whether this volume can be matched by demand.

Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case at present. The used BEVs are currently facing oversupply across the entire market. While this imbalance of supply and demand is a primary pressure on prices, it is not the only one.

Price pressure piles up

BEVs are currently experiencing a rapid technological acceleration. This is great news overall as battery ranges, charging times and connected capabilities get better with each new model. However, it also means that older models age more rapidly in comparison, harming their residual values.

Governmental regulation also has an important role to play in economic steering. While purchase incentives helped drive new cars into the market, there was little effort to make the day-to-day use of a BEV more enticing.

On the other hand, a more marginally positive economic outlook looks to help stabilise prices. This comes in the form of better interest rates and GDP, which will bolster consumer confidence and spending power over time. Better training at used-car dealerships will also help improve sales of all-electric models.

Those looking to acquire a used BEV will also stand to benefit from battery health certificates. By testing, verifying and certifying the condition of a used battery, buyers can be certain of quality. Meanwhile, current BEV owners may opt for slower charging and a more sustainable driving style to preserve the health of their battery.

A value valley can be expected in the coming years as supply and demand level out. The years beyond do hold some promise, with the implementation of different strategies. This includes offering used-car leasing and reviewing how volumes of BEVs are deployed into the used market.

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