Tens of thousands of electric cars are lost every year, including every fourth Tesla

Tens of thousands of electric cars are lost every year, including every fourth Tesla

About 211,000 electric cars have disappeared in Germany since 2012. Few in the first few years, but the number has been increasing rapidly for some time. About 470,559 electric vehicles were newly registered in 2022, but the actual stock is tens of thousands less. But where have all those cars gone?

Automotive analyst Matthias Schmidt has been crunching the numbers on electric mobility since 2012 and has come to the bottom of the puzzle. He explains that car manufacturers allow test cars that are deregistered and scrapped after a short period of time, but there are very few of them.

The solution probably lies in the environmental bonus, which reached 9,000 euros until the end of 2022. Nowhere is the subsidy for electric cars higher than in Germany, which means that many buyers sell their cars again after a minimum holding period of six months required by law until 2023. Since the prices of electric cars are sometimes too high in other countries, sellers of new used cars make a profit. Tesla recorded the biggest decline in every fourth subsidized electric car, but around 10,000 cars from Mercedes and VW also ended up abroad.

In Scandinavian countries in particular, the purchase prices of electric cars are very high. In Norway, instead of subsidies for electric cars, the purchase costs of cars with combustion engines increased. Denmark, for example, recorded about 30,000 more electric vehicles in the last 12 months than new registrations in the same period. This supports Schmidt’s theory that battery cars were imported from Germany as used cars.

In terms of environmental protection, it ultimately makes no sense in the country where the cars are driven. However, since the subsidy amount was reduced at the beginning of the year and the minimum holding period for a new car was increased from six to 12 months, it is possible that exports will decrease again in the future.