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Tesla = 19% of Global Plugin Vehicle Market

Yesterday, I reported that the Tesla Model 3 had nearly 4× as many sales as the second best selling electric vehicle in the world in the first half of 2020, and more sales than the 2nd best selling, 3rd best selling, 4th best selling, 5th best selling, and 6th best selling plugin vehicles combined. Let’s now look briefly at plugin vehicle sales rankings by brand.

Yesterday, I reported that the Tesla Model 3 had nearly 4× as many sales as the second best selling electric vehicle in the world in the first half of 2020, and more sales than the 2nd best selling, 3rd best selling, 4th best selling, 5th best selling, and 6th best selling plugin vehicles combined. That report on the 20 top selling plugin vehicles worldwide also touched on hot newcomers like the Tesla Model Y and NIO ES6, as well as the diversity of models on that list. Let’s now look briefly at plugin vehicle sales rankings by brand.

According to data from EV Volumes, Tesla was #1 in terms of plugin vehicles sold globally and had nearly 3 times as many sales as #2 Volkswagen, or just slightly more than #2 Volkswagen plus #3 BMW plus #4 BYD. Overall, as the title states, Tesla took home 19% of the world’s plugin vehicle sales in the first half of 2020.

In total, the 10 top selling plugin vehicle brands scored 575,516 sales in the first half of the year. The total across all brands was 950,076. So, while many brands sell plugin vehicles, the top 10 brands account for most sales.

After #4 BYD, a major China auto brand, you have a notable drop to #5 SAIC (another Chinese brand), which had nearly 14,000 fewer sales than BYD. Then you have a run of European automakers that are seeing significant plugin vehicle sales due in large part to stronger CO2 emission regulations in Europe — Renault, Volvo, and Audi. Renault is driven by the Zoe, which seems popular everywhere, but especially in its home country of France. Volvo, still only selling plugin hybrids, is particularly popular in a few Nordic countries (and the four top countries in terms of plugin vehicle market share are actually Nordic countries). Audi is being led by the e-tron, which is the top selling vehicle (of any kind) in Norway and fairly popular elsewhere as well.

The top 10 ranking closes out with two popular South Korean brands that I think would be selling more EVs if they simply tried to do so. The Hyundai Kona EV and Kia Niro EV have been much loved by consumers since before sales began, but they’ve been held back by limited supply of batteries and general corporate ambivalence toward EVs despite their good design work and efficiency. It appears Hyundai and Kia have been working harder to get serious about electric vehicles since seeing the demand for those models and the success of Tesla, though, so I do expect many more sales from those brands in the next few years when they start to really try.

I think all automakers now see that the future is electric and are working out their plans for how to succeed in this brave new market. We’ll see how the leaderboard shuffles around in the coming 6 months and year. Any predictions?


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Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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