Tesla vs. BMW “Electrified” Global Sales — 1st Half of 2020

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With data in for the first half of 2020, it’s time to once again compare Tesla’s global sales to BMW Group’s global “electrified” vehicle sales — that is, sales of its many plug-in hybrid models and its two fully electric models, the BMW i3 (which I used to own) and the MINI Electric.

The chart below shows both automakers’ 2018 sales, 2019 sales, and first half of 2020 (H1 2020) sales.

As you can see (if you hover over the bars), Tesla had 100,000+ more sales than BMW’s plug-in vehicle models in 2018, then 220,000+ more sales in 2019, and in the first half of 2020 had nearly 120,000 more sales.

So, if the trend for 2020 continues, Tesla will have approximately 240,000 more sales globally than BMW’s and MINI’s plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles. However, Tesla expects around 500,000 sales in 2020 the last I heard, and notable Tesla sales tracker and forecaster “Troy Teslike” expects 510,000+ sales.

CleanTechnica is not making a forecast (yet), but one thing seems very likely at this point: Tesla will see the gap between its sales and plug-in BMW sales grow wider yet again in 2020. Perhaps BMW will surprise and get a lot more plug-in hybrids out the door — it does have plug-in hybrid versions of most of its models — but it seems more likely than not that Tesla’s sales lead on BMW will grow.

Overall — counting all powertrains — BMW still has a sizable lead over Tesla. The popular Germany automaker had 842,153 sales in the first half of the year despite the coronavirus crisis, which cut BMW’s global sales by 21.7%. Throw in the MINI brand’s 118,862 sales and BMW Group is up to ~961,000 sales in the first half of the year. (Note that MINI sales were down 31.1% year over year in the first 6 months of 2020.)

Something that might give Tesla fans hope when it comes to these numbers is seeing BMW’s sales still so much higher. That means there’s a lot more room for Tesla to grow even just in its traditional premium-vehicle class. If BMW Group can sell nearly one million vehicles in the middle of a pandemic, Tesla’s growth from 120,000 sales in that timeframe to 380,000 in the second half of the year, and a million or more in 2021, seems much more within grasp.

Something that might give BMW fans more hope is that BMW will be (or has been?) inspired enough by Tesla’s success to produce truly compelling electric vehicles. It does have the BMW iX3, BMW i4, and BMW iNEXT coming soon. Also, the only segment of BMW’s vehicles that saw its sales rise from H1 2019 to H1 2020 was its “electrified” segment.

Table via BMW Group

What do you think of these final numbers? Any more thoughts on the companies and comparing their sales trends?

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Zachary Shahan

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], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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