See that graphic above? That tells you all you need to know about what sort of year Volkswagen Group is having with its battery electric cars. Compared to last year, sales of those cars — which include models from Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, and Skoda — are up over 165% compared to 2020.
Total sales of BEVs for the first half of the year were 170,939, with the majority of those in Europe. And the trend is up. Make that way up. 59,948 were delivered to customers in the first quarter (+78.4 YOY), and 110,991 units (+259.7% YOY) were delivered in the second quarter.
Christian Dahlheim, the head of sales for Volkswagen Group, says in a press release, “Our global electric offensive continues to make good progress and customer demand is high. This year, we plan to deliver around one million electrified vehicles for the first time, and are confident that we will meet the fleet targets for CO2 emissions in Europe.”
Sales of electric cars have been lower than expected in China — just 10.7% of total Volkswagen Group sales or 18,285 vehicles. “In the third quarter, we expect a significant boost to BEV deliveries in China thanks to the expanded Volkswagen ID. model range,” Dahlheim said.
We know CleanTechnica readers are unimpressed by plug-in hybrid sales, but Volkswagen Group is finding plenty of customers for its PHEV models. So far this year, it has sold 171,300 of those little beauties — 204.2% more than in the first half of last year. Before you moan about how those buyers are sadly misguided, consider this: Every PHEV driver gets to experience the joy of instant acceleration, the fun of regenerative braking, and learn about plugging in at the end of the day.
That means when it comes time for their next car, a BEV won’t seem so strange and is likely to be their first choice. In the meantime, those owners will pump fewer carbon emissions into the atmosphere while they drive. Not only that, the profits the company makes by selling plug-ins means more money in the corporate till to fund further investments in battery electric cars.
In total, Volkswagen Group expects to deliver more than a million BEV and PHEV cars in 2021. Yes, Tesla will exceed that number and they all will be battery electrics. But Tesla had a 5-year head start. Volkswagen is just learning how to build and market electric cars.
Should it have started sooner instead of spreading diesel pollution all around the globe? Of course. But it’s moving in the right direction now and that’s the point as many other legacy auto companies (we’re looking at you, Toyota) still dream of cars powered by hydrogen, cow manure, or pixie dust. Volkswagen is offering competitive electric cars, and for that it should be applauded.