It’s hard to take a gigantic oil tanker and transform it into an electric aircraft. It’s easier to just build an electric aircraft from scratch. Tesla had no easy task getting to where it’s gotten, but it can certainly be argued that Volkswagen (and Ford and GM and BMW, etc.) have had a harder task. These legacy automakers have to close down tons of engine factories and transform dozens of vehicle factories without going bankrupt. They also have to learn software, learn more about computers and how to make computer-based cars, and focus more attention on that than playing with engines like they’ve done much of their working lives up until now. It’s tough.
So, I find it especially uplifting and exciting that Volkswagen Group is already selling so many electric cars in Europe. Yes, I’d like to see a bigger increase in the percentage of its sales being electric, but the story in the US is that the top two legacy automakers for that metric are Volkswagen Group’s Porsche and Volkswagen (see: “After Tesla, Porsche & Volkswagen Lead In Share Of Sales Being Electric In USA — 12.2% & 7.6%“). There’s room for improvement, but there’s no one above them.
I don’t know what those percentages are in Europe, but I do know that Volkswagen Group is selling more fully electric vehicles than any other legacy automaker, and also more than Tesla — by far. In the 3rd quarter of the year, in 10 countries where comprehensive data is publicly available, Volkswagen Group accounted for 27.3% of electric vehicle sales. Tesla was #2 on the list with 15.9% of sales, and Stellantis was 3rd with 13.2%. If you consider Tesla a success in Europe, then you have to consider Volkswagen Group a success (imho). It has nearly double the market share — and, yes, we are talking about BEV sales. Let’s have a look at the full rankings for Q3 2021.
Aside from Volkswagen Group and Tesla, Stellantis (13.2% of BEV sales), the Hyundai–Kia collab (11.9% of BEV sales), and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance (10.3% of BEV sales) are above 10% of the BEV sales in these 10 countries. The only other automotive groups above 5% are Daimler (5.7%) and BMW Group (5.3%).
What about the first three quarters of the 2021 combined? Similar to the above, but Stellantis takes silver and Tesla moves to bronze. The two automotive groups or alliances below them also switch places — Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi was better across the first three quarters whereas Hyundai–Kia did better in Q3. Further down the list, Ford and Geely also swapped spots — Geely was better across the first three quarters whereas Ford did better in Q3. Though, note that there were only 20 electric Ford vehicles registered in the first quarter! The Mustang Mach-E had not yet arrived.
I’ll look at brands next. Stay tuned. As a teaser, I can say, the top spots are tight.