What Brand Sells The Most Electric Cars In Europe?

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Following up on our report on which automotive groups have been selling the most electric cars across 10 European markets, let’s look at which brands have been seeing the most sales (read: registrations). We will also look at the model rankings soon when Jose Pontes publishes his detailed report on plugin vehicle sales across all of Europe (not just in the 10 markets covered here). He will also soon publish company rankings for plugin vehicle sales (not solely sales of 100% electric vehicles) all across Europe.

Some may ask: Why bother with brands when I just reported on automotive groups? My answer: 1) Why do brands even exist?, 2) Some people may prefer to look at overall automotive groups and alliances, but some see that as overly broad and not very useful or interesting. 3) The data is there to pull together and I was intrigued, so I figured others would be intrigued. 4) Naturally, with this report, we can see which brands are carrying more of the EV weight for the various automotive groups and alliances at the top of the table. 5) It’s just fun.

So, on to the charts.

In the third quarter, we can see that Tesla (15.9%) just barely inched out Volkswagen (15.5%) for the #1 spot, and the two of them stand far above the rest. While Volkswagen Group stands alone high above the crowd in Europe, I was curious to see how well the Volkswagen brand would hold its own against other brands within the group as well as the big dog from California. It did very well! In a huge quarter for the American, Volkswagen nearly grabbed #1!

Granted, this is Europe, Volkswagen’s home court, and Tesla dominates in the USA (and China). Still, demand for Teslas is high everywhere and the company has been selling EVs across Europe for far longer than there was any plan for MEB-platform EVs like the ID.3 and ID.4 — since the says when Diess was at BMW. So, for Volkswagen to go neck and neck with Tesla — well, that should make Diess & the other EV-heads at Volkswagen smile. And it should give a little pause to anyone claiming Volkswagen can’t compete.

It’s hard to get excited about other brands when they are so far below those two, but it’s worth noting that Hyundai (6.8%) and Renault (6.7%) clearly sit on a second tier of top sellers, considerably below Tesla and Volkswagen but sizably ahead of the rest.

Then there’s SKODA (5.3%), Kia (5.1%), Peugeot (5.1%), and Audi (4.8%). After that, we go well below 5% market share and you can just look at the chart.

All of that concerns Q3. How are things different if you look at the first three quarters of the year combined?

Things are not much different, but we have some changes in position, including at #1! In this case Volkswagen sits above Tesla, and by a decent 16,000. With Tesla production allowing it to beat Volkswagen in Q3, one has to wonder if Tesla could come in strong at the end and steal the trophy from Volkswagen. However, with a 16,000 vehicle lead and its own plans for a strong end of year, that seems quite unlikely. Volkswagen looks primed to win 2021. What about 2022? We’ll see!

Renault, meanwhile, has no chance of catching Tesla, but also nothing to worry about when it comes to the brands on its tail. Renault will win the bronze medal in this particular brand competition. That said, it would be nice to see it and a few others hit 100,000 annual BEV sales in Europe next year.

It’s a neck and neck race between Peugeot and Hyundai for 4th, and also clear that those two brands carry the most weight for their overall alliance scores (Stellantis sits in 2nd, only behind Volkswagen Group, and the Hyundai–Kia duo sit in 5th, just slightly behind the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance).

There’s not much to write home about after that, but we can say that #6 Kia, #7 SKODA, and #8 Audi have staked out their own clear tier for now, in 2021. We’ll see if any of them can break into a sprint in 2022 and try to find their way into the top 5 — but Peugeot and Hyundai certainly won’t be looking to make that easy.

Any other thoughts on how the brand ranking came together in Q3 or Q1–Q3 2021? Any big predictions for Q4?

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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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