Popular German auto manufacturer, Volkswagen, surpasses leading EV brand, Tesla, in sales of electric cars for the first time even as most of the cars are plug-in hybrids
Volkswagen seems to have made some sort of history after the car manufacturer achieved the laudable feat of selling more electric cars across the globe than Tesla at the end of the tumultuous 2020, according to an analysis by business consultancy AlixPartners. This is the first time ever the company will surpass Tesla, even as the VW tally includes plug in hybrids.
The report from the business consultancy revealed that the Volkswagen group sold 192,000 fully electric cars or plug-in hybrid vehicles in the fourth quarter, compared to Tesla’s 181,000 fully electric models. The Volkswagen group is undoubtedly a major player in the auto industry, with its brands – Porsche and Audi, being significant market movers.
“The e-car market is experiencing an unprecedented surge in demand worldwide, from which German car manufacturers in particular are also benefiting,” said AlixPartners managing director Nicolas Franzwa.
Nicolas added that German auto companies have often been described as sleeping giants when it comes to the e-cars market. “Our study results impressively prove that they have now probably finally awakened and are putting their sales horsepower on the road in e-vehicles as well.”
Europe overtook China as the world’s largest market for electric cars with sales hitting over 1.4 million in 2020, and the global share of electric cars in new registrations more than doubling within a year to almost 6% at the end of the year, according to AlixPartners.
Both fully battery-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, which also have a combustion engine on board, are usually described as “electric cars” in official documents and targets, but mild hybrids without a plug do not.
Tesla only sells electric cars without a conventional motor. However, plug-in hybrids also contribute to VW‘s tally.
Several proponents of clean mobility have said that plug-in hybrids are not as clean as the carmakers claim as many of them are often driven in combustion-engine mode and are not charged.
This position is reflected in AlixPartners’ ranking of combined total electric range of all cars sold, where the Californian Company remained the undisputed leader. Tesla sold cars with a combined range of around 100 million kilometers in the fourth quarter, compared to VW‘s 45 million kilometers.
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