The Volkswagen Group More Than Tripled Its Electric Vehicle Sales In 2020, Still Fell Short Of Tesla

Illustration for article titled The Volkswagen Group More Than Tripled Its Electric Vehicle Sales In 2020, Still Fell Short Of Tesla
Image: Volkswagen

2020 as a whole was not a kind year to many. Volkswagen, in particular, saw a global sales decline of 15.2 percent. Things looked particularly dire in the first half of the year, but the VW Group saw a significant recovery in the fourth quarter. One bright spot for VAG was found in its electric vehicles, which saw a significant increase in sales across 2020 as compared to 2019. Part of that was due to increased availability of popular models, and introduction of new models.

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In 2019 the world’s largest automaker by sales volume saw sales of its electric models explode from 73,700 units in 2019 to 231,600 units in 2020, a 214 percent jump. While that doesn’t really hold a candle to Tesla’s global 499,550 units shifted, it’s the kind of growth that could see Volkswagen overtake Tesla in 2021 as further models roll out.

Volkswagen led the charge with the new ID.3 compact hatch selling some 56,500 units. The electric pioneer for the group, Audi’s E-Tron SUV was second most popular with 47,300 units sold. And in third was Porsche’s high-end electric Taycan sedan with 20,000 examples delivered. Considering those three units only account for about half of VW’s EV sales, there were still significant numbers of other models, like the eUP! and the e-Golf.

Consider that in 2021 VW will launch the ID.4 electric SUV and the Audi E-Tron GT sports sedan, among many other electric models, and isn’t impossible to believe that the brand could increase its EV sales tri-fold again this year. I predict the ID.4 will significantly outsell the ID.3, assuming VW can keep up with production. And Porsche could easily sell a lot more Taycans this year if it can keep that factory pumping them out.

That 231,600 electric vehicle number is just a small drop in the bucket compared to VAG’s global sales of 9.3 million vehicles. I’d wager that VW doesn’t particularly care that Tesla beat it on electric units sold, as it still managed to outsell Toyota on a global scale. Volkswagen is just getting started taking the EV game seriously, and it doesn’t usually do things in half-measures, no matter how long it takes. 

Jalopnik contributor with a love for everything sketchy and eclectic.

DISCUSSION

It’ll be interesting to see how supply chains keep up with the overall growth in EVs and PHEVs.