As the electric vehicle industry continues to grow, clear leaders are beginning to emerge. Leading the charge is Tesla, the American EV maker known for changing our ideas of electric vehicles. However, showing early signs of dominating the landscape is German iconic vehicle maker Volkswagen.
From figures released for the last quarter, Volkswagen EV sales have grown considerably, notching a 109% increase over the same period last year. The company effectively doubled its deliveries in the first nine months of 2022.
Volkswagen might be known for internal combustion engine cars for most of its existence, but it is steadily positioning itself for a battery-powered future. It seems to be among the top legacy makers handling the transition of EV makers best.
While the title of the first company to sell a million EVs could go to Tesla next year, Volkswagen may not be so far behind in reaching the milestone.
This year, the American company aims to ship 50% more than the approximately 500,000 units it managed last year. Going by the results from the first three quarters of this year, the goal is firmly within reach. Tesla has an ambitious 50% yearly growth, which puts its target for 2022 above one million.
If it can get its Giga Berlin in Volkswagen’s home country up and running, where it plans to start with 150,000 units per year and then ramp up to 500,000, Tesla could also achieve the target for 2022.
Volkswagen has not released any sales target, but the German giant is going all out on EVs. It would be an excellent way to put its dieselgate scandal behind it.
For now, Tesla owns the best-selling electric models, excluding the mini EV categories that have taken China by storm. Tesla’s Model Y and Model 3 lead the charts globally. The company has two other models in production, but they are pretty expensive. It also has the Cybertruck and Tesla Semi, both of which are facing delays.
Volkswagen’s electric line-up is more diversified as it spans across multiple brands, including Audi, Porsche, Skoda, etc.
In the first three quarters of 2022, Volkswagen shipped 293,000 EVs compared to 123,000 for the same period last year. Last quarter, Volkswagen moved 122,000 units, compared to 59,000 for the same quarter last year.
These figures do not include hybrid models.
Comparing growths, Volkswagen enjoyed a 108% improvement for quarter-on-quarter while Tesla, with 241,300, had a 73% growth.
Even though Tesla sold more, Volkswagen had more growth. And for the first time, EVs accounted for more than 6% of Volkswagen’s total sales. It did very well in China, where it delivered about 29,000 electric vehicles.
By region, Volkswagen took the lead in Europe, with 24% of the market in the first nine months. In the US, the company accounted for 26%.
Looking at the figures a little more closely, Volkswagen could end up with nearly 400,000 units this year, while Tesla should be about 850,000.
Next year looks promising for Volkswagen if it could maintain the same growth. It could do more than 950,000 units.
Obviously, Tesla would sell more, especially if its German plant comes online and the rumoured $25,000 Tesla EV materializes. However, Volkswagen is not sleeping either.
One of the advantages Volkswagen is banking on is scale. As one of the biggest makers of gas-powered cars, the company has the deep pockets to finance its transition to an EV maker. It could also tap into its already existing supply chain to support its ambitions. It has demonstrated this already by signing deals that will ensure it has a steady supply of batteries as the growth in EVs could make sourcing batteries tricky. The company is even committed to building its battery manufacturing plants.
When it comes to the game of numbers, Volkswagen has many brands that appeal to different demographics, meaning more opportunities to sell.
Another weapon Volkswagen wants to use, surprisingly, is its competitor itself, Tesla. The German company is not above copying the methods that have made Tesla agile and able to respond to challenges quickly.
The CEO of Volkswagen, Herbert Diess, brought on Elon Musk as a surprise guest during a meeting with top Volkswagen executives. Musk joined through a video call and fielded a few questions, including Tesla’s celebrated success secrets.
In the same meeting, Volkswagen CEO announced plans to transform its Wolfburg headquarters into a complex that will compete in EV production with Giga Berlin in speed and productivity.
In a thank-you tweet, Diess promised to visit Giga Berlin. Perhaps a partnership between the two companies may happen one day?