Tesla sold more electric vehicles than Renault and Volkswagen combined across the globe in the first quarter of 2020, continuing its trend of dominating markets after the Warren Buffet-backed Chinese battery and EV maker BYD took a major hit in sales.
In claiming 29% market share for the first quarter, with 88,400 sales as announced in the company’s production report in the first days of April, Tesla outdid popular European electric car maker Renault which jumped from #4 to #2 spot with 39,355 electric car sales.
Volkswagen however, which sells the popular and longstanding e-Golf in Europe and is reportedly on the cusp of starting deliveries of its new regime of electric vehicles with its ID.3 electric hatchback after a slew of software-related difficulties, followed closely behind with 33,846 battery electric (BEV) sales.
Hyundai-Kia maintained a strong position with 24,116 electric car sales for the quarter, up from 19,632 units, a testament to the South Korean car makers’ market-pleasing range of electric vehicle which include the Kona Electric and Ioniq for Hyundai and the in-demand e-Niro and e-Soul.
The figures, collated and released on Sunday by José Pontes of EV Sales, highlight the hammering taken by BYD as it dropped from #1 electric car seller this time last year to #5, selling just 18,834 units where it had previously sold 45,758 units.
But despite these disappointing quarterly figures, BYD expects to rally in coming months to report a 24% increase for the first half of 2020.
Recent decisions by the Chinese government to extend electric vehicle incentives by two more years can be expected to help back these figures up.
However, with the recent drop in price of Tesla’s made-in-China Standard Range electric vehicle to ensure it is also eligible for the price-limited incentives, BYD will have more competition on its hands in the local Chinese market.
Even in the combined battery electric and plug-in hybrid (PHEV), Tesla stands out. It sold 50% more electric cars globally than Volkswagen, which including its PHEV range sold 59,916 units, just 8,000 more than Renault’s 51,361. It is not insignificant that for both car makers, more than half of electrified units sold were all-electric.
Hyundai-Kia fared well for this same reason, selling 36,846 units globally for the quarter, two-thirds of which were all-electric. By contrast, BMW, which still relies largely on its PHEV range, sold only 37,041 units.
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Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.