Read The Full Article On: Morningstar
By Jack Denton
Tesla delivered around 96,000 units to the key European EV market in 2020
Sales of electric vehicles by European car makers accelerated rapidly in 2020 amid a pedal-to-the-metal push to increase EV adoption, with severe fines for car markers whose fleets don’t meet new emissions targets and generous incentives for buyers to trade in their gas guzzlers.
The COVID-19 pandemic wrought havoc on car sales, with the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association reporting that passenger-car registrations fell 25.5% in the first 11 months of 2020 compared with 2019.
But electric vehicles have been a standout for automobile companies.
Volkswagen reported on Tuesday that it delivered 212,000 electric cars world-wide in 2020, 158% more than in the year prior. Included in that figure is the delivery of 134,000 battery-electric vehicles, representing growth of 197% compared with 2019.
Volkswagen also said that its ID. 3 model was the top-selling car in Sweden in December 2020 by absolute numbers. All-electric Volkswagen vehicles took the top spot in both the Netherlands and Germany, where they captured around 23% of each country’s battery-electric vehicle market.
Electric vehicles increased drastically as a share of all cars sold by Mercedes-Benz, from 2% in 2019 to more than 7% in 2020.
The company also reported that its total orders at the end of December 2020 were up by 14% compared with last year, which it put down to its new hybrid offerings.
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The 18 markets cover the European Union states, minus eight countries in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and the U.K.
This saw its market share of the key European battery-electric-car market more than halved — from 31% in 2019 to 13.2% in 2020. Tesla’s cars were overtaken in popularity by Volkswagen and Renault models.
Much of the global growth in electric-vehicle popularity comes from Europe itself. According to a report from consulting firm McKinsey in July 2020 (link), Europe cushioned a broader, global fall in EV sales through the year.
According to McKinsey, EV sales remained constant in China in 2019, falling by 57% in the first quarter of 2020, while EV sales dropped by 12% in the U.S. in 2019, and a further 33% in Q1 2020. In Europe, electric-vehicle sales in 2019 rose by 44%, and by 25% in the beginning of last year.
Beyond meeting consumer demand, European car makers are also being pushed to manufacture more electric vehicles by the threat of hundreds of millions of euros in fines from the EU over binding emissions targets.
Phased in through 2020, and continuing into 2021, the fleetwide average emission target for new cars must be 95 grams carbon dioxide per kilometer, which is around 4.1 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers.
“With 2021 getting even tougher — thanks to the phase-in year ending — Tesla will come under even more intense competition,” Schmidt said. “Come 2025 when the targets increase again, Tesla will certainly be playing against fully-fit opponents and will potentially struggle.”