Tesla’s Model 3 tops European EV sales chart as VW’s Golf slows

Tesla Inc.’s Model 3 was Europe’s best-selling electric car in 2021 as battery-powered vehicles emerged as a bright spot for an industry beleaguered by lockdowns and a shortage of semiconductors.

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Jan 26, 2022, 7:27 PM

File photo of a 2018 Tesla Model 3 (Reuters)

Tesla Inc.’s Model 3 was Europe’s best-selling electric car in 2021 as battery-powered vehicles emerged as a bright spot for an industry beleaguered by lockdowns and a shortage of semiconductors.

The Model 3, pushing Renault SA’s Zoe out of the top EV spot, also overtook some of the region’s best-loved models like Volkswagen AG’s Tiguan and Peugeot 3008 SUVs for 17th place overall, up from 41st. in 2020, according to analytics firm Dynamique Jato.

Tesla’s rise contrasts with the decline of traditional favorites like the best-selling VW Golf, which saw the biggest drop in market share.

VW’s electric ID.3, launched in 2020, failed to replicate Tesla’s success, coming in 53rd in the rankings, Jato said. The overall market fell to 11.8 million vehicles, the lowest level since 1985.

“One crisis after another has had a negative impact on demand and registrations in the market, said Felipe Munoz, analyst at Jato. “The continuing uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside the prolonged shortage of semiconductors, has created a perfect storm.”

Automakers like VW and Stellantis NV are spending billions to roll out a range of plug-in hybrid and battery-powered models, with consumers responding to generous subsidies to help cut emissions from the transport sector. Jato expects electrified cars to outsell diesel vehicles in 2022.

New challengers are emerging in a changing market. In 2021, Hyundai Motor Co. and its subsidiary Kia Corp. increased their market share in Europe by almost two percentage points to 8.6% thanks to their range of SUVs and electric models, Jato said.

Date of first publication: January 26, 2022, 7:27 PM IST

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