1 Tesla = 29% of Global Electric Vehicle Market in Q1 2020


There are a lot of ways to cut and slice electric vehicle (EV) sales around the world. We do all kinds of cutting and slicing here. We publish monthly reports on a large number of country markets, and I dice up the US auto market in several ways. However, sometimes there’s nothing better than taking a big picture view — a really big picture view.

EV Volumes has shared the first quarter breakdown by brand for the world as a whole. The results are interesting.

First, though, Jose Pontes of EV Volumes (and CleanTechnica) just shared some thoughts on the brand leaders in the US versus European versus Chinese markets that I found very interesting. It’s actually a great preface to the global rankings, so here it is again:

“In the race for global EV market supremacy, Tesla owns North America’s EV market and Volkswagen Group (VAG) already beats Tesla in Europe — so, their domestic markets are already in each of their bags — but China is neutral ground for both. On top of that, it is also the most competitive EV market in the world, with an army of local competitors. With the Model 3 now being made in China, Tesla took an early lead this year. So, despite April’s impressive performance, the German conglomerate currently has only 8% share in the Chinese plugin market, trailing 4 percentage points behind Tesla (12%).

“But what it lacks in appealing models (insert old-timer jokes), VAG compensates with its massive scale in China, allowing it to offer a plethora of models, including plugins, to local buyers. Just to have an idea, Volkswagen offers 3 (three) different plugin hybrid Passats (Made-in-China Passat PHEV, Magotan GTE, Made-in-Germany Passat GTE). So, to reduce the distance to Tesla in 2020, it is essential that VAG pull off a Space Cowboys stunt in China.”

It is interesting that the top two brands have had dramatically different approaches to their plug-in vehicle sales rise. Of course, Volkswagen Group is shifting and now has a focus on developing fully electric models from the ground up (ID.3, ID.4, etc.). We’ll see how that turns out in the coming years. For the time being, the results in the 1st quarter of 2020 are as follows:

Global Electric Tesla



Global Electric Tesla

Combining plug-in hybrids and fully electric vehicles, Tesla was #1 with 19% of the market, Volkswagen Group was #2 with 13%, and the Renault-Nissan combo was #3 at 11%. BMW Group barely edged out the Hyundai-Kia combo for #4, but both had an 8% market share.

Many people aren’t keen to dirty the fully electric vehicle market with plug-in hybrids. Hence the second chart. I’ve been joining that group myself, as it seems it’s really time to move beyond small-battery plug-in hybrids. Kicking the gas engines out of the mix, Tesla took 29% of the market and Renault-Nissan climbed to #2. The French-Japanese partnership actually swapped market share with Volkswagen Group (13% and 11%, respectively, versus the 11% to 13% split in the broader plug-in comparison). Hyundai-Kia stuck with its 8% share but climbed to #4, while BYD hopped into the top 5 table with 6% market share. (BMW couldn’t cut it without it’s broad fleet of hybrids competing.)

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