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Volkswagen and Audi are starting to challenge Tesla

January 13, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 50.8%. 1 min read.

30 November 2020, Saxony, Zwickau: Trains with electric vehicles stand in front of the VW plant in Zwickau, illuminated by the setting sun. Volkswagen is producing the first purely electric SUV here. The ID.4 rolls off the production line alongside the ID.3. Of the 1.5 million electric vehicles of the brand planned annually until 2025, about 500,000 units are expected for the ID.4. Photo: Jan Woitas/dpa-Zentralbild/ZB (Photo by Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Volkswagen (VLKAF) sold 231,600 battery electric vehicles in 2020, according to figures published by the company on Wednesday. While that's still less than half the number of sales Tesla (TSLA) made, it represents an increase of 214% on the previous year and shows Germany's huge auto industry is beginning to mount a challenge to the leader in electric cars.

Volkswagen (VLKAF) sold 231,600 battery electric vehicles in 2020, according to figures published by the company on Wednesday.

While that's still less than half the number of sales Tesla (TSLA) made, it represents an increase of 214% on the previous year and shows Germany's huge auto industry is beginning to mount a challenge to the leader in electric cars.

"We are well on track to achieve our aim of becoming the market leader in battery electric vehicles," Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Volkswagen's most popular battery electric vehicle was the new ID. 3, which sold 56,500 units.

At $805 billion, Tesla's market value is more than eight times that of Volkswagen even though the German company makes roughly 19 times as many vehicles.

Volkswagen has said it plans to invest €35 billion ($43 billion) in electric vehicles by 2025, and the sales figures for 2020 suggest that customers are beginning to respond.

BMW (BMWYY) sold 44,530 battery electric vehicles in 2020, a 13% increase over the previous year, and over 148,000 plug-in hybrids.

Daimler's (DMLRY) Mercedes-Benz sold more than 160,000 plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles last year.

Volkswagen is trying to prove that a carmaker that just a few years back was cheating regulators to sell polluting diesels can produce electric vehicles people want to buy and policymakers will embrace as they tackle the climate crisis.

In Norway, where financial incentives make most electric vehicle models cheaper to buy than similar petrol models, the Audi e-tron was the 2020 sales leader, surpassing Tesla's Model 3.

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