Volkswagen’s battery electric vehicle sales grow but still fall far behind Tesla in China

While Volkswagen has seen a healthy growth in their sales of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the first half of 2021, they are lagging far behind Tesla in China, the biggest automotive market in the world.

In figures released Tuesday, VW announced they have sold a total of 170,939 BEVs across their multiple brands in the first six months of the year. That figure was nearly three times as high as what it was able to achieve in the first half of 2020.

Leading the charge for VW was its ID family of vehicles, with the ID.4 and ID.3 taking first and second place respectively.

  • Volkswagen ID.4 37,292 vehicles
  • Volkswagen ID.3 31,177 vehicles
  • Audi e-tron (incl. Sportback) 25,794 vehicles
  • Porsche Taycan (incl. Cross Turismo) 19,822 vehicles
  • Volkswagen e-up!03 17,890 vehicles

The automaker is hoping to deliver 1 million “electrified” vehicles this year, which includes plug-in hybrids. They did not release a target for pure electric sales.

“This year, we plan to deliver around one million electrified vehicles for the first time, and are confident that we will meet the fleet targets for CO2 emissions in Europe,” said Christian Dahlheim, Volkswagen’s head of group sales in a press release.

VW Sales in China

In China the company reported sales of 18,285 vehicles in the first six months of the year. While it was a significant increase from the previous year (8,701), it is still well below Tesla’s sales volumes in the country, even on a monthly basis.

In June Tesla sold 28,138 vehicles, helping them to reach more than 53,000 units in Q2 alone.

The poor showing in China has many in the industry concerned, with some analysts indicating VW’s software and infotainment features could be to blame.

“China EV buyers seem to be less impressed by the models’ software features and infotainment system,” Bernstein analyst Arndt Ellinghorst (via

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