Electric car: Tesla crushes competition in Europe

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The Elon Musk-owned brand captured a third of the electric vehicle market in Western Europe last year, with 110,000 cars registered. The Model 3 is the engine of this success.

Gone are the days when Tesla was prompting sneered comments from most European automakers. Elon Musk’s firm made a spectacular breakthrough in Western Europe last year, buoyed by the success of its latest Model 3. That’s one of the major parameters of Tesla’s stock market surge, which on Wednesday passed the $100 billion valuation mark.

Tesla Model 3 (left) and Chevrolet Bolt EV (right) charging at a ChargePoint on street public charging station. Washington, D.C.

According to data just compiled by specialist consultant Matthias Schmidt, the company established itself last year in the first continental position in the 100% electric vehicle market. Tesla delivered 109,500 cars last year, winning a third of this market in Western Europe (350,000 units in total). Year-on-year, sales of the U.S. brand jumped 274%.

Twice as many 100% electric sales as Volkswagen

In other words, Tesla has significantly outperformed 100% electric sales of its European competitors. The Volkswagen Group, second in this market, sold “only” 51,000 copies in total of the e-Golf and the Audi e-Tron, followed by Renault with 45,700 cars. The American brand has also sold 5,000 more cars in Europe than Honda in all engines, points out Matthias Schmidt.

Tesla’s success matches that of the Model 3, its latest model – which accounted for 85% of its sales last year. The Model 3 thus won the title of the best-selling electric model in Europe, far ahead of the Renault ZOE, second in the list with 46,000 copies sold, and the BMW i3 (30,700 copies). More than one in four electric cars sold in Europe last year is a Tesla 3.

Flame in the Netherlands

This flamboyant commercial performance is due to very good sales scores in countries ahead of the transition to electric, such as Norway. It was also made possible by exceptional sales at the end of the year: in the Netherlands, buyers rushed to the brand to take advantage of a tax reduction on electric vehicles that ended on 1 January.

Tesla has directed most of its continental stock to the country to meet this demand, but some experts say it is not completely met. In December alone, Tesla registered more than 24,000 cars in Europe, gaining a record market share of 47%.

Will the manufacturer continue on this path? 2019 was the year Tesla, 2020 should be that of Volkswagen. The German champion of the sector will put the package on sales of electric vehicles to meet the CO2 emission targets set by Brussels. Will that be enough?

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