Over the last few months, we’ve seen a host of new names hit the electric vehicle circuit, drawing intrigue from Wall Street analysts about whether each one could be the company to dethrone Tesla (TSLA).
While Ford (F) has really been the only company to challenge Tesla, as far as cachet, with its Mustang Mach-E, which has even drawn praise from Elon Musk, many other contenders like Nikola (NKLA), NIO (NIO), have failed to sustain much excitement in the space.
But this week, it’s starting to look more like the longtime EV king could be on the cusp of being overthrown. And this time, the threat is coming from a familiar name that’s been in the TV game for quite some time and touts proven success overseas.
We’re talking about Volkswagen (VWAGY), a company that’s already pulled well ahead of Tesla in Europe, in EV sales. The German-carmaker sold 49,704 fully electric autos across Europe in December 2020, almost double Tesla’s registrations in the region, according to market researcher Jato Dynamics. VW’s nID.3 beat the Model 3, and was the second best-selling car overall for the month.
Volkswagen’s CEO Herbert Diess recently kicked off “Power Day”, modeled after Tesla’s “Battery Day” by declaring that there’s only one true way to quickly reduce emissions from transportation: Going electric. This means it appears VW is finally seeing the payoff from its five-year effort to create a standardized platform to underpin dozens of electric models.
Last year, VW became the No. 1 electric-vehicle maker in Europe, where sales of battery-powered cars surged thanks to stricter carbon dioxide limits. And the company’s flagship ID.3 hatchback and the ID.4 crossover are starting to reach showrooms from Shanghai to Chicago.
With VW planning to deliver one million plug-in hybrid and fully electric vehicles, Diess says he’s aiming to surpass Tesla in EV sales no later than 2025. And some analysts predict it could even happen much sooner.