Study: VW to overtake Tesla in e-car sales by 2024

Study: VW to overtake Tesla in e-car sales by 2024

According to a recent study, Tesla is expected to retain its leadership in global e-car sales for only a good year and a half.

Then Volkswagen is likely to take over after 2024, according to Bloomberg Intelligence (BI). The German manufacturer, still well behind industry leader Tesla worldwide, is already the market leader in Europe.

In the report entitled "Battery Electric Vehicles Report - Automakers Race to the Top", the authors note that the incentive to catch up with Tesla is lacking for most traditional brands in the short term, given rising battery costs and a lack of scale.  The German carmaker is on track to surpass Tesla's e-car volume in 2024. The sales figures of the two rivals are expected to be a good 2.5 million units each by that time.

Global e-car demand is expected to more than double by 2025. BI's analysis shows that China's BYD will be in third place globally by 2025, with just over 1.5 million e-cars sold. Followed by several well-known carmakers, all of which are expected to hover around an annual BEV sales mark of one million, such as Ford, General Motors and Stellantis. Only later in the decade are US and Japanese automakers expected to be serious challengers for a top-3 spot.

"Looking ahead, automakers in Europe, China and elsewhere will challenge Tesla via a wave of new models, although profit incentives are limited given rising battery costs and lack of scale. That could change in 2025-26 as more brands reach critical mass in new-generation models with proprietary software," said Michael Dean, senior European automotive industry analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. There are some challenging external factors to consider, he says, and even bold e-car ambitions can do little to prevent crisis-level multipliers fuelled by recession fears, rising interest rates, supply chain constraints and inflation.

Battery prices remain critical to the cost competitiveness of e-cars, according to the report. Volkswagen is therefore investing up to €30 billion in the battery supply chain, including opening six new battery cell factories in Europe by 2030.
According to BI, sales by Volkswagen, BMW and other foreign brands in China can only come at the expense of prices and profitability, as they have ceded first-mover advantage to Tesla and local manufacturers. Chinese manufacturers such as BYD, Nio, Xpeng and other local companies have been quick to step into this technology gap, wooing consumers not only with high range and plenty of power but also with lower prices despite luxury features and even virtual reality entertainment in some cases.

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