Among Europe’s electric car leaders Stellantis passes Tesla, challenges VW

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Stellantis aims to become Europe’s top seller of battery-electric vehicles, ahead of Volkswagen and Tesla.

“We are head on fighting for the top spot in terms of BEV sales in European market,” CEO Carlos Tavares told analysts on Stellantis’ first-half earnings call last week.

In the first half, Stellantis sold 105,413 full-electric cars in Europe, just behind VW Group, which sold 116,307, and ahead of Tesla, which recorded 78,277 sales, according to figures from data provider Dataforce. 

The figures include registrations in EU countries plus the UK, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway. Data from Portugal, Sweden and Finland were not available.

Stellantis’ push in Europe was led by the Fiat New 500 small hatchback, which was the best-selling full-electric car in Western Europe in the second quarter, according to analyst Matthias Schmidt. It was the first time that honor did not go to a Tesla model since the last quarter of 2020, Schmidt said. 

The New 500 was the best-selling full-electric car in Italy and Germany in the second quarter, Tavares told investors. Another key Stellantis electric model was the Peugeot e-208 small car, which took the top EV spot in France in the same period, he said.

Tesla’s sales total was affected by coronavirus shutdowns at its factory in Shanghai, which builds Model 3 sedans for export to Europe. At the same time, the company is just ramping up production of the Model Y crossover at its new factory outside of Berlin, which came online in March.

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