VW’s ID.3 quickly reaches top of Europe’s electric car market

Siddharth Philip

Volkswagen AG’s ID.3 hatchback rose to the top of Europe’s electric-car sales charts a few months after hitting the market, narrowly beating a Renault SA model and trouncing Tesla Inc.’s Model 3.

VW sold 10,475 ID.3s in October, beating Renault’s Zoe subcompact by about 700 units, according to Jato Dynamics. After beating all other EVs by a wide margin in September, Tesla registered just 834 Model 3 sedans last month.

Electric car ID.3 cars stand at the factory area at the plant of the German manufacturer Volkswagen AG (VW) in Zwickau, eastern Germany, Feb. 25, 2020.

Electric vehicles have become a focal point in Europe, with governments boosting subsidies to help carmakers recover from the pandemic and comply with stricter emissions standards. Total deliveries of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric models are now rivaling cars powered by diesel.

“Every month, we are seeing new records being set by electric-vehicle sales,” said Felipe Munoz, a Turin-based senior analyst for Jato Dynamics. “We expect this trend to keep going as battery prices come down further.”

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Renault and its partner Nissan Motor Co. long enjoyed a first-mover advantage in the market. But their alliance has seen its share of Europe’s EV segment shrink by almost half during the past four years.

Tesla took over the pole position in 2019, and VW is now closing in. The German carmaker’s forthcoming ID.4 crossover could be even more of a hit than the ID.3, Munoz said.

“The reason why the ID.3 is a success could be down to its relatively affordable price,” he said. “We would expect the ID.4 to further VW’s success with electrics.”