All-electric car sales quickly increase around the world, against all odds, and the year 2022 once again brought new records.

In this post, we will take a look at the sales results of the three largest battery electric vehicle (BEV) manufacturers (OEMs) globally - Tesla, BYD and Volkswagen Group (including Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and SEAT brands).

"The big three" remains the same, just like in 2021, but interesting things are happening, including shuffling of positions between the German and Chinese group.

BYD Atto 3

BYD Atto 3

2021 Volkswagen ID.4 AWD exterior dynamic

Volkswagen ID.4 (AWD)

Let's start with the fourth quarter of 2022. As we can see below, all three OEMs improved its results to new record levels.

Tesla delivered the highest number of electric cars (over 400,000), but BYD with over 329,000 electric cars (excluding plug-in hybrids) achieved the highest growth rate of 142 percent year-over-year. This allowed it to significantly reduce the distance to Tesla.

Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Group (over 205,000) was unable to match the volume of the two leaders.

BEV sales results in Q4 2022:

  • Tesla: 405,278 (up 31% year-over-year)
  • BYD (cars): 329,011  (up 142% year-over-year) or 81% of Tesla's result
    Difference to Tesla: 76,267 (down 56% year-over-year)
  • Volkswagen Group*: 205,328 (up 29% year-over-year) or 51% of Tesla's result
    Difference to Tesla: 199,950 (up 34% year-over-year)

Tesla vs Volkswagen Group BEV vs BYD BEV sales - Q4 2022

In 2022, Tesla delivered more than 1.3 million electric cars (an increase of 40 percent year-over-year).

BYD surprised us with an unprecedented rate of growth, nearly tripling its BEV sales to over 0.9 million units. That's over 400,000 units less than in the case of Tesla, but the difference was 35% lower than a year ago. It will be very interesting to see which company will be able to expand its electric car business faster in 2023.

The Volkswagen Group noted over 570,000 electric car sales, but with the lowest result among the three and the lowest growth rate (26 percent). The company lost its second place and is now noticeably behind BYD, not even mentioning Tesla.

BEV sales results YTD:

Things might be better for the Volkswagen Group this year, but it's not expected that the company will exceed 0.9-1 million units (a potential increase of 75 percent), which would be comparable to Tesla's result in 2021 and BYD's result in 2022. In other words, the German company can forget for quite some time about becoming the largest electric car player and overtake Tesla, about which we heard a few years ago.

Nonetheless, the "race" continues, and all three manufacturers have the potential for further fast growth as electrification barely entered the mainstream and only in the wealthiest markets. We are pretty sure that the year 2023 might be spectacular for all three OEMs - and who knows, maybe some other automotive group will join the party.

* Volkswagen Group includes Volkswagen (cars), Audi, Skoda, Porsche, Seat/Cupra, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, but for the sake of comparison we excluded MAN, Scania and Navistar.