The future usually looks bright and full of great things. That is why the plans we see in the imaginative PowerPoint presentations of car manufacturers include positive scenarios and big goals. This is more or less the case with ambitious electrification projects. Almost all car groups operating today aim to go green or climate-friendly with the cars they will produce in the next 10-15 years.
According to these plans, we will see many electric cars on the roads in the coming years. Some car manufacturers are aiming for complete electrification as a response to the growing competition from China and its large global projects. Others aim for electric vehicles because there is no choice, depending on regulations and government plans.
An electric line
Who is really making headway in this global race for ecology? While Tesla and BYD are clearly leading in terms of sales volume, their historical competitors from Europe, the US, Korea, Japan, India and even Vietnam are trying to catch up in terms of supply.
Tesla may be the exception. Its current range is aged and particularly limited, with only four different models available: the Model 3 and Model S saloons, and the Model Y and Model X SUVs. While the public continues to wait for the introduction of the Cybertruck, today's reality is that Tesla is among the carmakers with the smallest electric product range.
In fact, the American manufacturer is not even among the top 20 carmakers with the widest range of electric vehicles.
Geely, one of China's largest automobile groups, leads the global competition for the largest amount of electric models available as of November 2023. This car manufacturer, which owns Volvo, Geely, Lynk & Co, Lotus, Livan, Proton, Polestar, Radar, Jidu, Farizon, Geometry and ZEEKR, currently offers 25 different electric vehicles worldwide.
These include 12 SUVs, 3 MPVs, 7 saloons, 1 city car, 1 hatchback and 1 sports car. The SEA (Sustainable Experience Architecture) platform underlies at least 14 of these models. Geely is certainly an example of commitment to future plans.
Stellantis ahead of Volkswagen
The other interesting fact from the analysis is that Stellantis is ahead of the Volkswagen group in terms of offerings. At the moment, 20 different electric models are available from the former against 19 from the latter. The Italian-French-American carmaker is trying to catch up by presenting more vehicles to a broader consumer base. However, most of Stellantis' offering is still rather European-centric and lacks global appeal: at least 16 of these models are designed for the European consumer.
Car brands produced by the world's largest automotive groups - graphic
In contrast, the German manufacturer is pushing its ID and e-tron sub-brands with a more global approach. The Volkswagen brand offers six different electric models, three of which are available in Europe, China and the United States. Audi's seven models include five models available globally.
Behind them, there is China's SAIC with 16 models, many of which are already available in Europe and emerging markets; General Motors with 16, and many yet to be introduced in markets; China's Dongfeng and BYD with 15 and 14 models respectively; and Germany's Mercedes and BMW and Korea's Hyundai-Kia with 11 models each.
Others, such as Renault, all Japanese manufacturers, Ford, Tata and Mahindra, are still far from turning their brilliant PowerPoint presentations into reality.
The author of the article, Felipe Munoz, is Automotive Industry Specialist at JATO Dynamics.