BMW, Mercedes, and VW each saw EV sales skyrocket vs. ICE slump, but who is winning?

Following a production year riddled with supply chain constraints, chip shortages, and a war in Ukraine, German automakers BMW Group, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen Group still saw significant growth in EV sales. Conversely, combustion vehicle sales continue to drop due to the reasons above, in addition to more and more drivers joining the green side.

We won’t waste any of your time today recapping who the legacy automakers out of Germany are. We are quite confident you’re familiar with each and their respective lineups of all-electric models. Although Mercedes or BMW might not be Volkswagen’s top competitor, the three automakers still compete at some level, particularly in the electrified segment.

For example, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and VW’s Audi marque are all competing for global EV sales in the luxury segment, whether it’s sedans or, in Mercedes’s case, SUVs and vans as well. Volkswagen Group has become a growing threat in the market share of EV sales in recent years, nipping at the heels of global leader Tesla, but did it hold steady in 2022?

Here’s how each of these German automakers stacked up against one another in overall EV sales in 2022.

EV sales
Source: Volkswagen Group

Which German automaker saw the highest EV sales in 2022?

If you guessed Volkswagen Group, you’d be correct… to an extent. The German automaker responsible for the ever-popular ID.4 reported around 330,000 deliveries of BEVs around the globe this past year, noting 23.6% growth year-over-year.

For comparison, VW delivered 4.56 million vehicles in all, down 6.8% compared to a year prior. Since delivering its first ID.3 in 2020, Volkswagen has delivered over 580,000 ID. models worldwide. According to a recent report by Reuters, Volkswagen Group also fared the worst (of these three) in response to supply chain constraints in 2022.

BMW Group is reporting similar numbers in terms of overall deliveries since committing to electrification. The automaker delivered its 500,000th BEV to a customer in late 2022. As for last year’s totals, however, BMW Group fell well short of Volkswagen.

It delivered 215,755 fully electric BMW and MINI vehicles during its most recent trip around the sun, but more than doubled EV sales compared to 2021 (107.7% growth). So while its delivery numbers couldn’t hold a candle to VW Group, its growth leaves plenty of room for optimism headed into 2023, especially with the all-electric i5 joining the lineup.

Last but not least is Mercedes-Benz, which is reporting the lowest number of EV sales of the trio, but is touting the highest YOY growth. Fully electric variants of the A- and B-Class made up 10% of all sales, doubling compared to 2021.

EV sales totaled 117,800 in 2022, showcasing 124% growth. For comparison, Mercedes’s worldwide passenger car sales fell 1% to 2.05 million last year, but the only key region to see a year-on-year sales decrease was China. Mercedes-Benz is also the only company on the list reporting electric van numbers, which saw a 15% increase in sales (14,700 units) in 2022.

To recap, Volkswagen Group saw the highest number of EV sales but the lowest growth. Mercedes-Benz saw the most growth but the smallest number of EV sales, and BMW Group was middle of the pack in both categories.

All in all, each of these German automakers appears to be on the right track in terms of electrification, and we’d expect these numbers to continue to trend upward a year from now.

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Scooter Doll is a writer, designer and tech enthusiast born in Chicago and based on the West Coast. When he’s not offering the latest tech how tos or insights, he’s probably watching Chicago sports.
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