ALL NEWS

Volkswagen triples electric car sales ahead of climate rules

Jan 12, 2021, 5:43 AM
electric roads...
FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2020 file photo, a worker completes an electric car ID.3 body at the assembly line, during a press tour at the plant of the German manufacturer Volkswagen AG, VW, in Zwickau, Germany. Automaker Volkswagen tripled sales of battery-only cars last year as its new electric compact ID.3 came on the market ahead of tough new limits on auto emissions. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file)
(AP Photo/Jens Meyer, file)

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Europe’s push into electric cars is gathering speed — despite the pandemic.

Automaker Volkswagen tripled sales of battery-only cars in 2020 as its new electric compact ID.3 came on the market ahead of tough new European Union limits on auto emissions. And Germany, long a laggard in adopting electric vehicles, saw more people buy electrics in December than opted for previously dominant diesel vehicles.

Those are early signs of what will likely be an upcoming year of increasing market share for electric cars as EU regulations drive their adoption, despite the recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic that has caused the overall car market to shrink.

Volkswagen said Tuesday its namesake brand sold 134,000 battery-powered cars last year, up from 45,000 in 2019.

Including hybrids, which combine an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, sales of electrified cars reached 212,000, up from 82,000 in 2019.

Volkswagen’s announcement comes as the auto industry association in Germany reports that one in four cars sold in the country in December had an electric motor, uptake that was supported by incentives as part of the government stimulus package during the COVID-19 recession.

Battery and hybrid cars took 26.6% of sales that month, running ahead of diesel cars, which had 26.2%. That is also a token of diesel’s steep decline after Volkswagen’s 2015 scandal involving diesel cars rigged to cheat on emissions tests.

Electric cars have so far been a small but rapidly growing slice of the European market.

Automakers in the EU must sell more zero-emission cars in order to meet tougher fleet average limits on emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas blamed for climate change. Those limits came fully into effect on Jan. 1. Failure to achieve a fleet average of less than 95 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer driven can mean heavy fines.

Sales have been driven by government incentives, and by an increasing number of new models that — like the ID.3 — were designed purely as electric cars, rather than being converted from internal combustion models.

Demand has been held back by lack of places to charge electric cars, including for people who live in apartment buildings and can’t install a charging box at home. Germany’s auto association, the VDA, said there’s only one publicly available charging station for every 17 electric cars.

California-based Tesla has been a major factor in the electric upswing with its Model 3 and its proprietary network of fast-charging stations.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

FILE -- This Nov. 15, 2020 photo shows a long row of unsold used Highlander sports-utility vehicles...
Britt Johnson

Used car prices dropping but supply still low

The prices of used cars are starting to fall in Utah, however, dealers are seeing a very low supply of used cars.
11 hours ago
A group of students at the Jean Massieu School of the Deaf is making blankets for pet dogs and cats...
Allie Litzinger

Students making pet blankets to donate to the Humane Society of Utah

The Kindness Club at Jean Massieu School of the Deaf is making blankets for pet dogs and cats at the Humane Society of Utah.
11 hours ago
Drivers are being asked to avoid the area of 1200 West and 600 North after a fatal auto-pedestrian ...
Simone Seikaly

Police investigating fatal auto-pedestrian crash in Salt Lake City

Drivers are being asked to avoid the area of 1200 West and 600 North after a fatal auto-pedestrian accident.
11 hours ago
Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., departs after attending a House GOP conference meeting on Capitol Hill ...
Manu Raju and Melanie Zanona, CNN

George Santos tells House Republicans he wants off of his committees until issues are resolved

Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia told CNN that it was Santos' decision that he made on his own to "abstain" from the committees.
11 hours ago
The Central City Recreation Center at 615 South 300 East in Salt Lake City will be used as an emerg...
Simone Seikaly

Citing ‘dangerously low’ overnight temps, county opens emergency shelter

Volunteers are among the county and city workers helping provide emergency shelter for the homeless at the Central City Recreation Center.
11 hours ago
Police are investigating a double homicide that happened in Taylorsville overnight. According to Sg...
Amie Schaeffer

Suspect still at large after double homicide in Taylorsville

Two males were found dead in a car at the Atherton Apartments in Taylorsville on Sunday, Jan. 30, 2023. The homicide suspect fled the scene.
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Volkswagen triples electric car sales ahead of climate rules