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Top Electric Car OEMs By Sales In Q1 2023: Tesla Ahead Of BYD, But Where Is VW?

During the first quarter of 2023, Tesla strengthened as the world’s largest player in the battery electric vehicle (BEV) segment.

In this post, we will take a look at the global sales results of the all-electric cars by the three largest manufacturers (OEMs) – Tesla (without trucks), BYD (without commercial vehicles and other brands) and Volkswagen Group (including Volkswagen, Audi, Porsche, Skoda and Seat/Cupra and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brands, but without trucks/buses).

BYD Atto 3

Volkswagen ID.4 (AWD)

According to the available data, all three OEMs improved their results year-over-year. However, only Tesla set a new quarterly record (422,875), while BYD (264,647) and Volkswagen Group (140,852) noted a result lower than in Q4 2022 (VW Group is actually slightly behind Q3 2022).

BYD improved its sales by 85 percent, which is significantly more than Tesla (36 percent), although it remains around 160,000 units behind Tesla, just like a year ago. The key is that the difference is now relatively smaller than in Q1 2022. If Tesla wants to remain the top player in the long term, it must grow faster.

BEV sales results in Q1 2023:

It seems that the Volkswagen Group has considerably weakened from a strong second place and is now third, with a noticeable and expanding gap to the Chinese manufacturer.

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.

For reference, in 2022, Tesla delivered more than 1.3 million electric cars (an increase of 40 percent year-over-year), BYD sold over 0.9 million (up 184 percent) and Volkswagen Group over 0.57 million (up 26 percent).

BEV sales results in Q1-Q4 2022:


  • Tesla sales do not include trucks (Tesla Semi)
  • BYD sales do not include commercial vehicles (trucks/buses) and other brands (Denza and newly launched brands).
  • Volkswagen Group includes Volkswagen (cars), Audi, Skoda, Porsche, Seat/Cupra, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (vans), but for the sake of comparison we excluded MAN, Scania and Navistar.
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