Updated: Apr 8
Plugged In: OEM Activities and what to expect from them in 2022
A record number of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) were registered in 2021, exceeding those registered in the previous five years combined.
Global BEV & PHEV Sales ('000s) - Credit: www.ev-volumes.com
There was a global movement behind this demand for BEVs, with the US, UK, European, and Asian markets already pushing for EV adoption.
A combination of climate challenges, government regulations, and recently, rising energy costs are driving the EV market to take centre stage in the overall automotive market.
BloombergNEF reports, that Electric vehicles, including battery electric and plug-in hybrids, made up 7.2% of global car sales in the first half of 2021, up from 2.6% in 2019 and 4.3% in 2020 showing a consistent YoY growth for the market.
One company making a statement in the market is BYD, the Chinese automaker joins the likes of CATL, Envision AESC, LG Energy Solution, Panasonic, Samsung, and SK Innovation as a tier one cell manufacturer.
The company officially begins to distribute its cells to other OEMs through its commercial battery arm Fudi Battery (Fudi).
By distributing its batteries to other OEMs through Fudi Battery, the Chinese company is fulfilling a long-term company ambition to step ahead of their competition by becoming a key market supplier.
2021 also saw BYD sell more electric and hybrid vehicles in China than Tesla, according to new industry figures, with a surge of growth that puts it on track to doubling sales in 2022.
BYD Qin Plus DM
It has certainly been a busy start to the year for BYD - the company exceeded 180,000 deliveries of BEV/PHEV within just two months of 2022 with 87,476 coming in February up 764% from last year with sales coming almost entirely from China.
BEVs: 43,173 (up 451% year-over-year)
PHEVs: 44,300 (up 1836% year-over-year)
Additionally, the Chinese automaker announced it had stopped producing Internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and now exclusively produces full electric and heavily electrified plug-in hybrid cars.
Tesla, the global BEV, have found things in china difficult of late. Last month they were forced to suspend production at their Gigafactory in Shanghai for four days as a result of a covid lockdown of the city.
China has been a key market for Tesla since the Shanghai Gigafactory opened, tasked with manufacturing more than half of all Tesla vehicles in 2021, and generating revenues in the country that have doubled consecutively over the last two years amassing $13.8bn in 2021.
For Tesla the issue isn’t so much consumer demand, as the market leader just announced sales of 310,048 electric vehicles in their Q1 report up 125,248 from their figures across Q1 2021 where Tesla delivered 184,800 EV’s.
Although Tesla's sales and revenues have grown YoY, production trends continue to follow suit with the company failing to produce as many electric vehicles as it delivers, as shown by the 305,407 vehicles produced this past quarter.
Over 50% of Tesla vehicles produced in China in the past two months were for export, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), resulting in delivery time issues for customers.
Q1 was a major pivot for Tesla as they also unveiled their European Gigafactory in Berlin.
The state-of-the-art factory hopes to boost production numbers, allowing for the automaker to deliver and capitalise on demand in China as well as Europe who lead the global market for number of BEV’s sold in 2021.
Tesla, have dominated the market with their flagship models 3, and Y taking up two spots in the top 3 most sold BEV brands of 2021, for Tesla the goal is to maintain dominance and so far it is making strides to keep hold of the mantel even if competitors start to make their way into the foray.
Across the globe US Legacy automaker General Motors, is in a different boat.
In the wake of their tumultuous end to 2021, which saw 26 EV's sales in Q4, down almost 100% from 2020 Q4, General Motors (GM) has pledged to launch an extensive line of electric vehicles, including the recently announced Lyriq, in 2022.
General Motors Lyriq EV
Looking at that figure without context can be misleading as their Chevrolet Bolt was subject to an entire recall due to faulty battery packs but GM has till now maintained a more conservative approach to electrification compared to its counterparts,.
Q1 2022, hasn’t been the easiest start either with GM announcing a 95% drop in domestic sales with only 457 units –the one saving grace being their GMC Hummer generating 99 new deliveries which the company says is “according to plan.”
Yet, just how successfully are things going if executives of the company want to switch to only making electric vehicles by 2030?
With their Production of the Chevrolet Bolt EV and Bolt EUV scheduled to resume on April 4, GM, expects sales of its electric Chevrolet Bolt models can rebound from a high-profile recall after several vehicles caught fire to achieve record results in 2022.
Still a combination of low sales numbers, and evident lag in market penetration and adaptation compared to competitors, has meant that 2022 is a poignant year for the Michigan based Automaker.
In recent news GM announced a collaborative project with Honda which would see the two jointly develop affordable EV's for 2027 - touted as a crossover for the North American market, this new model will be positioned at a price point lower than the Chevrolet Equinox EV with figures suggesting a cost of £22,995.
A focal point of the collaboration, includes standardising equipment and processes across the two firms, intended to contribute towards “world-class quality, higher throughput and greater affordability”.
On the other side of town, well in fact on the other side of the road, FORD last month announced their intention to split operations, into two separate divisions, one for its EV's and one for its internal combustion engine (ICE) cars or gasoline cars.
In a conference call with analysts and investors John Lawlor, CFO, said Ford now has "the right organizational structure to compete and win, against the very best” including both legacy and new start-ups.
FORD has certainly been busy over the last 6 months, their very first EV launch the, Mustang Mach-E, saw NA sales of 27,140 in 2021 – and 20,000 sales in Western Europe in November alone.
Ford Mustang Mach-E
Considering Ford's ambitious global goals, the Mach-E's surprising success has paid off massively for FORD, allowing them to break into the European market and begin to close the gap with market leaders like VW and Tesla in Europe and the US.
So much so that CEO Jim Farley has said the company expects to triple output of the Mustang Mach-E to over 200,000 a year by 2023
These ambitions are further demonstrated by a call for overall battery-only vehicle sales of 600,000 per annum, within the next 2 years, following launches of the highly anticipated F-150 Lightning pickup and the E-Transit van.
F-150 Lightning pickup and the E-Transit van.
Despite a solid end to last year and promising beginning to 2022, the legacy automaker still needs to go the extra mile to catch up in the EV race with their local competitors.
Another key player which has been busy over the last 12 months is Volkswagen.
The German automaker has said that due to strong demand for its electric vehicles, it has already sold out its full 2022 production run for some of its EV brands.
VW Group’s CFO, Arno Antlitz, told Bloomberg “we see better scale, we see better margins, we see high customer demand,” adding that originally they had “thought it takes two to three years until we see the parity of ICE and battery-electric vehicles.”
VW Group reported in January that it had made progress on its "transformation into a sustainable, software-centric mobility group in the year now completed and had doubled its BEV deliveries year-on-year to 452,900 units." (source: https://www.volkswagen-newsroom.com/en/press-releases/volkswagen-group-on-course-for-new-auto-deliveries-of-battery-electric-vehicles-doubled-in-2021-7705)
Representing a +96% rise against the groups 2020 figures, 2021s units delivered established the group as the BEV market leader in Europe and number two in the USA in terms of sales.
Another key figure for VW was the 92,700 BEVs delivered in china - which is more than four times the figure for 2020.
EV unit deliveries now account for 5.1% of VW’s total deliveries, up from 2.5% in 2020.
In addition to sales of BEVS, VW also reports “sales of plug-in hybrids also rose significantly to 309,500 united (+61 percent)” so very much a purple patch for the European automaker.
VW, also announced the opening of new, human-centric, state of the art charging stations across the US, via their subsidiary Electrify America – in a bid to improve user experience and accessibility in the states.
2021 was very much a statement year for VW, and 2022 has not let up so far in propelling VW into an upwards trajectory – sold out product lines signify demand for their product but will they we able to tackle their chip shortage issues?
As we’ve seen with Tesla, demand is integral to success however production output is also key for maintaining market status and establishing dominance.
Legacy automakers seemingly benefit from having scale advantages with parts suppliers, but this has not necessarily translated into market share gains within the EV market.
Where Tesla and BYD hold the advantage is that they are a vertically integrated – Tesla produces its own sheet metal, their battery packs and software - BYD as referenced earlier are now a tier one cell manufacturer.
As all of these components contribute to growing success in the market, a shift is necessary for legacy automakers to make a mark - if the failed releases have shown anything, it is that the market relies heavily on their suppliers as well.