The Top 5: Bestselling EV Autos in the world in 2021

Highlights :

  • Manufacturers of the bestselling EVs in the world : Tesla, Wuling, Volkswagen, BYD

After record-making sales last year, EV sentiment skyrocketed off the charts. In this positive growth trajectory for the EV world, it’s worth asking which were the bestselling EV autos in the world last year.

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The year 2021 was phenomenal for the electric vehicles (EVs) industry. Reportedly, the industry saw 6.6 million sales, more than doubling since 2020. Further, on individual levels, the world’s electric vehicle markets fared quite well. Europe’s annual electric car sales increased by nearly 70% in 2021 to 2.3 million. In the United States, crossing 500,000, sales more than doubled in 2021. Moreover, China, Europe, and the United States were the major markets, accounting for roughly two-thirds of the overall car market, with a staggering 90% of global EV sales.

Tesla was the market leader with a 14 percent share. On the other hand, Volkswagen Group was the leading manufacturer of EVs. VW group was second in terms of market share by value, at 12 percent.

Going by models, and not the companies, which were the top-selling EV models across the globe yesteryear?

Here’s a list of the top 5 bestselling EV autos in the world in 2021.

#1 Tesla Model 3

It’s been almost four years since the Model 3 first hit the road. What made it a huge success in new vehicle types is its remarkable combination of class-leading range and a relatively low price. With a record 500,000 worldwide sales in a single year , it was the bestselling EV for the year 2021.

Notably, the most attractive features of the car have been its minimalist design and massive touchscreen control center. While the range had been an obstruction for the popularity of most EVs across the globe, Tesla transcended this with the base Model 3, delivering an all-electric range of 272 miles (438 km). Apart from that, its Long-Range version delivers an impressive 358 miles (576 km)!

The entry level Tesla Model 3 “Rear-Wheel Drive” comes up with MSRP of $44,990 (INR 34 Lakh) in US. Further, its Long Range AWD costs $54,490 (INR 41.5 Lakh), while Performance variant is offered at $61,990 (INR 47 Lakh).

#2 Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV

In 2021, the total number of Wuling Hong Guang MINI EVs sold was over 424,000. Cumulatively, more than 500,000 units have been sold in China since June 2020 (19 months). Ending the year on highs, it saw a record monthly sales pegging at 60,000 for December 2021! In some way, it is the affordable EV for the masses.

The car may go up to a top speed of 100 km/h (62 mph). Further, the Mini EV is equipped with a 9.2 kWh battery capable of an NEDC range of 120 km. The Mini EV can seat four people.

The EV is like a “micro-car,” and has seen success in the company’s home market of China. To lure more customers to buy their mini-car, the Chinese automobile-maker may soon come up with upgrades to the car. As for now, the company already has a monopoly in its home market. Thanks to its Mini EV, the company even managed to sell more EVs than the world’s largest EV-maker, Tesla.

The Hong Guang Mini EV sells in its home market, China, only for 28,800 yuan (INR 3.5 Lakh) that is, around $4,500.

#3 Tesla Model Y

Another one from Tesla, Model Y completes the duopoly that led Tesla to become the EV market leader of the world. Delivering over 410,000 worldwide, Tesla Model Y became the third best-selling mobility option in the world.

The Tesla Model Y is a battery-electric compact crossover. It is based on the Model 3 sedan platform. The Model Y shares an estimated 75% of its parts with the Tesla Model 3. This includes a similar interior design and electric powertrain. The model comes with 244 miles (393 km) of EPA range.

Tesla Model Y is offered in two variants – Long Range AWD, that comes for $62,990 (INR 48 Lakh); and Performance, which costs $67,990 (INR 51 Lakh).

#4 Volkswagen ID.4

The Volkswagen ID.4 is a battery-electric compact crossover SUV. The German firm’s popular vehicle recorded over 121,000 sales in 2021, making it the fourth most favoured choice in the market. The EV promises an electric range of 260 miles on a full charge.

Volkswagen sees ID.4 as a high-volume, mass-market electric vehicle, targeting budgetary customers. To make it more vocal, the company even claimed, through its advertisement, that it was a car for “the millions, not the millionaires”.

In Germany, Volkswagen ID.4 is sold in two options. The Pure, with a 52 kWh battery pack, costs €36,950 (INR 31 Lakh). Its Pro, with a 77 kWh battery pack comes at €44,450 (INR 37 Lakh).

#5 BYD Qin Plus

It is the only PHEV in our list of bestselling EV autos in the world. BYD sold over 111,000 Qin Plus models in 2021, making it the bestselling PHEV in the world. It is the second-generation model of BYD Qin.

The BYD Qin was the top-selling plug-in electric car in China in 2014 and 2015. Its second-generation model includes two variants called the BYD Qin Pro and BYD Qin Plus.

Qin Plus comes with a “blade battery” that provides an electric range of 50-120 km. It also has over 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) of combined range. Further, Qin Plus has breath-taking acceleration – it moves from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in four seconds.

BYD Qin Plus EV was launched last year at price from 129,800 to 166,800 yuan ($19,840 – $25,463 i.e., INR 15-20 Lakh).

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Junaid Shah

Junaid holds a Master of Engineering degree in Construction & Management. Being a civil engineering postgraduate and using his technical prowess, he has channeled his passion for writing in the environmental niche.

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