It seems that Volkswagen may possibly have been up to some shenanigans as of late — or, at the very least, the narrative all over its EV income in Europe has been deceptive.

The greatest spot to commence the story is maybe with a Greenpeace report late previous calendar year, which referred to as out Volkswagen for sluggish ID.3 sales (the report was posted in German in December 2020). Among other issues, the report suggests that solution buyers at 50 Volkswagen dealerships should have been perfect consumers to provide an ID.3 to, but the magic formula shoppers had been advised the ID.3 in only 8 discussions, versus a fossil fuel car or truck staying advisable 27 times. The report also discovered that a large part of the registered (aka “sold”) ID.3 electric powered autos have been continue to owned by the maker or its sellers — 24{c9ada2945935efae6c394ba146a2811ce1f3bfd992f6399f3fbbb16c76505588} of them across Europe and 35{c9ada2945935efae6c394ba146a2811ce1f3bfd992f6399f3fbbb16c76505588} of them in Germany.

Greenpeace mentioned that, “A specially substantial amount of ID.3s, VW’s electric flagship, remained in the group’s possession.”

It has been noted that Volkswagen has been selling these new EVs like hotcakes. But do they rely as revenue when they are to themselves?

Very last month, Jessica Meckmann seen something strange as effectively, which just backs up the situation earlier mentioned. The Volkswagen ID.3 was supposedly the 3rd most sold EV in Switzerland in Q4 2020. It had 698 registrations. But the range of ID.3s that ended up obtainable for sale on AutoScout was 392. This is more than 50{c9ada2945935efae6c394ba146a2811ce1f3bfd992f6399f3fbbb16c76505588} of all ID.3s, all brand name new motor vehicles, for sale on just 1 on line auto gross sales web site.

This was back again in January. Jessica posted an additional update in early February, under, and the range of obtainable cars for sale on AutoScout was appreciably better.

As is properly recognized, Volkswagen was generating as quite a few ID.3s very last calendar year as humanly doable because of to the new EU carbon emissions rule, and every BEV “sold” saved Volkswagen from around €10,000 in fines. “What they seemed to have performed is just going them to dealerships alternatively of providing them to consumers,” Jessica informed me. “I scarcely see any ID.3 on our roads right here in Switzerland, but there are 461 to be observed for sale on the web.”

Following Greenpeace investigated the sales initiatives of the ID.3, the corporation wrote about “sluggish income of the ID.3 to private people in national-vast examination talks and uncovered a deficiency of revenue incentives and insufficient instruction for sale men and women.”

European auto skilled Jose Pontes of EV Volumes (and CleanTechnica) talked to CleanTechnica a bit about this. He indicated that it is in truth legal to do this, adding that it is “a little bit like how US dealerships operate.” That is correct, but it’s also an abnormality for the European market place, a single stimulated purely by European polices and a supply–demand mismatch at the end of the 12 months that would have left automakers paying out massive fines if they did not come across a way to “sell” a massive selection of EVs to … no a person … at the stop of the calendar year. “Yep, it might not be 100{c9ada2945935efae6c394ba146a2811ce1f3bfd992f6399f3fbbb16c76505588} moral, but it’s authorized,” Jose added.

So, Volkswagen’s considerably heralded accomplishment in offering a higher amount of electric motor vehicles in Europe in 2020 is apparently deceptive. Quite a few of those revenue were being just “sales” to sellers that would require to direct to true customer income afterwards on (in 2021). The booming ID.3 launch was not as magnificent as it was frequently made out to be. Will Volkswagen discover more than enough actual customers in 2021 to meet its needs, or will it provide a bunch of EVs to itself yet again in December 2021 and push them off onto prospects gradually in 2022?

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess may well care about the EV transition ample to meet up with Elon Musk and communicate a good discuss about Volkswagen’s EVs and this kind of, but the end-of-2020 shenanigans to avoid shelling out fines for acquiring a dirty fleet are telling a unique story. Diess and crew have to have to discover substantially far better ways to promote a substantial quantity of EVs in 2021 and past or their accounting methods are going to get additional and additional challenging. Most likely they could start off with polices that have to have dealers to try out a very little more difficult to understand and offer electric automobiles. If dealers do not make nearly as considerably income promoting an EV somewhat than a diesel or petrol motor vehicle, then they will need to be incentivized and trained in different ways.

Allow us know if you locate out nearly anything extra about these self-registrations. We hear that this is not the only company that engaged in such practices at the conclusion of 2020, but Volkswagen is the largest/most notable to do so, primarily supplied its massive ID electrification marketing campaign. What is the resolution? Or will the market function itself out in this regard?

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