Stellantis is on a roll in Europe when it comes to electric vehicle sales, with the Franco-Italo-American group overtaking Tesla in the first half of the year and closing in on Volkswagen Group.

The automotive group born from the merger of France's PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles aims to become Europe's top seller of battery-electric vehicles, ahead of Volkswagen and Tesla.

In the first half of 2022, Stellantis sold 105,413 fully electric cars in Europe compared to Tesla's 78,277 sales, and was just behind Volkswagen Group's 116,307, according to figures from Dataforce cited by Automotive News Europe.

The figures include registrations in the 27 countries of the European Union plus the UK, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway; data from Portugal, Sweden and Finland were not available.

The best-selling electric vehicle from Stellantis in Europe was the Fiat New 500, which was also the best-selling fully electric car in Western Europe in the second quarter, according to analyst Matthias Schmidt. This marked the first time that a Tesla model did not get that honor since the last quarter of 2020.

Fiat's New 500 was also the best-selling EV in Italy and Germany in the second quarter, Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares told investors during the first-half earnings call. Another key Stellantis EV was the Peugeot e-208 subcompact hatchback, which was France’s best-selling EV during the same period. 

Tesla's EV sales growth in Europe slowed down amid coronavirus shutdows at its plant in Shanghai, China, which builds Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers for export to Europe, and a slow ramp of its new plant outside Berlin which started production of the Model Y in March.

However, analyst Mathias Schmidt expects Tesla to "return with a bang in the third quarter" as coronavirus lockdowns end in China, Berlin production increases and semiconductor supply issues get better. Schmidt forecasts Tesla will deliver approximately 200,000 units in Europe in the second half of the year.

Even though Tesla saw its European quarterly volumes fall to their lowest levels in two years, its models still held the first two spots in Europe in the first half. The Model Y led with 39,969 sales, followed by Model 3 with 38,280, Fiat New 500 with 32,315 and Peugeot e-208 with 21,918. Volkswagen Group's best-selling EV, the Skoda Enyaq iV, came in fifth, with 19,951 sales.

Stellantis' sales also included several thousand full-electric passenger vans, including the Citroën ë-Berlingo compact van (956 sales) and its Opel Combo-e sibling (866).

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