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Volkswagen battery electric vehicle deliveries nearly triple in H1

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FRANKFURT, July 20 (Reuters) - Volkswagen on Tuesday said global deliveries of battery electric vehicles (BEV) nearly tripled in the first half of 2021, mostly driven by demand in Europe which last week unveiled an effective end date for new combustion engine cars.

In the first six months of the year, deliveries of BEVs climbed to 170,939. "Our global electric offensive continues to make good progress and customer demand is high," said Christian Dahlheim, Volkswagen's head of group sales.

"This year, we plan to deliver around one million electrified vehicles for the first time, and are confident that we will meet the fleet targets for CO2 emissions in Europe." The 1 million target refers to both BEVs as well as plug in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

Volkswagen has not provided an annual target just for BEVs. In China, the world's largest automotive market, BEV sales more than doubled to 18,285 vehicles, accounting for just 10.7% of the group's total. "In the third quarter, we expect a significant boost to BEV deliveries in China thanks to the expanded Volkswagen ID. model range," Dahlheim said. Sources told Reuters last month that Volkswagen's ID series - the backbone of its electric vehicle ambitions - was off to a slow start in China.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz, editing by Kirsti Knolle)

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