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The US Electric Vehicle Market – Does Tesla Have any Challengers?

(Rick Sander, CEO, Thursday, November 21, 2019)

When people think of automotive electric vehicles (EVs) in the US market, they typically think of one manufacturer: Tesla. And there is good reason for that: In the first ten months of 2019 (January to October), the Tesla Model 3 was by far the highest-selling auto EV in the market, with over 123,000 vehicles sold according to Cleantechnica. The number 2 and number 3 spots during the same time were taken by the Tesla Model X SUV, and the Tesla Model S sedan. Just to put this advantage in perspective, the Tesla 3 was not just the #1 vehicle – its sales actually eclipsed the sales of all other auto EVs combined. The nearest competitors were the Chevy Bolt (14,611 vehicles) and the Nissan LEAF (9,998 vehicles).

Many in the market would argue that the Tesla 3 success is due to the “quota system” that California utilizes for stickers that allow EVs to drive in carpool lanes, which is on a per-model basis, and once those stickers are gone, Tesla 3 sales will drop significantly (as has been seen with other EVs). While that may be a factor that helped Tesla 3 sales, the combination of Tesla’s long range for their vehicles, and the availability of a high-power fast charging network nationwide, probably doesn’t hurt either. That is why Ford, who is planning to provide electric versions of most of its vehicles, is focused on achieving ranges of 300 miles per charge for its EVs. Ford is also working with Electrify America to provide a 150kW fast charger network that can put 47 miles of range into an EV in ten minutes. If Detroit (and the rest of the auto manufacturers) can really stick to their EV plans, Tesla will have real competition in the near future.

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