Some people wonder why we cover Tesla so much. I’m going to use this opportunity to quickly explain it. First of all, we are a cleantech news & analysis site. Our focus is cleantech and the reasons for it.
In the world of cleantech, the two biggest topics (and needs) are clean, renewable electricity production and clean electric transport. The former, the renewable energy market, is a more mature market, with renewable energy routinely accounting for more than half of new global power capacity and new US power capacity. Solar and wind power are clearly lowest-cost options in the majority of cases and are relatively predictable from a broad perspective. They win most contracts, their prices keep coming down steadily, and the grid is slowly getting cleaner as a result. Of course, there’s plenty of detail to get interested in within these industries, but the top-line view has been simple and clear for years. (Also, by the way, Tesla is a huge player in rooftop solar power and energy storage, so it gets covered when covering this category as well as transport.)
When it comes to clean electric transport, the world overall is at about 2% market share. The US, where the biggest portion of our readers (~50%) live, has a similar if not worse market share. European countries we cover closely range from ~1% market share to about ~50% market share in the extremely progressive case of Norway, but the norm is around 2% market share. In other words, this is a much less mature market than the renewable energy market and major automakers are still being dragged into the transition — and Tesla is the only company genuinely pushing the industry forward as quickly as possible. That makes this industry more interesting, and it also often puts Tesla front and center. It’s the clear leader setting the benchmark for practically every major auto market in the world.
Furthermore, cars are interesting since they are consumer products we interact with intimately many hours a week, and there are no cars more interesting or unique on the mass market than Teslas. Hence, Tesla products generate a lot of stories. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Just look at the numbers.
Getting to the focus of this article, as you may have gathered by now, Tesla dominates electric vehicle (EV) sales in market after market. In the Netherlands, the Model 3 will have approximately twice as many sales as the second best selling vehicle (of any kind) in 2019. In Norway, it’s also far and away the leader. In several markets, it outsells top premium-class “competitors” by multiples of their totals. In the USA, as the headline indicates, Tesla accounts for approximately 77% of electric vehicle sales. That’s almost monopoly-level market share. (Note: This report includes several EV sales estimates, since US automakers don’t publish monthly sales figures for any vehicles any longer and some don’t even publish quarterly sales of EV models. However, we understand the Tesla figures to be solid and are confident the other estimates are not very far off from reality.)
This 77% market share applies to both November and 2019 as a whole (January–November 2019). The Tesla Model 3, despite being the smallest in the Tesla fleet, does the most lifting. It scored approximately 10,500 deliveries in November, compared to 1,700 Model X deliveries, and 1,000 Model S deliveries.
There’s plenty of speculation out there why the Model 3 sees so many sales. It has much better tech than any other car near its price, it has much better performance than any other car near its price, it has market-leading safety, it benefits from Tesla’s vast Supercharger network at an affordable level, and it’s just got Tesla’s newfandangled cool factor. That all adds up.
Despite being dwarfed by the Model 3, some sales figures of other EVs were surprisingly higher than usual. The BMW i3 had 918 registrations, nearly its best result in history, and the LEAF had a fairly strong month at 1,140 registrations.
The question yet again, though, is which coming electric models can reach 10,000+ sales a month in the USA? The Tesla Model Y? (Of course.) The Volkswagen ID.4? Hopefully! The Volkswagen ID Buzz? One can dream. The Tesla Cybertruck? Oh, come on! The Ford F-150 Electric? It better. The Ford Mustang Mach-E? If supply is there and dealers aren’t lame, it has the potential. Any “Tesla killers?” Doesn’t look like it.
In one year, we will have a better look at how some of those models can do on the US market. The harsh thing is that we’re going to have to wait so long at least until another electric vehicle gets up to 100,000+ US sales a year. While some people may think we like seeing Tesla at 77% market share, I certainly don’t! I’d like to see as many electric models as possible hitting 10,000+ sales a month. Every time I write an article about such a warped and immature market, I am truly disappointed. Imagine how much further along we could be if some other automakers took our climate crisis as seriously as Elon Musk and Tesla do. Imagine how much better off humanity — including Americans — would be if the US EV market saw 100,000 sales a month instead of 17,000.
Thanks to EV Volumes for support with some of the sales numbers.
If you’d like to buy a Tesla Model 3, Model S, or Model X and want 1,000 miles of free Supercharging, feel free to use my referral code: https://ts.la/zachary63404 — or use someone else’s if you have a friend or family member with a Tesla who has helped you more. The referral code can also be used for a $100 discount on Tesla solar.