One of our readers, Madan Rajan, has noticed that Tesla must have just passed 5 million cumulative sales. Additionally, China must have just passed 20 million cumulative plugin vehicle sales. “Lofty achievement from a company and a country,” he added.
Indeed — we are getting to truly significant levels of electric vehicle sales. Hence the new BloombergNEF report showing that global oil demand has dropped off notably in recent years.
Granted, as noted in the report and in my article about it the other day, electric two-wheelers and three-wheelers have cut oil use more than electric cars, trucks, and SUVs. Nonetheless, you can see a large slash in oil demand in 2023 due to passenger electric vehicles, following increasingly significant oil avoidance in recent years. We are far from where we need to be, but with EV sales growing strongly year after year, we know that blue bar is only going to get bigger and bigger. We may be approaching a tipping point.
With Tesla the world leader in BEV sales, every milestone it reaches is a milestone for the industry as a whole. The same goes for China, which accounts for more than half of all plugin vehicle sales year after year.
Of course, Tesla has a goal of reaching 20 million BEV sales a year in 2030. That would mean quadrupling its current cumulative output each year. Personally, I don’t see that happening, but I can see Tesla selling 3–5 million vehicles a year within the next few years, and perhaps up to 10 million a year by 2030 if it offers more compelling mass-market models (beyond the Model 3 and Model Y). In any case, though, we can expect that it will continue to lead the BEV market (alongside BYD) and will continue to put a big dent in global oil demand and production.
As far as China goes, we’re just getting started. The country has just reached 26% of its vehicle sales being BEV sales, and plugin vehicles reaching 39%. That’s a massive achievement, and far more than the US level, but it should only improve in the coming few years. I think we can expect 90%+ BEV share, or at least 90%+ plugin vehicle share, in the country in 2030. Imagine the cumulative sales milestone and crater in oil demand at that time. RIP, OPEC.
With my takeaways out of the way, when do you think Tesla will reach 10 million cumulative BEV sales, and when do you think China will reach 30 million cumulative plugin vehicle sales?