There are hundreds of good cleantech stories every day. It’s too much for anyone to cover and even too much for anyone to read. However, every week, there are certain highly notable stories I want to make sure you don’t miss. Here’s this week’s roundup of big cleantech stories to check out in case you missed them.
US EV sales growth: Despite many hurdles and limited model availability, US EV sales continued to grow strongly in 2023. They became 7.2% of the new car market, and Tesla alone became 4.3% of US auto sales! That’s according to an exclusive CleanTechnica report on this industry. In a related CleanTechnica report, I uncovered that the US auto industry grew 8% in the 4th quarter year over year, while EV sales grew 29% — and yet so many headlines focused on the supposed drop in the EV market.
Leading automakers in EV sales: I also dove in and crunched the numbers no one else has crunched to show which automakers in the US account for the most EV sales, and also which automakers have electric vehicle sales as the highest portion of their own total sales.
Tesla Model Y’s enormous US sales growth: In the process of creating charts for EV sales trends over recent years, I was blown away by how much Tesla Model Y sales grew from 2022 to 2023. Interesting enough, though, as I got to the end of that article, there was a notable twist.
Tesla Fremont becomes #1 auto factory in USA: Related, the fact that Tesla’s California EV factory is now the largest auto production factory in the US has to shake up one’s assumptions on the US auto industry. Unfortunately, I’d bet money that 99% of Americans are not aware that Tesla’s Fremont factory is now the #1 auto production facility in the country.
Stimulating more Tesla sales: Tesla’s enormous sales volumes of recent years and ambitious growth targets have put a lot of pressure on the brand, though. In order to stimulate more sales this quarter, Tesla is now giving owners the option of trading in cars that have FSD (“Full Self Driving”) or free Supercharging and getting those features on a new Tesla of their choosing. While that’s great for many customers, it raises concerns about current Tesla consumer demand.
Coming Tesla models: Not that this is surprising, but word on the street is that a $25,000 Tesla vehicle is expected to arrive in 2025. Could this affordable Tesla really hit the market next year? If so, what will that mean for Tesla sales and EV sales overall? Additionally, the Cybertruck is already here, but it will be getting shown around China soon, and that got me thinking about how popular the Cybertruck could actually be in China.
David Havasi and I also talked at length about many of these matters in our latest EV Obsession video. Check it out:
China EV sales: While the US EV market is growing and interesting, it’s nothing compared to the huge, diverse EV market in China. In 2023, a full 25% of new car sales were sales of 100% electric models. That’s well above the USA’s 7%.
Europe EV sales: And then Sweden goes and beats them all, with 29% of new car sales being BEV sales (and 52.5% of sales being plugin vehicles). Across Europe as a whole, 16% of new vehicle sales were BEV sales, basically right in between the USA’s level and China’s level. Looking a bit more broadly, 24% of sales were plugin vehicles sales.
Elon Musk’s record pay package: A cleantech story that grabbed headlines across the interwebs was a Delaware court invalidating Elon Musk’s massive compensation package from recent years. Steve Hanley covers the news and provides his take on it as well.
Ford providing Supercharger adapters for free: Ford was the first automaker to jump in and say that its EV owners would be able to use NACS/Tesla Supercharger stations, and now that 2024 has arrived, the company is saying that until new Ford EVs come with NACS charge ports built in, Ford EV owners will get NACS adapters for free. That is definitely the way to go.
Toyota’s — electrifying, but not electrifying: Toyota has got to be one of the most interesting auto companies to study and discuss regarding the EV transition. Paul Fosse provides a good, thorough look at the unique position Toyota has taken.
CleanTechnica Cars of the Year: We named the US CleanTechnica Car of the Year and European CleanTechnica Car of the Year for 2023, based on reader votes following our own narrowing down of the finalists. Be sure to check out the winners!
Dismantling hydrogen and CCS folly: Michael Barnard published a series of articles highlighting various problems with hydrogen and CCS and problems with the hype they’ve received in recent decades. Take a look at his author archives for all of his content on these matters.
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