Tesla is “under challenge” as rivals like Ford gobble up market share with more affordable electric cars | Rare Techy


New electric vehicle models from several automakers are beginning to chip away at Tesla’s dominance of the U.S. electric vehicle market, according to state vehicle registration data.

But numbers compiled by S&P Global Mobility show that Tesla still controlled about 65% of the growing electric vehicle market through the nine months of this year. And competitors made gains in the sub-$50,000 sticker price range, where Tesla barely competes.

Between 2018 and 2020, Tesla had about 80% of the electric vehicle market. Its share fell to 71% in 2021 and has continued to decline, said Stephanie Brinley, co-director of S&P.

“Tesla’s position will change as new, more affordable options arrive that offer equal or better technology and manufacturing,” S&P Global Mobility said in a statement on Tuesday. “As consumer choice and consumer interest in electric vehicles continues to grow, Tesla’s ability to maintain dominant market share will be a challenge going forward.”

Electric vehicles have increased their U.S. market share by 2.4 percentage points this year, rising to 5.2 percent of all light vehicle registrations, according to S&P. S&P said that of the 525,000 electric vehicles registered in the first nine months of the year, about 65%, or 340,000, were Teslas.

Brinley said that despite the smaller market share, Tesla’s sales will continue to grow as consumer interest grows. “The electric vehicle market in 2022 is Tesla’s market, and it will remain so as long as competitors are tied to production capacity,” he said.

Shortages of computer chips and other parts have prevented many competitors, such as Ford, General Motors, Hyundai, Kia and Volkswagen, from operating factories at full capacity to meet demand.

Tesla also faces BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Polestar, Rivian, Lucid and others at the higher end of the market.

S&P said there are currently 48 electric vehicle models on sale in the U.S., and that number is projected to grow to 159 by the end of 2025.

Tesla plans to introduce its Cybertruck pickup truck next year and a new Roadster at an unspecified date, but otherwise its light vehicle lineup in 2025 will be the same as it is now, S&P said. The company plans to deliver some electric semis to PepsiCo on Thursday.

S&P also found that consumers who bought battery electric vehicles so far this year owned Honda and Toyota vehicles before the switch. Both companies have fuel-efficient internal combustion and hybrid models, but the introduction of EVs in the US has been slow. Toyota has only one model, while Honda has none until 2024.

Tesla’s Model Y small SUV and Model 3 small sedan were the top 2 SUVs, accounting for more than half of EV registrations, Brinley said. Ford’s Mustang Mach-E came in third, followed by two more Teslas, the Model S sedan and the X SUV. The top 10 EVs included the Chevrolet Bolt sedan and SUV, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6, Volkswagen ID.4 and Nissan Leaf.

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