Tesla Projected to Win U.S. Electric-Car Race
Analysts Warn of a Tesla Sales Plateau
More than a dozen automakers are jostling to lead the U.S. electric-car race, but Bloomberg Fresh Energy Finance sees a clear winner separating from the pack: Tesla Inc.
The automaker led by Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk will emerge as “the stand-out” in total cumulative deliveries through 2021, reaching almost 709,000 vehicles, according to BNEF’s Long-Term Electrified Vehicle Outlook released Thursday. Tesla is projected to pull away from current leader General Motors Co., which may slip behind Volkswagen AG’s aggregate sales of plug-in hybrid and fully electrical autos in four years’ time.
Getting there won’t be effortless or a straight shot: Tesla shares have declined every day this week, wiping out some $9 billion in market value, on signs that Model S and Model X deliveries have plateaued just ahead of this month’s introduction of Musk’s more-affordable Model three sedan. What the report captures, however, is the longer view: that Tesla will be able to distance itself from established automakers and predominate many of the world’s fattest markets for battery-powered vehicles.
“If they can stick to the Model three timeline, they’re going to be at the front edge of this for a while,” BNEF analyst Colin McKerracher said of Tesla in a phone interview.
Executing a slick introduction of the Model three as request for the Model S sedan and Model X sport utility vehicle flatline has sapped from Tesla’s stock surge this year. The shares fell as much as Five.Three percent Thursday after a 7.Five percent plunge Wednesday, the steepest one-day drop in more than a year. The drubbing has dropped Tesla’s market capitalization back below GM for the very first time in more than six weeks.
While BNEF expects Tesla, VW and GM will lead the EV charge in 2021, the research group wielded by Bloomberg LP predicts at least three other automakers will have also surpassed the 200,000 cumulative sales mark in the U.S. by that year. After crossing that threshold, buyers are no longer eligible for the total federal $7,500 tax credit toward purchases of vehicles from those manufacturers.
Hitting the 200,000 unit milestone would portend more sustainable request for electrical vehicles. Tho’ BNEF does expect some influence from the federal tax credit phase-out, industry sales could be even higher because the analysts’ short-term forecasts are based only on electrified models disclosed to date.
Product introduction schedules for two thousand twenty and two thousand twenty one are still taking form. BNEF made its forecasts before Volvo said Wednesday it’ll have five electrified models in its lineup by two thousand twenty one and that all of its fresh models will have hybrid or fully electrified powertrains from 2019.
“Tesla will face intense competition by next decade from legacy OEMs who are expanding their electrified options,” Brian Johnson, an analyst at Barclays Plc, wrote in a note to clients Wednesday. “We’ve long argued that Tesla as an EV company is not truly disruptive, in that legacy OEMs will eventually wake up and suggest fully electrical vehicles by the early 2020s.”
The prediction BNEF lodged on that Volkswagen could climb to the No. Two spot by two thousand twenty one was the “the most contentious” of the research group’s projections, McKerracher said. The German automaker doesn’t yet have the same presence in the U.S. market as other electric-focused automakers, tho’ the chance is there for the company to rank among the leaders based on all the vehicle launches it’s announced.
The expected rise in unspoiled electrical vehicle request in the U.S. will come at the expense of some hybrid vehicle request, BNEF said. This could pose a challenge for the likes of Toyota Motor Corp., known for gasoline-electric cars like the Prius. The company sold about 1.Four million traditional and plug-in hybrid vehicles last year and has delivered more than ten million cumulatively since the very first Prius debuted in 1997.
Battery electrical cars have already surpassed plug-in electrical hybrids in the U.S., with about 85,000 and 73,000 sold last year respectively, BNEF data display. The trend also holds globally, with 412,000 battery electrified vehicles sold last year to 283,000 plug-in hybrids.
BNEF expects Toyota’s Prius Prime plug-in hybrid to be the exception and hold the title of best-selling electrified vehicle in the U.S. this year. Tesla will get off to too late of a begin with its Model three to catch up, with Musk planning to hold a handover party for its very first thirty sedan customers on July 28. The company is aiming to ramp-up production to a rate of 20,000 cars per month in December.
“In the long term, we see battery electrical vehicles winning because of the battery cost curve,” McKerracher said.