Investor's Corner

Estimates Suggest Tesla Sold 40% More Than Competition

According to CleanTechnica, Tesla is outselling all other electric and plug-in cars in the US by 40%, yet costs as much as 3 times as much. How is that possible?


The final numbers for 2015 aren’t yet in from every manufacturer, but we know enough to make some educated guesses on how Tesla fares against all other electric car competitors in its home market. It delivered 50,580 cars in 2015, of which 208 were Model X cars. The company does not break out its sales by region, but has indicated in the past that the US accounts for about half of all Model S deliveries.

How does that stack up against those “other guys”? According to CleanTechnica, which maintains a running monthly total of all EV sales (including plug-in hybrids), Nissan sold 17,269 of its LEAF electric cars last year in the US. GM sold 15,393 Volts plus 1,024 Cadillac ELRs, and 2,477 Spark EVs through the end of November. Ford sold roughly the same number of its plug-in hybrid and electric cars as GM, the website says. This rounds out Nissan, GM, and Ford to have each sold between 17,000 and 19,000 electric and plug-in vehicles.

Based on those estimates, Tesla would have outsold its nearest competitors by nearly 40%. Impressive considering each Tesla is priced 2 to 3 times more than other vehicles within the EV category.

It all goes back to Elon Musk and his argument that other automakers need to make better electric cars. He and Tesla Motors have proven that if you innovate and build compelling electric vehicles, as  opposed to building “compliance cars” — Fiat 500e and Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV come to mind – demand from the consumer market will speak for itself, and automakers will follow.

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