Is It True That Tesla Still Has No True Competition?

SEP 20 2018 BY EVANNEX 160


For Tesla, prophecies of gloom and doom from Wall Street’s short sellers typically start with a big assumption. Big Auto must be rushing to market with a flood of electric vehicles to compete with Tesla… right? Analyst Toni Sacconaghi at Bernstein (via Marketwatch) says, “let’s make this clear: there is no actual flood of competition coming.”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: A look at Tesla’s Model 3 (Image: CleanTechnica / Kyle Field)

Sacconaghi and his team of analysts at Bernstein elaborate, “We tallied up every announced electric vehicle arriving in the U.S. between now and 2022, and the results were stark.” The Model 3, which the analysts expect will account for 70% of Tesla’s revenues within two years, “faces no credible competition whatsoever until 2020.”

Wait… what about all the hoopla surrounding the Chevy Bolt? Wasn’t GM supposed to take down the Model 3 and embarrass Tesla? Bernstein notes, “While matching the range and price point of the Model 3, the Bolt arguably remains a lower-end car, without the luxury nameplate, the styling, the performance, or even the electronics offered by Tesla.”

Above: Tesla’s Model 3 and GM’s Chevy Bolt (Source: Wikipedia Commons / Mariordo)

Bernstein points out, “A side-by-side comparison in real life makes the contrast particularly stark – for one thing, the Bolt is a whole 20 inches shorter than the Model 3. GM has been relatively mum on its specific electric vehicle plans going forward… [and] we do not expect it to sell clear competitors to the Model 3 anytime within the next 3 years.”

In fact, when it comes to Model 3 competitors, it’s reported that the only possibility on the horizon might be Volvo’s “all-electric Polestar 2 sedan… [Furthermore] the Model S luxury sedan and the Model X luxury SUV will only face two competitors – the Audi e-tron Quattro and the Jaguar I-Pace – up until 2020, the analysts said.”

Above: Audi’s e-tron launch event had to be moved from Belgium after the company’s CEO was arrested in connection with the latest diesel emissions scandal (Image: Automobile Propre)

For all the hand-wringing about potential rivals for its electric cars, the naysayers gloss over Tesla’s greatest long-term competitive advantage: its “unparalleled brand,” analysts said.

According to the analysts, even if electric car competition does arrive late to the party, Tesla will be “well positioned to defend its share.” Why? Incumbent automakers will help “validate and expand the existing market for electric cars” rather than hampering Tesla with their own electric vehicle launches.

Above: A look at Volvo’s concept car aiming to be Model 3’s next all-electric competitor, the Polestar 2, slated for launch in 2020 (Image: CleanTechnica)

While naysayers, short sellers, and gullible reporters announce Tesla’s EV reign is about to end, Bernstein’s analysis shows otherwise. In the end, the mythical “Tesla Killer” narrative, promoted in the press, might actually have things backwards.


Source: Marketwatch

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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160 Comments on "Is It True That Tesla Still Has No True Competition?"

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I agree that Tesla has no real competition yet. The German offerings might have slightly better finish and feel more luxurious, but in terms of electric drive, they cannot compete.

Also, the small production numbers should mean there will be small North American allocations. After all, if they can sell most EV’s into the Nordic states, why bother importing to the US.

And no one is actually competing directly with Tesla at the moment. The closest comparisons are the Model X and the E-Tron, which even then are different segments.

Until there are electric cars in every segment, they’re still competing with each other. Lots of people purchased the Model 3 simply because a long range crossover was not available at a comparable price offering a comparable range.

Gotta give you a hard time. …. because a long range crossover was not available…. Umm. That will never happen. The one shift that EV’s will have is that sedans will always be way cheaper for comparable range. So your statement has nothing really to do with availability since the laws of physics are immutable.

It would be like saying, we won’t buy a crossover until it has gas mileage comparable to sedan X for the same price.

No One is Capable of Competing with Tesla ….# 1 ..the Competition Needs to Start By INSTALLING A CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE., Until then, Even if they were to be capable of building a Better Car …., The Tesla Charging Infrastructure would Pull in the Buying Customer …Most Will Not Buy a Car that doesn’t have a Charging Infrastructure Because That Is “ONE BIG RANGE OBSTRUCTION” & In Most Cases , A Deal Breaker….4Me 4 Sure !

The I-Pace is real competition for the Model X.

The 2019 Nissan Leaf e-Plus, is real competition for the lower rage $35,000 Model 3 (if such a cheap Model 3 is ever released).

I actually don’t think the German lux/sport EVs compete well at all with Tesla.

Most German sport/lux EVs are PHEVs and rather weak ones at that, basically don’t even come close to the Chevy Volt in EV range.

As far as luxurious feel, I’m more and more convinced that Tesla’s less is more, feng shui approach is re-setting the whole luxury narrative much like the IPhones move to a virtual keyboard signaled the end of physical buttons on smartphones.

When it comes to automotive software and interfaces, Tesla has no peers anywhere in the automotive world and the Germans in particular are way behind.

So you don’t think having dead animal hide stiched inside a 20th Century tech automobile containing 200 buttons all with a different purpose is luxurious?

Would you prefer live animal hide? I don’t think having scores of minks or foxes strapped to your car seat frame would be very practical…

Altho personally, all joking aside, I prefer fabric even though it doesn’t last as long. Leather seats make me hot and sticky in the summer, and in winter they are cold and inflexible. When fabric wears thin, seats can be reupholstered or covered in more fabric.

Living with an ev you don’t have to sweat in your car that is why precondition is available. Stains are easy to remove on leather or leather look a like, fabric not so much.

Preconditioning is available in a lot of ICE vehicles as well…

Name one please where you can remotely turn on the AC while the car is parked

Yeah I would imagine not, since most ICE AC is engine driven, which could kill things if it was parked in a garage.

I know for sure there is such a thing as “remote start” on some ICE cars … don’t ask me which ones – I only have a Prius and a Bolt :). So, in theory, if you left your AC “on”, wouldn’t it kick in when you remotely start the car?

Name one that can’t. If not equipped from the factory, you can always go aftermarket.

Ford Explorer Sport. You can precondition the vehicle through an app

Chrysler 300 rental. Remote start. Would of course be a bad idea in a garage but otherwise it worked. Since mostly I use the feature when car is getting baked in sun, it does work as well. Horribly wasteful and bad for the engine but most consumers don’t care.

Many Jaguars, Fords, BMW, MB etc. Basically most ICE vehicles with remote start. Many of them have apps now that do pretty much everything you can do on an EV (preconditioning, lock/unlock range estimates, location etc).

I use the Fordpass app on my F-150 for example which has all those options.

One bloke I know showed me that feature in his car. I sent the remote AC command to my Leaf, you didn’t even know it had happened except for the blue flashing light on the dash. He sent his command and the V8 fired to life, basically the car was running! Laughed my arse off 🙂

“Stains are easy to remove on leather or leather look a like, fabric not so much.”

They make this stuff called Scotchgard, which comes in a spray can, and protects fabric from stains. Buy a can for a few bucks and spray it on the fabric of the car seats when the car is new, and avoid the “upsell” for which legacy auto makers charge you $100 or more.

Good one Brian!

I rather like the textile seats in Tesla, particularly since they don’t absorb liquids like a spilled drink and can easily be wiped clean with a damp cloth.

Yeah, nothing like taking your eyes off the road, for a big milky, multi-layered touchscreen, with non tactile moving controls. /S

Most people have better muscle memory than you. There have been lots of posts from people using the touch screen without having to look at the screen.

Yes it is. People love animal hide

TM3x2 Chris….Is 100% Accurate & True ..

Nearly always, yes. 🙂

Nearly always??? And I thought we were on the same side of all issues. 🙂

Okay, okay… you’re absolutely, positively, totally, completely 112.795% correct every time, on all issues!

Mea culpa for suggesting othewise. 😉

The Jaguar I-Pace is real competition for the Model X. I would be tempted by the I-Pace, and prefer it to a Model X.

The 2019 Nissan Leaf e-Plus, will be real competition for the lower-range Model 3 (if the latter is ever released).

According to August InsideEVs scorecard BEV sales were 90% Tesla

Tesla has 23000 vs 2500 for the competition (mostly leaf and bolt)

So yes. There is almost no competition at this point. And none in sight in the near future. At least in North America.

Tesla has no competition when it comes to an EV, but it has a good deal of headwind: Manufacturers constantly announcing EV’s that never will see the light of day, and thus delaying consumer purchase. Manufacturer’s promoting Plug in ICE vehicles as a better alternative to all electric. ICE isn’t going down without a huge fight to stay relevant.

What recently announced EV will not see the light of day?

The overwhelming majority of Volkswagen’s press release claims for putting EVs into production never come true. Probably over 90%.

Other likely examples are the Faraday Future FF91, and the Nikola One semi tractor. A few days ago I would have added the Lucid Air, but reportedly that has just gotten some significant funding.

Faraday Future — surprisingly enough — also has gotten some significant funding recently, and they seem to be much closer to production than Lucid.

I don’t see either becoming serious competition, though.

I could be wrong, but the level of ignorance regarding the realities of the automobile industry shown in FF’s press releases, and the level of utter, facepalm-level ineptitude displayed at their live publicity event(s), suggests to me that nobody in the management at FF could find his arse, even using both hands, with a map and a flashlight.

If FF actually manages to put a car into production which can be sold as street legal in any first-world country, even in low numbers, then I won’t be merely very surprised; I’ll be completely gobsmacked!

Last year the camper van was going to be available in an electric version. This year there is no mention of it.

Lawrence, You Are Correct ., These tactics are only to distract & divert the attention of prospective EV Buyers . “Going Down” is the Key Word….

something that the legacy dealerships selling the BEV’s are going to have to deal with, prospective buyers are going to always ask “how does this car compare to the Model 3?” those manufacturers need to build something better or cheaper than the s, 3, x, and Y to compete in this space. so far they have mostly gone cheaper, but what BEV would anyone consider better than a Tesla?

I’ve never been able to get any accurate information from a car salesperson about a car on their own lot. Asking them for how it compares with another make and model seems to be an exercise in futility. Have you actually gotten accurate comparisons from car sales people in the past?

Seriously, the whole car sales person thing should be killed off. I’m not going to blame the sales people directly, they are just doing what they are supposed to do…sell cars that they have on the lot. But it’s such a stupid business model that I have literally never participated in it. I’ve only bought factory direct, Costco, or used cars.

I don’t see Tesla demand decreasing for quite some time. They are selling them as fast as they can manufacture and deliver them. Even announcements of other pending EV concept cars are not likely to slow this down and if demand does start to decrease in the US, they have China and a lot of other markets in the world. ICE manufacturers can try to fight, but it is a losing battle. EV technology is just going to continue to improve: longer ranges, more automated features and connectivity, more dynamic drive systems, higher safety, and ultimately lower costs as battery tech gets better and less expensive. ICE vehicles are 100s of times more complex than EVs. ICE corporations will just not be able to compete anymore, without cutting their margins to the point of bankwupcy. Or get off their backsides and actually make good EVs at quantity.

Yeah, the FUD power will still work on people dedicated to certain brands.

“Incumbent automakers will help “validate and expand the existing market for electric cars” rather than hampering Tesla with their own electric vehicle launches.”
I agree w/this statement and never really thought about it this way before. Rising tide floats all boats.

This is actually a pretty common claim — though personally, I’m quite sceptical about it. Will people seriously think, “oh, Jaguar makes EVs now? Well, that means I should go buy that Tesla…”

OTOH, I also don’t believe the new entrants will take significant sales from Tesla. Rather, they will sell to people who haven’t seriously considered EVs before.

It doesn’t mean that you should buy a Tesla but it means that EVs are now REAL CARS to consider buying…something that the vast majority of the population still do not believe.

Vast majority? We really should have an age and location function. In what world do you live in that most people don’t expect their next car to be electric? Ok maybe not most but 40%. I would say that almost 20% would expect their next new car to be a Tesla.

Cary, NC. 48yo.

The Jaguar I-Pace is generally considered the best EV on the market, in its price-range.

You mean in the narrow price range left between the Model 3 and Model S? 😛

Either way, it’s completely beside the point.

It is true. The fact that others jumping into the market validates Tesla but it is pretty pathetic that they are largely only jumping in AFTER Tesla proved that the market exists. The fact that many are now coming in shows that Tesla has been eating their market and they have no choice but to respond. However, that still is only true for the higher end market (>$50K).

But dealership sales people are still gonna heavily try to direct people to the ICE cars because they get more profit from those.

Yes and it just shows how much Tesla is out-innovating these laggard, legacy LICE makers.

That’s not true. The Nissan Leaf and Jaguar I-Pace are ahead of Tesla is some ways.

This is 2010 data, but at that time there were about 75 vehicle manufacturers, more than 1,700 different models and about 17mil sold each year. Do you really think Tesla is under threat? From 17mil purchases they currently have about 2% market share. As they increase their range of vehicles this share will increase. Lots of tiny car companies continue to stay in business, so if nothing else Tesla would become a tiny car business, and stay in business, but the evidence (short sellers not withstanding) is that Tesla is going to be one of the bigger car businesses. And don’t forget, they have a growing energy business as well, so they will have a whole energy offering from powering your home to providing your transportation.

VW I.D. seems to be targetting a somewhat lower-end market…

I would say the Kia Niro is competition for the Model 3 in many markets. In Canada, it will most likely be a lot cheaper than the 3 base model and sport a greater range. Not nearly as sexy as the 3 though. No matter, Tesla has built an incredible brand and will have a great future, IMO. Other carmakers will enter and be successful with EVs too, and this is great. Lots of room for EVs of all shapes and stripes from many different companies :).
I see this a little bit like the NHL. Each of us cheer for our team but we all depend on great competition from all the other teams.

I guess the question is – how many people will buy the Niro, that were considering a Model 3 in the first place. They are two very different vehicles with the only similarity being they are both BEV. Is that BEV market becoming mature enough to actually be able to separate vehicles into segments, rather than just the BEV segment as a whole?

Two years ago you had the choice of a couple of electric sedans, a large people carrier and a few hatchbacks. Now you have several sedans at different price points, people carrier, small and mid size SUV’s (both mainstream and premium) and multiple hatches. People that wouldn’t consider the Model 3 because it’s a sedan, or the Leaf because it’s a hatch may now be considering the Niro because it’s an “suv”.

It’s a matter of price similarity. And in Europe small SUV is the fastest growing segment while Sedan is the one struggling the most. In my country. Here some reserved a Model 3 by default but would have preferred a Model Y.

I already discussed with people who canceled their Model 3 reservation to buy a Kia Niro or a Hyundai Kona. It’s also a matter of availability.

The Model 3 will still sell well here but the Kona and Niro will still have an impact on its European selling numbers.

I don’t think the Niro is any competition to the Tesla model 3. It’s more likely competition to the Bolt and Leaf providing Kia/Hyundai can actually supply enough cars to make it a competition.

Right, they have to make more than 10,000 a year globally to be competition for anything, really.

It is most definitely competition to the Model 3, in the sense that potential Model 3 owners will look at and cross-shop it. But it is coming in too low volumes so the few thousand of the 20k per year e-Niro production that could have gone to Tesla will not be noticed.

Not until the manufacturers start coming with 100k+ production per year of BEV models will the Model 3 feel any kind of competition. Until then all manufacturers will be so production constrained that it is silly.

I think it would be better to say “to the Bolt and the Kona EV”, because the Leaf isn’t really a long range EV.

The 2019 Nissan Leaf e-Plus will be long range, and will be major competition to the lower-price Model 3 (if the latter is ever produced).

Kia Niro will do well in Canada if they bring in enough of them. So far there is no indication that they will.

It could be competition if it were available in any significant numbers. Which it is not.

30K units / year for the Kia (globally) is going to be a drop in the bucket if Tesla continues ramping up like they are ATM.

As it stands, Kia and Hyundai EVs are going to be unicorns everywhere in the world outside South Korea.

True on the numbers. Tesla will be selling 30k a month and the Korean EV’s have not even hit our shores. They will always be significantly less than 10% of Tesla sales even when it is 500,000 Kia’s.

“Is It True That Tesla Still Has No True Competition?”

Well obviously that’s a question that can’t have any objective, fact-based answer. That’s going to be a matter of opinion.

I was hoping that the Jaguar I-Pace might qualify on quality for being a true Tesla competitor, altho there’s no hope it can possibly compete on quantity. It will be a low-production car. Early reviews, especially the extended one from IEV’s own Steven Loveday, were glowing. But more lately we’ve seen reviews that question the quality and point out the comparatively poor energy efficiency of the I-Pace, so I’m no longer willing to say that the I-Pace is a true Tesla competitor.

Ditto for the Audi e-Tron. It seems to be a pretty good match for the I-Pace, with similarly awkward gasmobile-based design choices, and less-than-stellar energy efficiency.

One thing that I think Tesla doesn’t get sufficient praise or attention for, is how well it integrates things. A few — far too few — reviewers have noted how well Tesla has integrated the car’s controls into a gestalt, an ergonomic whole in which things simply work as you’d expect them to work, and work well together.


Downvoting for annoying pointless post splitting.

Or maybe I care more about readability and formatting than you do.

Unfolding a long post is one click. Way more readable and less annoying than your split posts.

Since the e-Tron is not a production car yet, and it may not become one for another year, it doesn’t really compete with real-life, mass produced cars like the Teslas.

But even if the ‘Tron existed, it would be a 2-row mid-size SUV, while the 3 is a compact/mid-size sedan and the X is a 3-row SUV – three entirely different segments.

Same partially applies to the I-Pace …

X isn’t a SUV. Not really even a CUV. Best description is a minivan with tricky doors.

The E-Tron is already being produced. The factory is running and has been for a few weeks with deliveries in the next couple of months.

Not in the US. Though I guess maybe in Europe they will start deliveries sooner?

The Jaguar I-Pace is already considered superior to the Tesla Model X.

Jaguar are a serious car company with years of experience.

The Nissan Leaf 2019 e-Plus will be major competition to the low-price Model 3 (if/when that Model 3 is released).


Similarly, teardown analysis specialist Sandy Munro has praised the Tesla Model 3 for how well its parts are all integrated to function well together, with many parts serving dual or even multiple functions.

That level of seamless integration for both how the car is put together and how it’s controlled, is something we just don’t see at any other auto maker.

* * * * *

Then there’s the rather important subject of battery supply. Other than BYD, no other car maker controls its own supply of battery cells. (Nissan used to, for the Leaf, but it has sold off its AESC battery making division.) A month or two ago, Volkswagen reps were crying about the completely inadequate supply of EV batteries for their near-term production plans. More recently, we’ve seen news that VW decided not to go the BYD/Tesla route; they decided against building their own battery factories, but instead claim they’re putting up $48 billion (!!!) towards future supply. Apparently they are paying battery suppliers to build more factories. (I admit I don’t understand the business strategy there. Why pay other companies to build factories which you won’t be able to control?



Wouldn’t it be better to spend that money on your own factories? Why not ally with an established battery maker, as Tesla has done, to have a true partnership and more say in how batteries are made, and how many, and when?)

So, in my opinion — and again, it’s just a subjective opinion and not a fact — No, Tesla doesn’t have any real competition in making and selling compelling EVs in large numbers. Tesla won’t be challenged on quantity of production for at least a couple of years, due to its exclusive access to battery supply from Gigafactory 1. And as far as quality goes… well, it seems to me that Tesla is at least 5-7 years ahead of any other auto maker in their EV tech. Other EV makers keep aiming for where Tesla is… not where Tesla is going. Since it takes about 4-5 years to develop a truly new model of car, those other auto makers will never catch up with Tesla so long as they’re just playing follow-the-leader.

To your question about would it be better to spend money on their own battery factories instead of buying on the market. I think that remains to be seen. If batteries become an abundant commodity, then those like VW that are free to negotiate the best value from multiple suppliers may win in the long run. However if batteries remain supply constrained for many years to come then the Tesla model may win. I don’t think it’s obvious yet what the best answer is for the long term. (10 years+).

I strongly suspect that in the time frame of 15+ years, it’s probably better to rely on battery makers. It’s the less-than-15-years-from-now time frame where I think Tesla’s strategy is the clear winner.

In the medium-term time frame of 1-15 years, it’s the same reason why Ford spent a lot of money to build the River Rouge industrial complex. At the time it was necessary to build most parts in-house, because at that time there was not a widespread industry of auto parts suppliers. Later, when the auto parts industry expanded, Ford found it cheaper to buy parts from suppliers, and most of the River Rouge complex was abandoned. But that doesn’t mean Ford wasted the money used to build it, as many claim!

Again, just my opinion, and we’ll have to see how things develop. The next 10-15 years of the EV revolution are going to be very interesting, and will have quite an impact on our culture!

It’s better to control the production and the supply of battery cells and battery packs. Certainly if you know that you are going to need a substantial quantity of them every year continuously.

When you need the supply of a large quantity of breads continuously, then it’s better to just simply buy the whole bakery.

Tesla have made the right strategical decision to start the construction of the Gigafactory.

That’s not how industry works though. Most components in most vehicles are not made by the manufacturer of the vehicle. Outside of certain engine components and the pressing of the metal/Chassis pretty much everything else is subcontracted out to other companies to build to be built to a certain specification/shape/style.

Ford don’t make windscreens, they don’t make wheels, they don’t make most of the components for engines, or the airbags, seatbelts or quite possibly the seats. They’re all made by third party companies and shipped to Fords assembly plants where they are integrated into a car, which is then sold by Ford as a Ford. Same with all the other companies.

There are also financial benefits to not investing huge sums of capital into building factories. That Capex tied up in one factory you built yourself can be spread around 10 contracts for 10x the amount of goods, or sat in a bank making interest, or spent on R&D. The overall cost over 10 years may well be the same, but you’ve used that money more efficiently and don’t need to leverage/borrow as much money up front.

I simply don’t agree. Auto makers mostly — in fact, with few exceptions — keep their engine manufacturing in-house, because engine tech and body styling are the primary ways in which they compete with each other. Similarly, EV makers compete with each other on the tech of their battery packs, probably more than anything else.

Using generic “commodity” batteries in EVs makes no sense. Auto makers always want their cars to be distinguishable from the competition in some important ways, and battery packs are certainly one of those ways.

I agree with PP.

Just because the battery pack is such an essential part of an EV.

It makes sense to have total control over the design, R&D, production, and supply of the battery packs.

And because of the enormous quantity the cost per battery pack will be lower as well.

Most auto manufacturers don’t have this with their ICE engines, so why change a system that works now, just because Tesla have decided to buck the trend of pretty much every other major manufacturer (both in and out of the automotive industry).

There’s a difference between design of the engine – which is most certainly up to the engine manufacturer and as you say differentiates vehicles – and manufacturing of the parts. Many of the parts of that engine will be manufactured by other companies to the auto companies specifications. They will come in parts and then be assembled at the auto manufacturers plant into an engine. The auto manufacturer doesn’t physically manufacture most of the components of their engine.

For most of the new and future crop of vehicles the “battery” manufacturers are contracted to manufacture the cells to the auto manufacturers specifications (or at least with input from the manufacturer) and then are either installed into the battery system as per the auto manufacturers specifications, or are sent to the auto manufacturer and turned into batteries in the auto manufacturers factory.

It’s no different to the way they design and manufacture engines.

Big Auto is doing things the way they always have. How is that working out for them in terms of EV’s? Tesla has done things totally differently, probably because there was no infrastructure at every level to leverage from, how has that worked out for them? Compare the Super Charger situation. Tesla customers are generally very happy, they have a long range car and can drive long ranges and charge. Contrast that to legacy Auto who didn’t want to install chargers (because that is traditionally what the service stations do), and now they will have long range EV’s but not so much infrastructure to allow that. With Tesla the are many stalls at each SC, with big Auto there might be 2 stalls if you are lucky. In fact Electricity America is only happening because VW got caught cheating on emissions and this is their fine. Without that fine would you really be seeing this network rolled out the way it is? I don’t think so. And I bet VW will engineer 800V into that system to give themself an advantage while everyone else will be limited to 400V, hope they do this and cop another big fine! Take a… Read more »

Betting on your own combustion engine technology is fine, since in spite of all the “differentiation”, the advances are so incremental that there isn’t much you can do wrong. Missing out on battery advances because you locked yourself into a particular technology OTOH can be fatal.

“When you need the supply of a large quantity of breads continuously, then it’s better to just simply buy the whole bakery.”

And yet Mc Donald’s doesn’t do it where I leave.

They don’t own the potato farms either. Which gives them the flexibility to purchase better potatos every couple years.

How many vehicle plants does Tesla have?

How many restaurants does McDonald’s have?

Totally different story.

So other companies buy batteries from the battery manufacturers. What if Tesla keeps expanding their battery manufacturing and driving down their prices, and then they become the battery manufacturing it makes sense to buy from? Now that could be a real interesting turn on events.
One thing Tesla can control is the chemistry and format of their batteries. Just imagine the pouch cell becomes superseded by a better design. Now those car manufacturers might have trouble getting batteries, especially for warranty replacements. Or that change could force them to redesign the battery pack because now the new battery design doesn’t fit. Or the batteries just got more extensive because now it is a really special order. You can see this playing out many different ways.

As long as Tesla keeps producing cars at a loss, “competitors” will not follow. However, they have a decent chance of eeking out a one-time profit this quarter, which fudges the picture ever so slightly, even if it will be unsustainable.

Thanks for your incompetent financial analysis, Bob Lutz, but your long history of being wrong on Tesla doesn’t make this statement any more believable.

Ha ha! I guess you drew the short straw and had to post that crap on this site. You knew what the response would be. Go waste your time with a Rubik’s Cube or something.

I have to wonder… how does it feel to be wrong in very nearly everything you post, Eleventy Pretend Electrics? Doesn’t it ever bother you that everyone knows you’re posting almost nothing but B.S.?

I’m pretty sure he and the other fools are in utter shock at the numbers that Tesla is putting up on the EV scorecard that will lead to more growth and profitability.

There he is!! Where’ve you been lately? I’ve been asking for you in the last couple days now, thanks for showing back up! (I shined a big gas pump light/signal into the sky and BOOM- you answered!)

[yawn] Can’t you come up with some new BS story for your trolling? This obviously false claim is not just old, it’s positively putrid.

The most mature EV market is Norway, I don’t know if it can be seen as a reference, as it’s a very rich country and with insane EV incentives and also small.
In Norway Tesla is slowing down, and it’s probably the place where they have more competition… but still very shy in the price range they play.
Overall in Europe Tesla is not growing much even with the aid of Holland that will be less interesting starting in 2019.
In the US they have competition from the Leaf and the Bolt, that in my opinion are not very adapted to american tastes. I think EV buyers are very keen to get a model 3 with the $7500 discount while they can, Bolt might not see sales improve much there (hunch) but i think Leaf can double its sales without model 3 having a full $7500 discount.

i have this theory (that many think it’s insane) that model 3 sales in the US will slow down sharply during 2019 in the US, but Tesla can keep up with sales going to other markets… or lower the price (not sure if they can afford that).

Just a small observation:

Sales of the model 3 in the US are impressive. But Leaf in Norway is even more impressive. In recent months they represented 8.5% of all the cars being sold there! It’s like one car selling close to 1.5 million a year in the US!

I agree 49k+ US Model 3 sales will slow sharply early next year. They will make it up with 39k+ US sales and 49k+ international sales.

Slowing? In most markets where Tesla is available, Model S and X sales are pretty steady. A little down here, a little up there… That’s kinda normal for models that have been on the market for a while. (In fact, it’s better than normal, as sales usually start falling after an early peak.) It’s new models where growth comes from. I’m pretty sure Model 3 will explode in Norway just as much as in the US.

Yes, Leaf sales were pretty horrid before the 2018 model came out.
Model S is due for a major face lift I think. You would think it might go similar to the Model 3 simplicity and grillless front end, will be interesting to see what they can do to improve their classic beauty.

There is a huge demand lever that Tesla can pull.
In that price point, probably 75% of cars are leased. Huge demand lever.
The potential Model 3 market in the US is probably close to 1 million a year. Just have leasing, lower cost options, on demand availability and test drives.
And then there is at least that market again outside the US.

1M/year in the US is wildly optimistic. Even if Tesla sells 35k base models, which is looking iffy.

Total US small premium sedan market was 250-300k/year before Model 3. Tesla is growing the category, but still.

I can only agree.
Let’s assume potential Tesla market are 500k cars a year, competition would to be pretty bad during a very long time for tesla to keep half a million sales in the US sustained.
And if the market in the US is that big, half of Teslas sold in the US are all in 2 or 3 states. I might be wrong but in states where Tesla is selling great volume of cars must be getting saturated really fast.

Yeah, like, haven’t we been saying that for years, but then we aren’t highfalutin wall-street analysts.

I know, right. The difference between what Toni Sacconaghi said, and an IEV poster from 2014 would say, is about half a million.

Analyse done without consider the Porsche Taycan as a competitor of the model S with a charge rate up to 350kW and SOP on next year is credible ?
Quotation for this analyst:
« The Model S luxury sedan and the Model X luxury SUV will only face two competitors – the Audi Etron Quattro and the Jaguar I-Pace – up until 2020, the analysts said »

The “next year” part is the issue with Taycan. It’s really a 2020 car.

The starting of the production is planned for 2019, test vehicles are on roads since 2017 and the kick-off for the project was done on 2015.

Doesn’t change the fact that it won’t be delivered before 2020.

The first vehicle is delivred 3 month alter the beginning of the production but of course it’s depend of the country.

350 kW charge rate is irrelevant unless you have a lot of 350 kW charging stations. When will that happen? Oh, maybe by 2020 if ever. And those only from the penalty money from VW diesel cheating. Is that sustainable? Although I personally think 350 kW is irrelevant, it is far too expensive and far too few people care. More than 90% of all charging happens at home and work so there is no business case for ultra fast DC charging at scale. In other words, EVs are different.

Yes, by 2020 is when the Taycan launches. By that time, there will be enough 350 kW stations, both from EA and Porsche itself.

Don’t know how much of a selling point it will be though, considering that 120 kW charging seems to be considered plenty good for Model 3 by most people, and Tesla will probably up it further by that time…

But of course that’s all beside the point of the article, which was that there won’t be competition *before* 2020 🙂

Audi, VW, BMW, MB, they are not really competing with Tesla, they are competing with themselves. Just watch, EV’s will just displace their ICE sales. How many people do I know who I ask, “have you considered X vehicle?” And their reply is, “I’ve been driving brand Y and they are reliable, I think I’d prefer to stay with brand Y”. These big brand snobs generally but that brand because it has some status symbolism for them.
Tesla picked off a bunch of early adopters. The longer the big brands hold off the more likely that snob is going to have their face rubbed in their mates bragging about how great their Tesla is, so a chance they will change. But the biggest majority is just complacent, so when these brands release an EV you will see those owners upgrade to that brand. Even if that brand is really not that great an EV.
Over all, it’s going to be great for EV’s and will drive those brands to release cheaper models. Hopefully it will push the likes of Toyota to buy into the EV space as well.

Can’t wait to see these 350kW Porsche charging. That’s some serious increase over the typical 100kW we see today. How will it taper? What will the battery degradation look like? It’s going to be very interesting.

“According to the analysts, even if electric car competition does arrive late to the party, Tesla will be “well positioned to defend its share.””

This very much depends on what is meant by “share”. Teslas share of the entire auto market is tiny currently. Just defending that “share” is unlikely to be something they are aiming for.

Conversely if “share” means their share of the entire EV market as it grows to encompass a majority of the auto market in general then, frankly, that’s just not going to happen. That’s too many vehicles for one manufacturer to make, and not good for consumers either.

“Just defending that ‘share’ is unlikely to be something they are aiming for.”

Yes, that remark showed an exceptionally deep level of cluelessness about the entire EV market. This early in the EV revolution, EVs are not primarily competing with each other for sales; they’re primarily competing with gasmobiles. As you say, Tesla doesn’t currently have any need to “defend” its share; it’s too busy trying to steal more market share from gasmobiles! And from the rapidly growing Model 3 sales, I’d say it’s doing an increasingly good job of doing just that.

I also agree that Tesla won’t grow to monopolize EV sales, as Ford once did with motorcar sales. The international market is too big and too varied, and no company — not even Tesla — could possibly grow that fast. I’m confident that real competition will emerge to challenge Tesla long before it seizes 90% of the automotive market, the level of monopoly Ford once had in the days of the Model T.

I refer you to this little gem from the source article:

They drew an analogy with the market for digital cameras in the early 2000s and the current state of the flash storage market.

“In both cases, incumbents ultimately took a majority share… but the markets grew so quickly that new entrants like Sony (in cameras) and Pure Storage (in flash) still enjoyed exponential growth,” they said.

And, like Apple and its iPhone, when Tesla vehicles eventually face real competition Tesla will be “well positioned to defend its share,” they said.

First, you have to define competition. Are we talking all BEVs, luxury, high-end, family, commuter, work truck? If we’re talking luxury and high-end (and they are different), there really is no competition. Family and or commuter? Tesla doesn’t have much there since family is more of a value proposition (read cheaper), though Chevy, Nissan, and Hyundai/Kia might fit. Economy? Forget it, unless you buy used. We won’t even go anywhere with work trucks. Personally, I like the Niro and the Kona, but since we don’t need a vehicle at the moment, I’ll wait for a pickup.

Tesla has no direct competition in the market segments in which it competes. This is mainly because of the definition of those market segments.
The Model 3 competes with the BMW 3 series (entry luxury performance) more than a Bolt (not an ICE) but neither of those segment definitions really matter, because a Tesla / performance EV fan will not cross-shop either.
A heal-toeing, gear rowing enthusiast won’t shop for a Model 3 either, no matter how good of an EV it is.
That’s why we have hundreds of brands and thousands of models of vehicles – because everyone finds their niche and tries to excel in it.

This community should spend more time praising the efforts of companies to fill more niches, rather than trying to prove one is inferior to another.

I feel sad for these rival manufacturers. Because… they remind me of a kid who is told to eat their vegetables, and they finally start chewing… and are reminded how little they like vegetables. When in fact vegetables are the most nourishing part of the meal. They need to get through this transition to BEVs and have just begun the journey. Naturally, it tastes horrible at first. They are at the back of the line when it comes to specs. This in turn will lead to small sales volumes. This in turn will lead to lower profits (or perhaps, greater losses) since they can’t amortise their production costs over more sales in the usual way. So all these years they’re going to be fighting to catch up with Tesla in this new field, they will have lacklustre financial performance and we may even see some more consolidation. i.e. Volkswagen or FCA get bigger. Meanwhile Tesla is in the lead and is doing it all without paying for any advertising. So buyers are getting more for their money. You don’t hear your Audi salesman saying “yes, this model is an extra 10 grand, but it has awesome all-wheel-drive and a massive… Read more »

Tesla does not pay for “traditional” advertising, they built the SuperCharger network instead. Much more useful and probably more effective than advertising anyway. Might be similar cost percentage of sales, I don’t know.

Yes, it’s true. The Tesla model 3 is by far the best midsize sedan out there. And it also happens to be one of the safest cars on the road. And Tesla happens to have the best infrastructure support for their vehicles. At this time the Germans think a good electric vehicles is too expensive to manufacturer. When that changes there might be some competition from Germany.

Yep, nailed it.

Tesla has the whole compelling EV/ecosystem advantage that the laggard, legacy LICE companies can not even comprehend at this stage.

Not mentioned was the Supercharging advantage. And that’s a big one.

Which will be largely gone by 2020.

Have you looked at the maps? No, I can tell that you haven’t.

I always love that response. As if today, when 1300+ Supercharging locations with 11,000+ (THOUSAND) stalls exist, will somehow not be MASSIVELY increased in the next 2 years. You see, the gap that exists now will continue to be a gap 2 years from now because Tesla keeps adding locations- all the time when the competition hasn’t really even started yet.

It not just Tesla superchargers, it is the power rating. The other charging options claim they will have high power stations but most of the station we see installed are the cheaper and lower power units.

All one has to do to prove me wrong is supply a map of only high power chargers that are non-Tesla.

The Electrify America map shows 15 locations today, and 49 “coming soon”. Not clear how many have 350 kW. There might be fewer than 15 cars that can use 350 kW today.

Are Tesla really spending billions a year updating their supercharging network?

Nope, didn’t think so. My comment doesn’t mean they won’t still have an advantage, rather there won’t be such a large advantage. Tesla have 600 stations in the US – Electrify America are building around 400 by the middle of next year…

And yes, I have looked at the map – “Planned” with no build date means little in the grand scheme of things.

Tesla is adding new Superchargers weekly. The planned future locations aren’t vaporware, one only needs to look at their website every 1-2 weeks to see the actual number growing. And by the middle of 2019, by your assertion, Electrify America will have 400 stations. Tesla will likely have 700+ by then, which is 300 more locations than Electrify America. That isn’t and advantage that’s LARGELY gone. Oh, and all the Chademo offerings at Electrify America locations can be used by Teslas, but not vice-versa. And beyond locations, how many stalls is EA planning? Don’t get me wrong, I hope EA meets/exceeds the Supercharging network, because then everybody wins. But in terms of the here and now, I’m afraid we have to agree to disagree.

Have a good weekend.

You mean the SAE J1772 DC chargers that VW is building with penalty money from the diesel scandal? Which VW will stop building when the settlement money is spent? The charging stations that sometimes take up to 2 minutes before they even start charging, if they ever charge at all? With a much lower rate of successful charging sessions than the Tesla stations?

I dunno, Tesla might maintain their advantage and even grow it when it comes to highway fast charging. We will see.

To be fair, some are working to reduce that session setup time problem, but the control system is more complex than it needs to be.

After two weeks (In the first week of October 2018) Tesla will reveal how many EV’s they have delivered in Q3 2018.

More than 75,000 would be a conservative guess, but more than 80,000 is probably a more realistic guess.

No other car manufacturer has achieved that result EVER (so far).

That’s amazing already.

And I don’t see any other car manufacturer delivering more EV’s than Tesla in a particular year anytime soon. So, that means that Tesla will be number one for at least the next few years.

Just imagine what will happen in Q4 2018.

Perhaps nearly 100,000 EV deliveries?

Would that be possible?

Of course, when the world switches to EVs that will change. Toyota will rapidly rise to the top in total sales.

Dont worry about the competition, They have worldwide recognized brand and know how to make cars profitably.

So did Kodak with cameras.

Combustion powered cars, that is all they know how to make profitably. They seem clueless about the need to supply a seldom used but critically important fast charging network which will probably never break even.

With supercharger network, it will be a long time for others to catch up.

Let’s use some logic. Tesla customers do not materialize from thin air. Instead, they come to Tesla from other brands, operating in the premier/luxury segment – such as ICE Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Porsche etc. When a business entity dispossesses another business entity of its customers and revenues (in a peaceful way), it’s called “competitions”, IMO 🙂

Tesla has competitive advantages at many levels:
-Sales experience: Dealer vs Factory stores. Buying from Tesla is far superior
-Service: Dealer vs Factory service. Again, not even close
-Charging: Tesla plug is superior. Supercharger network far superior. No coherent other network exists.
-User digital interface: Tesla vastly superior to other digital interfaces
-Battery Pack: Tesla leads in at least one if not more categories vs any other current production EV packs (energy density, power density, cost, volumetric density, cooling, longevity, sensing/control)
-Motors: Tesla holds a slight to distinct margin in at least one or more metric vs competitors
-AC: Model 3 slot vent is vastly superior to all competition
-Battery Cell/Pack production: Gigafactory gives a big edge

Thanks for the good summary. I find that I often miss at least one of these points when discussing with skeptics.

Most of those “advantages” are subjective at best – dealer vs factory direct, service, plug (CCS vs supercharger, one a standard, one proprietary), “Digital interface”, AC slot?!.

What’s worse than subjective? Feel free to do an honest survey about the ones that are subjective. Bet you it’s 80+% in favor of Tesla’s model vs dealers. I could have put design, performance, etc but those are much more individually varied and judged versus the public consensus about car dealers. Regardless, nothing precludes competitive advantages from being subjective. In reality all are to some degree. If there is a subjective preference for something then it has a competitive advantage.

People who really take the time to find out what is the best for them because they want to buy the best EV that is available in the market, they will choose to buy an EV from Tesla (if they can afford it).

But many people will choose to remain loyal to certain brands. That’s the real competition for Tesla. To have them switch to buy an EV from Tesla. At least to get on their short-list, so that they will at least consider an EV from Tesla as a viable option. And ones they do decide to buy an EV from Tesla, then they will choose to maintain loyal to Tesla.

You can wake up only a sleeping person and not a person who acts like sleeping.
All other automakers are just acting like they are interested in selling electric vehicles.

They will never sell EVs at a higher volume.
The whole reason 2018-08 sales increased 120% YoY is because of … 1 company called TESLA.

In 2013 Tesla for the first time delivered more than 20,000 EV’s.

In 2017 Tesla for the first time delivered a little more than 100,000 EV’s.

When will Tesla for the first time deliver more than 1 million EV’s in one particular year?

Perhaps already in 2021?
It sure is possible.

When will Tesla for the first time deliver more than 10 million EV’s in one particular year?

Perhaps already in 2030?
It sure is possible.

Which car manufacturer will come even close to these numbers?

The point is that there would be competition for Tesla if other car manufacturers would have the same vision, focus, determination, strategy, plans etc. But they don’t. They are just trying to also do something, just to be able to say that EV’s are not the best option for the future of mobility. They want people to just keep buying their ICE cars. They don’t want to let go of the ICE car, which is their bread and butter.

First, I think Porsche and Jaguar should be able to keep their fans, if they lose any it is because they are not producing enough cars to satisfy the demand.

But too many of the other cars coming out have nothing to convince a fan of the brand to go electric, instead they will want the ICE versions or move to a brand that does sell a better electric design.

Tell that to the Porsche Panamera

Let’s understand, Porsche sells about 250,000 vehicles per year. If they sell 25,000 EV’s that’s 10% of their sales volume, not bad and probably just to already Porsche owners.
Jaguar is even better as they only sell about 180,000 vehicles each year, so if they sell 25,000 iPace that is almost 20%.
If they sell more than 25,000 EV’s then that is even better.
The best thing is that these companies will see a significant portion of their sales change to EV, which doesn’t sound like a bad thing to me.

2021 for 1 million EV’s in a year? Very unlikely. That’s 3 years and they don’t have second factory to do so, or another vehicle by that point – and it’s unlikely there is enough demand for the Model 3 to sell that many in one year anyway.

And 11 years to 10 million a year? That’s at least a dozen more factories. More than one a year from now. Capex for that is huge (i.e. Toyota huge). There are only currently officially plans for two more, each at 500,000 in 5+ years. Where are the other 15+ factories?

The biggest problem Tesla have is Capex. Cars aren’t phones – you can’t just ramp up production without significant outlay, especially if you insist on controlling every part of it rather than offsetting the cost over years of production by getting someone else to produce parts for you.

It all depends on when the factory in China gets going. But yes 2021 seems too soon to me. But possible? Of course. The Model 3 in a Chinese factory will ramp much faster than Fremont did. And of course China is already the largest EV market in the world. So possible? Yes. Capital might be the only barrier, Tesla appears to want to self fund going forward which would slow things down.

@ jamcl3

“It all depends on when the factory in China gets going.”

Tesla will be producing a substantial number of EV’s at their Gigafactory in Shanghai in 2021.

@ Andy

“2021 for 1 million EV’s in a year? Very unlikely.”

It’s possible, but if that doesn’t happen in 2021, then it surely will happen in 2022.

If you can afford the current crop of Tesla cars, Great, but for the rest of us, Kia and Hyundai are the only competitors in the space with Kona and Niro by 2019 offering 250 miles for 35K or less. Not much changes for 2020 frankly. Maybe the Leaf 60kwh, but no timeline is confirmed other than later this year 2019 maybe.

The Kia Niro is interesting and so is the Porsche Taycan but both have compliance car numbers attached. With V.9 of the software Model 3 should become the most compelling vehicle on Earth and it is already taking share. It is going to cost the should have been dead decades ago enslaving fossil fuel industry ever increasing truely massive amounts of money.

It is not about the competitive EV offerings, and for that matter it is not about the fit and finish, it is about the SuperCharger network. And it will be for a long time. Tesla has a huge head start in fast charging and will probably maintain that lead well past 2020. Plus they will be profitable in EVs long before anyone else, and will probably maintain that lead as well (unless Panasonic starts making huge numbers of batteries for other OEMs).

If you can’t drive it outside of the city, then it is only a city car. We have had very nice EV city cars for almost a decade. Tesla is the only one that is not a city EV. And that is thanks only to the SuperCharger network.

Plenty of people will be happy with a City EV as their 2nd car. That’s what I have at the moment.
How many people are buying low range EV’s? Many people will be buying these as their first EV, learning what works and what doesn’t. If the short range EV doesn’t turn them off EV completely then you can be sure their next EV will most likely be long range and then they will be looking at things like SC. First time around maybe not so much. And after their first EV they also become advocates to others about the benefits and pitfalls.
I can try you I recommend the Tesla to my network of people purely because it is the only one with good long distance support in my country. Buying anything with big battery in my country you will surely regret as you realise you can’t really charge when you get where you’re going.