Automakers are no longer struggling to compete with Tesla in electric vehicle technology, but are also trying to get closer to production.
For years, it was thought that the major automakers that produce millions of internal combustion-engine cars each year could rapidly scale up production of electric vehicles – as soon as they perfected the battery technology and enough consumers show interest.
But the forecast of the six major car corporations by 2024 indicates that Volkswagen is the only legacy car manufacturer is on track to overtake Tesla in electric vehicle production. While others are expected to rapidly increase the number of electric vehicles they sell, none will be able to compete with Tesla, according to forecasts from Bernstein, IHS and EV-Volumes.com. , according to forecasts from Bernstein, IHS and EV-Volumes.com.
Last month, Elon Musk boasted that Tesla’s vehicle production has grown by an average of 71% annually over the past half-decade. “I feel confident I can sustain something like this, at least above 50% for quite some time,” he said.
Electric vehicles are a niche but growing product. They account for just 3% of the global passenger market in 2020, and Tesla has delivered about half a million vehicles. But they are expected to account for 11.4% of the global market this quarter, according to EV-Volumes.com, while Tesla is manufacturing at the equivalent rate of about 1 million a year and The factory near Berlin has just been put into operation.
From 2017 to 2020, Ford’s electric vehicle production is less than 2% of Tesla’s. This year, its sales have skyrocketed thanks to the Mustang Mach-E. According to Bernstein, the 2021 production rate is 83,000 units, or 10% of Tesla’s. Ford raised its forecast this week and said it will produce 600,000 EVs a year by the end of 2023 – still just under half of Tesla’s forecast output. However, Bernstein predicts this number will drop to closer to 450,000.
Meanwhile, as Ford CEO Jim Farley told employees this month, Tesla’s Model 3 is currently the best-selling car in both Europe and the UK. “Not electricity. Flat out,” he said. “If we’re successful, we can’t skip this competition anymore.”
Herbert Diess of Volkswagen was for many years the only incumbent CEO to consider Tesla a rival. In 2017, as head of the VW brand, he set out a plan to “take a shortcut” to Tesla by 2025, giving a cost advantage in expanding production for VW to manufacture. create electric cars “for millions, not millionaires”.
But VW progress has been mixed. Bernstein predicts the group will sell 450,000 EVs this year, falling short of its original target of 600,000, in part because semiconductor shortages haven’t had much of an impact on Tesla.
“This year is not the end of the world, but it’s not a reason to celebrate,” said Bernstein’s Arndt Ellinghorst, who expects the VW Group to outsell Tesla in electric vehicles at the start of the year. 2024.
For BMW and Mercedes, the world’s top luxury carmakers by volume, their combined electric vehicle production is less than a fifth of Tesla’s this year, even though Mercedes has already launched the car. Its flagship S-Class equivalent is the EQS.
Some of those delays may be due to a reluctance to phase out production of higher-margin internal combustion vehicles early. Earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz owner Daimler said petrol and diesel models is a “cash machine” that will help fund the transition to cleaner transport.
BMW also expressed doubts about the expected growth of the electric vehicle market and emphasized its ability to generate cash and maintain margins by taking a more cautious approach.
But Diess has admitted that Tesla is “setting the standard” when it comes to production. In a continuing argument with VW power unions, he pointed out that Tesla builds a car in 10 hours, while VW currently requires 30 hours to build its ID. 3 and ID. 4 models.
“We think Tesla has a lot of advantages, being vertically integrated and having more control over the supply chain,” said Viktor Irle, director of EV-Volumes.com.
Irle also credits Tesla for their simple production line. Tesla has only four models in its portfolio, and for most of this year only the Y and 3 were produced in large numbers as the S and X were refreshed. In contrast, VW has more than 20 EVs on the market.
Irle is not optimistic about whether others can catch up with Tesla in the near future. “Tesla is growing a bit slower, but output wise they are still growing more,” he said. “We don’t see anyone going to overtake Tesla in sales until 2026.”