The dominance of the electric vehicle industry by Tesla continued in 2020, with the Silicon Valley-based EV producer responsible for almost a quarter of worldwide sales of electric vehicles. This was despite the company’s Fremont and Shanghai plants experiencing shutdowns due to the pandemic, as well as the fact that the company’s highest-volume vehicle, the Model Y, is still increasing its production in Fremont and Gigafactory Shanghai.
José Pontes of the EV Sales Blog, who has been analyzing the electric vehicle market for years, noted in a statement to The Driven, that Tesla effectively outsold its challengers two-to-one. Estimates show that last year, the worldwide BEV industry sold 2,141,311 electric vehicles, of which Tesla accounted for 499,535. That’s 23 percent of the global EV market, which is remarkable given that Tesla manufactured cars in just one and a half factories for the most part.
Last year, Tesla’s production ramp in China focused primarily on the Model 3, with Gigafactory Shanghai only beginning production of Model Y at the end of 2020. With this in mind, Tesla’s 2020 figures is largely based on vehicles manufactured at the Phase 1 facility of Fremont Factory and Giga Shanghai, which is only in its first year of production. It is extremely remarkable that the EV manufacturer has been able to account for almost a quarter of the global demand for electric cars with these resources.
Also noteworthy was that even though sales of plug-in hybrid vehicles were included, Tesla still topped the world’s rankings. PHEVs, although branded by some car manufacturers as EVs, are still fitted with an internal combustion engine. But even with the inclusion of PHEVs, car manufacturers like Volkswagen still fell behind Tesla, with 13 percent of the global EV market including PHEVs being commanded by the German automaker. 16 percent of the BEV+PHEV market was owned by Tesla, which only produces BEVs.
Tesla’s figures also shine given that relative to the market, the company’s vehicles are still usually high priced. The Model 3, for instance, saw fierce competition in China from the Wuling Mini, a thin, bare-bones EV without airbags manufactured in collaboration with GM. Despite this, the sales of Tesla in the country remained noticeable, and the company’s figures would probably be even better this year with the Model Y in the frame.
However, while Tesla’s 2020 figures are persuasive, it should be noted that the EV manufacturer is only just getting started. Gigafactory Shanghai has just begun ramping up production of its Model Y, and the Model 3 line is still being optimized. The Model Y’s Giga Press was only recently installed at the Fremont Plant, enabling the company to manufacture the all-electric crossover in a powerful, cost-effective way. It is also anticipated that two other plants, Gigafactory Berlin and Giga Texas, will commence production of vehicles sometime this year. Tesla’s figures will likely be even more remarkable this year, with as many as four factories manufacturing EVs in 2021.
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