Since the week before Christmas break I feel like I’ve been straight out. Not much ElMoto news is out there, at least when compared to the electric cages. And being an SUV owner with a travel trailer I’ve been nose to the storefront window on ANY EV truck news. I watch a LOT of YouTube. And these guys are getting to me. It seems that anyone in a limelight just can’t help getting pulled to one extreme or another. I feel like I can sympathize, but at the same time, I get upset at their inability to recognize it. You have the Tesla Stans on one hand. Tesla is going gangbusters and it’s great! And a lot of people are making a lot of money, which is also great! But, Tesla isn’t the end-all and be-all. It’s a bit like me saying the Clarinet is the one true instrument everyone should play, and playing anything else makes you a lesser person. The extreme Tesla Stans caught up in the excitement Elon attracts feel exactly like that to me. And those two things just aren’t true. Then you have the YouTubers all but shouting how legacy needs to make more EVs now! Or shouting how legacy auto is dead and how EV sales numbers are going through the roof. Well, I spent a sleepless night recovering from COVID (for the 2nd time) and dug around for these numbers. The Electric Viking had me convinced 50% of all new cars sold in France were BEVs. Not even close.
Now what is really funny is that I have not found one report that agrees with another’s numbers. But they are all in the ballpark. I am NOT counting plug-in Hybrids. I feel those are more vacuum fillers as the BEV sales go up. But England for 2021 is about 10% BEV sales. France is about 15% I think. Norway is over 50% (that’s as accurate a number I dare give). China is, ah hell, I don’t know. Maybe 30%, but that might be anything with a plug. Those countries are on the steeper part of the S curve. Where’s the US? I mean COVID, right. Sales are through the roof, right? Are you ready for this? We crawled up to 3% from 2% BEV sales. Opps, I really gotta pause and get laundry going . . . And I’m back. Where was I? Oh yeah. THREE PERCENT!!! 3 Mother Effing PERCENT! That’s it! Americans bought about 400,000 BEVs. As a side note, they bought about 800,000 PHEVs, twice as many. Europe and China are taking off, and maybe some of the other Asian markets as well. But the US is in the back drinking beer with the rest of the world. Then what is the damn hurry? Says the man that owns a BEV and regular hybrid already. If our pattern of EV buying follows the UK I figure we are 4-5 years behind them. Next year I figure we’ll sell 600,000 BEVs, or 4% of next year’s car market.
By the way, about 300,000 of those BEVs sold in the US were Teslas. Only 1/3 of all the EVs Tesla made went to the US. And of which they sold 3 for every 1 BEV that all the competition sold combined. They don’t have the level of dominance anywhere else. The parallels to the iPhone are staggering. No matter how much Elon really doesn’t Tesla to be the Apple of EVs, it sure seems like the people below him are clearly making sure it is, and it stays that way. But that’s me. So as Tesla and everyone else ramps up production from their new/updated factories I crunched some numbers that I found from quotes in articles I figure everyone combined will easily be able to have 600,000 EVs available for the US market, while still supplying the bulk to rest of the world. My predicted supplies, to my surprise, meet by predicted demand for 2023. It’s like these people in charge know what they are doing. And these YouTubers only know how to make videos. Hmmm. And then I heard last night and today that Ford plans to be able to make 600,000 BEVs a year in 22 months. And GM said that when they convert the Chevy Bolt plant to make Silverado and Sierra EVs they aim to make 600,000 of just those the same year. My Shadetree guestimates say Americans will be up for buying 900,000 to 1,000,000 BEVs in 2024. Ford is selling a lot of Mach-Es overseas, and they have a factory making them in China. They even said they are delaying the Explorer and Edge EVs so they can make more Mach-Es. Did I mention that Ford is going to crush GM in BEV sales this year? But GM is focused on making 600,000 of just their EV 1/2 ton trucks in 2024. That is not counting the Hummer EV, Blazer EV, Equinox EV, Buick EVs for the China market, Bright Drop trucks, Lyriq and Celestiq, and all those cheap little Chinese cars they partner in making in China. Plus anything else they will announce between then and now. Ford’s going the Tesla route of making a ton of a few cars. GM clearly feels their Ultium tech is future-proof enough and scalable enough that it makes supporting lots of bodies on top of the Ultium platforms affordable. You should look to see GM continue to put out new models with limited initial production runs. I feel like GM wants to use the time it’s going to take to ramp up Ultium production to get all the models they can get going, going so that everyone ramps up together in a nice progressive manner. That’s a lot of planning and tight execution needed. But it means an absolute explosion of BEVs available for sale as US and worldwide demand ramps up. And the opposite of the proven Tesla one at a time model. I mean, ramping up currently for World and US demand looks great for Tesla and Ford. But what happens when all those smaller countries taking up EV adaption right behind the US start wanting cars? I feel like GM is taking a big risk, but it might pay off. Finger crossed.
But man did I digress. The real point is that these people in charge actually know what they are doing. And I’m really not sure when any YouTuber says “they’re not doing this right”, or “they’re not doing enough of that”, we should be listening very closely. Americans as a whole are not ready to buy EVs yet. And I feel we won’t see half of us ready to do that until 2026 or 2027. Much less all of us. Let’s be honest, this is ‘Merica. And it always has been. We throw some artists a few bucks once in a while for making us look good (cue resentment), and that’s about it. There will always be that guy, say 15 years from now, that’s driving around with a loaded gun in his ICE truck because he actually thinks someone in the “government” is coming for it. And he’s ready damn it. He probably watches the Car Coach. He’s also bitching to anyone who will listen about how hard it is to find gas anymore. Meanwhile, no one cares about any of it and just wish he’d go away. Besides that guy, I feel it’s going to be a slow but progressively faster uptake that is going to take its time. There is a LOT of attention on EVs as evidenced by all the YouTube channels and websites. But when I go to work with 80 cars in the parking lot and mine is the only BEV, and maybe there’s a Prius or two, I know American’s are there yet. And there are a lot of people running their mouths saying giant companies with tons of data and very qualified people in charge don’t know what they’re doing. Let’s take the Electric Viking, my punching bag of the month. He recently dived into GM a bit and bright light to some stuff showing that GM is much more in the game than people know. However, he talked about one or two EVs over in China, one being the Buick EV that he said would be perfect for the US market. Maybe the second one was from a different company. But he said it just made no sense that they weren’t sold in the US. Well maybe, Electric Viking, if it’s happened twice then maybe, just maybe there’s a perfectly good reason they don’t sell those cars in the US. And you haven’t dug or thought hard enough to figure out that reason. Just a thought. I say after I’ve laid out a theory so high on the crackpot scale it defies sense. [Sigh] Oh well. Just listen critically folks. At this point, I feel that these companies have everything in hand. Chystler/Dodge/Jeep are just going to keep selling ICE to those who don’t want BEVs, and will sustain them for at least a decade. Accept maybe Jeep. If their 4Xe sales are as good as the CEO says they may convert ahead of schedule. I see them letting Ford and GM chase Tesla and just sitting back and copying what works. They won’t be a leader, but they won’t be broke either.
And then there’s Elon and Tesla. I very much feel Tesla is so big, and he has his other companies going, that there are forces at work in Tesla doing what they want to do and not what Elon necessarily wants. But . . . Elon is bored with cars. He’s moved on to robots! Which, hilariously as proven in a poll posted by the KiloWatts on Twitter, no one gives a flying fart about! OMG, I laughed pretty hard at that. Look, here’s the rub. Tesla is going to do cool things and make lots of money for their shareholders. I have no doubt it’s a great direction for the company. So Tesla stockholders relax. However, how many people are into Tesla because of the cars, and have only been paying lip service to the “Telsa’s not a car company. It’s a tech company.” slogan? Yeah, well time to pay the piper. The company has now made more money than they have lost over the entire history of the company. So now his company is legit. Check. He made cars that have compelled the auto industry to get a move on. Actually, that’s not right. He introduced BEV cars that motivated people to switch to electricity. Something no one else was able to do. Now the world is on course to switching to BEVs. Check. He’s embarrassed the companies whose CEOs at the time poked fun and said no could, and all the short-sellers who tried to crush his company for no reason. Check and check. He has his new Gigafactories up and running embarrassing legacy Auto once again in their efficiency. Check. He’s good. So ah, Cybertruck, the New Roadster, and the Tesla Semi? ‘Weeeelll. Robots for manufacturing!’ Ahem, Cybertruck, the New Roadster, and the Tesla Semi. ‘Well, not this year we have too much with the new factories and new 4860 cells (another check). Hopefully next year.’ What about the “Model 2” you’ve hinted about in the past and the Electric Viking made a whole video about and has yet to retract? ‘Oh no, no, no. We don’t have time for that at all. Did I mention ROBOTS! Oh, and FSD will be done this year (again)!’ No check. Meanwhile, Mary Barra takes a ride in a Cruise Bolt. ‘But no, for real this time, and ROBOTS!’
It is my opinion that Elon just put Tesla Motors on cruise control. He’s bored with it. It’s now in the hands of his underlings who literally write no procedures for people to get refunds on FSD subscriptions. Fleece the sheeple as much as possible might be their new moto. There is NO path for people who can only afford used cars to get any kind of Tesla. The whole point he was supposed to get to. There hasn’t been a $35,000 Model 3 in years. The Model Y starts at $50,000, except for like 2 weeks that one time? He never made an affordable car for the masses. He never finished his original plan. And, he’s leaving a lot of money on the table with those 4 other cars. Clearly, he feels he’s going to make more money making robots for factories, than the money he’s leaving on the table by tabling (pardon the pun) all those cars.
But only the hardcore Tesla shareholders that understood that Tesla was a tech company from the beginning are all in. Everyone else heard the critics say that the Semi, Cybertruck, new Roadster, and “Model 2” are all vaporware. But they are SUPER exciting cars and trucks that could revolutionize the world (probably/maybe). And they have held the excitement line defending these super cool vehicles. It turns out the critics might be right. The Cybertruck does not have a final design. And they haven’t figured out how to make it cheap enough yet. And the “Model 2” isn’t even a thing. And Roadster and Semi that were announced together to jack stock prices because they are soooo cool. But we all thought it was because they were going to make and deliver them by now. They are in the same place the Cybertruck is. Vaporware. What a gut punch for fans. And a 10% drop in stock prices was the reaction.
But hey! ROBOTS!