energy insights

Tesla Leading EV Industry into Disruption Zone

That gentle whirring sound of electric vehicles may soon become a roar as 2022 sales ramp up for a breakthrough year with the global EV market taking a few more steps toward the “Electric Disruption Zone.”

That’s not a term most people throw around much, but for people in the electric vehicle business, EDZ is right up there with Christmas and New Year’s. They’ve been waiting for it for a long time, and they can’t believe it may finally be here.

EV sales see big increase in 2022

Global electric vehicle sales are smashing records, jumping 60% in March 2022 compared to March 2021, and EV makers appear to be looking ahead at nothing but open road going forward. The industry reported 851,000 electric vehicles sold worldwide in March, the second highest month behind December 2021 when more than 900,000 EVs were sold worldwide.

In the midst of all this confetti and blaring band music, who’s celebrating the most? Tesla, according to The 18-year-old EV manufacturer remains at the top of a growing heap of electric vehicle makers, and the margin of its lead isn’t even close.

In the first quarter of 2022, Tesla sold 310,411 vehicles, followed by China’s largest automaker, SACI, which reported 154,623 EVs sold in the quarter. BYD, a Chinese automaker affiliated with Toyota, came in a close third with 144,203 EVs sold, while Volkswagen Group and Hyundai-Kia rounded out the top five with 98,455 and 81,744 EVs sold respectively.

As for the nuts and bolts of this competition, Tesla is leading the way with its Model Y, which was the world’s top-selling EV in March with unit sales of 92,221 and its Model 3, which is the world’s second biggest seller with 81,713 units sold.

So, if Tesla continues to lead the world in EV sales, imagine how it must be doing in its home country. It stands to reason that Tesla continues to crush all competitors in the U.S., holding 70% of market share, followed by Nissan, coming in at a distant second with 8.5%. Tesla is leading EV sales in every state except Alaska, where the automaker has yet to open a service center.

Legacy companies looking to grow market share

But, a solid line of legacy automakers is trying to take at least some of the shine off of Tesla’s dominance with new models being launched in the U.S. market. The list includes a stable of electric pick-up trucks, such as Fold’s new F-150 Lightning, GMC’s Hummer EV, and the Rivian R1T.

There are dozens of new EVs being released into the U.S. market now, as automakers gamble that reluctant U.S. consumers will warm up to EVs and the idea of going electric. Experian Automotive reports that only California, Texas and Florida saw electric vehicle sales surpass 5% in 2021, and in more than 30 states, less than 1% of auto sales were EVs.

That is not deterring the U.S. auto industry from investing an estimated half-trillion dollars over the next five years on the EV transition, building factories, training workers and upgrading dealerships. Companies are planning more than a dozen new electric car and battery factories just in the United States.

Clearly, they’re playing the long game.

In the face of that growth, industry watchers believe 2022 could be the year when the march of battery-powered vehicles becomes unstoppable. Or, in other words, the industry may have finally reached the “Electric Disruption Zone.”