Bumpy road ahead for Elon Musk as Tesla faces losing world's biggest electric car maker crown, study says

A Tesla Model 3.
A Tesla Model 3.David Zalubowski/AP
  • Tesla will lose its title of the world's biggest EV maker by 2024, Bloomberg Intelligence concludes.

  • It expects Volkswagen to become world's biggest producer by increasing European and Chinese sales.

  • Tesla accounted for 75% of global EV sales in the first three months of this year.

Tesla faces losing its crown as the world's biggest electric car maker to Volkswagen by 2024, according to new research.

A study by Bloomberg Intelligence expects the German giant to double production to more than 2 million battery-powered vehicles in 2024, overtaking Tesla.

Rising battery costs and limited production capacity meant most other competitors, including Ford and General Motors, lacked an incentive to catch up as quickly as Volkswagen, the report said. Tesla is therefore likely to remain the biggest EV seller in the US for some time.

Volkswagen's production and sales are focused on Europe, and Bloomberg expects the company to expand further in China rather than America. US sales accounted for less than 10% of VW's total last year, according to its annual report.

Tesla sales in China, where it now makes two models, were likely to suffer as a result, Bloomberg said.

Tesla was an early entrant to the EV revolution, and accounted for 75% of all electric cars sold in the US in the first quarter of 2022, according to Kelly Blue Book. Competitors are slowly taking advantage of their scale to eat into some of that market share, though.

Ford has led the charge with its Ford F-150 Lightning, which has received 200,000 orders, while GM is pushing ahead on its next-generation "Ultium" batteries. Volkswagen is also considering of its sports car maker Porsche, which also has an electric model.

But Tesla has also expanded production and taken advantage of the economies of scale present in early adopters. It began shipping cars from its Berlin gigafactory in March, where it aims to produce 500,000 cars annually.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has tried to bat off the threat of legacy automotive manufacturers, joking that he was getting "free advertising" from his competitors in a tweet on Friday that highlighted similar marketing strategies among manufacturers.

In an interview on the Tesla Owners Silicon Valley YouTube channel released on Tuesday, Musk said competitors Rivian and Lucid faced bankruptcy if they didn't cut costs.

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