Electric cars were a novelty a decade ago. Tesla was founded in 2003 but did not have meaningful sales until its Model S sedan was released in 2012. In the fourth quarter of last year, it delivered 308,000 vehicles. Today, Tesla is the most valuable company in the world, with a market capitalization of $948 billion. GM, the largest manufacturer based in America, has a market cap of $77 billion.
Every major car company in the world has started to chase Tesla. The primary reason is that electric cars are considered the wave of the future. This is true for several reasons. One is global warming and anxiety about fossil fuels. Another is the cost of fuel. Yet another is pressure from governments that have started to set goals for the number of electric vehicles they expect to have on the road in the years ahead. The German government has begun a push to have 15 million electric vehicles by 2030. The Biden Administration’s goal is 30 million by 2030.
Car companies have announced aggressive plans to move swiftly into the EV sector. GM has promised it will have 20 EV models by 2023. Ford management says it will be the number two electric car maker in the world within two years. While neither of the manufacturers can prove their claims, they are prepared to spend billions of dollars to reach the goals.
Many Americans do not want to own electric cars. According to a major piece of research from Deloitte, people worry about how far an electric car can go on one charge. In the United States, 20% of those surveyed by Deloitte said “driving range” was their primary concern.
Only a modest number of EVs have a range of over 300 miles. Most gas-powered cars can go much further on a single tank of gas.
The EV with the longest range, according to Cars.com, is the 2022 Lucid Air Dream Edition R all-wheel drive, which has a range of 520 miles. The study’s authors commented, “The Lucid Air has dethroned the Tesla Model S and taken over as long-range champion (at least for now).”
Lucid is an extremely small car company and had sales of only $2.3 million in the third quarter of 2021. It lost $524 million during the same period. Stunningly, Lucid has a market cap of $62 billion.
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