Why Tesla Model 3 Will Devastate EV Sales Through 2018
Battery electric vehicle sales are about to dive. Who would buy another EV with the Tesla Model 3 on its way? When Torque News reports factual sales numbers for battery electric cars readers are outraged. Telling people that think oil is destroying the planet that only 0.3% of new car sales are battery electrics is received as an insult. Regardless of how electric vehicle advocates want the sales numbers to appear, EVs have stopped growing and as a percentage of new cars. Affordable EV sales plateaued back in 2014. Now they are in decline.
Oddly, the best electric car design so far will hurt EV sales for years to come, and not just a little.
Tesla announced last night that its new 2017 Model 3 will go from 0-60 MPH in under six seconds have a 215-mile range (at least), will include Supercharger access, will have advanced active safety features standard, and will have a base price before incentives of $35,000. The problem is that it won't even begin to go on sale until late 2017.
Who in their right mind would go out and buy a BMW i3, Nissan Leaf, or even a Tesla Model S between now and then? All of these cars are a terrible deal compared to the coming Model 3. All three, including the base Model S, are slower.
The Leaf is the lowest-ranked green car for safety with a Poor IIHS small frontal overlap crash test and no active safety systems available (FCP or AEB). And has half the range of the coming Model 3. The BMW i3 is a fine vehicle, and we reviewed it positively, but it costs more than the coming Model 3, has a dramatically shorter range, and it is smaller. Those are facts. An opinion might be that the i3 looks like a goofball compared to the Model 3, and its dashboard is made of hay.
The newly-refreshed Nissan Leaf (now with greater range) sales were down about 30% in March. This is the Leaf's worst March sales result since 2012. In his speech last night at the reveal of the Model 3, Elon Musk spoke about Tesla’s mission being to advance sustainable transportation. At least for the coming two or three years, he just put the brakes on electric vehicles.
Image courtesy of Tesla Press Kit.