Electric Vehicle Sales Slowing. What next?


Dealers report EVs are on the lot 6 to 12 months vs one month for an internal combustion vehicle. High prices and lack of charging spots contribute. What happens next?

Can we meet net zero 2050 goals without major EV participation? Can we still meet the 50% EV target in 2030?

What is the alternative? Hydrogen?

Or will buyers slowly come around as lower priced vehicles arrive or more charging infrastructure gets built?

Eventually, the substantially lower operating costs for an EV will win out.

I vote lower priced EVs.

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It may be more cost-effective for the manufacturers to take the batteries back and use them somehow (repackage modules for newer cars?). The battery is the #1 highest cost, so it is a possibility. Depends on the demand for newer cars at lower prices with (better?) batteries.

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They use lithium nickel cobalt batteries for longest range. The are switching to iron lithium phosphate for lower cost and a bit less range. They talk about sodium batteries that should be much cheaper than lithium but remains to be seen if they will be suitable.

And Elon Must is working on large casting technology for the body to greatly reduce cost for his lowest cost model on the way.

He seems to be having trouble with his stainless steel truck body.

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Other companies will do the same if they can’t figure out a way to do it without going to large castings for their vehicles.

When I was working, I was always looking at new tech to see if any of it was applicable to what was needed AND would save $$$.


The largest EV seller has no dealers…
The largest EV seller has lots of chargers…

The Captain



This is sort of a nonstory. GM and F are not selling because the plug this year is wrong. The two of them committed to start putting Tesla plugs to work next year…you could say in the coming weeks.

Tesla does not have dealers. If Musk’s sales shrink which I doubt they will it is on his personality. It is such a winner.


A uTuber commented that 2023 was the year when EV competitors capitulated. Many criticized Tesla’s price cutting but it sure worked in Tesla’s favor. But more important, focusing on EVs, from an investing point of view, is short sighted. It won’t be long before the EV ‘S’ Curve tops out. Tesla’s dozen other businesses have to take over from cars to keep Tesla’s growth rate going. Most companies tend to ‘diworsify.’ to use a Peter Lynch term, while a few like Amazon and Apple grow organically and expand into the ‘adjacent possible’ instead of empire building.

For Tesla, the most valuable, in my opinion, is the humanoid robot, much less hardware than an EV and likely much more productive. Cars replaced horses. Horses are cheaper than people. In Apple hardware the unifying theme is the user interface. At Tesla it’s the AI controller.

The economics of humanoid robots are fantastic, a $20,000 robot will be able to replace a worker that costs over $100,000 per year.

The Captain


I’m going to put this one right up there with flying cars, fusion reactors, google glass(es) and visual reality headsets. Someday, maybe, ever. Not now. Not soon. Not likely.


No way in hell will that fly. You can buy a robotic arm to automate a factory 15 years ago for less money. No factory or work situation needs all the hardware of a head etc…

Zero need.

AI has no future. It is a train wreck.

Tesla’s future is better than AI.

I am not sure that all the hardware in the EVs will be FSD as Musk once said but soon the more current hardware with software upgrades will be FSD one day as the miles of AI experience add up.

It is not the AI that makes the money at all though. The AI is the cost not the profit.

The profit of FSD for Tesla is to set up in its cars all riders with Tesla computer time on Tesla internet portals, routers, hubs, CPUs, GPUs(eventually), and OS. To set up deals with Amazon for shopping from a Tesla car. Or Tesla will open its own shopping channels. To control advertising dollars as you ride in their EVs.

Tesla wants to hold the internet over a barrel when you are in an EV.

AI is just the cost of doing business.

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If my wife is any guide, buyers will come around when we have one single national charging network.

The fact that her preferred EV was not currently on the new Tesla network (and the added fact that it was delayed until 2024), is keeping her out of the EV market.

I think she is a good litmus test for the slow down. Everyone that is OK with that minor limitation is buying. Those that are not, are waiting.

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It’s the Osbourne Effect all over again. It’s a big part of why we got a hybrid earlier this year than an EV as well. We are not alone. If you want to know what the real market is, wait until the NACS conversion starts rolling in large numbers. If the sales do not take a big bounce up then the sales drop is for real.

Personally I’m betting a NACS roll-out makes the sales of EV’s jump again.


No, we’re not meeting the 50% EV target.

The alternative is lots of plain old “traditional” hybrid vehicles, which allow automakers to meet emissions requirements and fuel-economy standards without being quite expensive. Which as we used to talk about a lot on TMF 1.0, makes the most sense from an economic policy perspective. You can get a lot of fuel/emissions savings just moving your fleet from ICE to hybrid at a relatively low marginal cost, without the need to start mucking around with converting to EV and PHEV until you’ve used up all those emissions reductions. Hybrids have now increased to about 8.3% of the US auto market, and are cheaper not only than the typical EV, but the typical ICE car as well (because the highest volume sellers tend to be smaller cars).

If EV’s could get materially cheaper, that would help. But the IRA’s domestic manufacturing requirements are really coming back to bite, in a hard way, against that happening. The EU may end up being more open to Chinese imports, which might spill over into the US if EU makers have to dump product here.

They do say hybrids double your gas mileage. They do not eliminate fuels and carbon dioxide. Plug in hybrids might do better but range is limited.

OK, economical and an improvement but not likely to reach the goal.

What about hybrid buses and trucks? Are they feasible?

Musk has already suggested that old batteries should be used for stationary power storage as for utilities. That’s after they start to lose their range. That extends their useful life before they are sent for recycling. And presumably increases resale value.

Some also suggest making batteries easy to swap. Then you lease your battery from a firm and swap it to continue your trip. A reasonable solution to the EV range problem. But requires special design to make swap easy and equipment to handle heavy batteries at each location.

Won’t happen, IMO.
It restricts car design.
It requires lots of infrastructure just to buy more batteries to have in standby.
What do you do if the swap station is all out? That wait could be real long.
The idea might work well for e-bikes, scooters or small city cars. But for road trips it is a fail because the “worst” case scenario is worse than just having all the fast chargers busy.

It really doesn’t take that long to charge to 80% and the Tesla network already have good coverage. Take all the money of establishing battery swap stations everywhere and put that into more Superchargers and the charging problem is done.



Agreed but there is an important issue I know next to nothing about…will Ford or GM have the products to match Tesla? Because people want to reject Musk but it has to work out economically as well.

Sales will rise but a larger jump might take most of a year. I think Ford and GM will make massive inroads into the market by the end of 2024 or into Oct 2025 depending on the models offered.

True, but neither do EV’s if they’re not actually purchased. You can eliminate the same amount of fuels and carbon dioxide from the overall fleet if 20% of the fleet converts to HEV’s as if 10% of the fleet converts to BEV’s (to a rough approximation). And the marginal cost per avoided emission of converting from ICE to HEV is lower than the marginal cost of converting from ICE to BEV. So there’s lots of scenarios, especially early in the transition, where you can get close to or even better reductions in emissions for a lower cost with a fast transition to HEV’s rather than a slower adoption to BEV’s. It’s really only when you’re ready to increase emissions beyond what you can achieve with HEV’s that you have to start having zero-emission cars.

Our current strategy was based on an assessment (or a hope?) that EV’s were ready for a very quick, full transition to “all the way there” in a short time frame, so that HEV’s weren’t really necessary as an intermediate lower-cost (and lower battery resource) step. If that’s not the case, then conventional hybrids may see even more uptake as an alternative.

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That was already proposed by the Chinese ten years earlier (when I was invested in KNDI) and abandoned. An electric utility would own the batteries but the utility backed out.

Kandi was already doing battery swapping when Elon Musk put up the big show, and show is all it was. I watched the show and dismissed Musk as a circus barker
circus barker

The Captain

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