Tesla’s Deliveries in 2023 Jump 38% YoY, Rivian’s 146%, while Ford & GM Are Tangled Up in Anti-EV Revolts by their Dealers

Tesla has always been willfully lousy in reporting delivery details. Today it made the obfuscation worse.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

Tesla’s global deliveries in 2023 jumped by 38% to about 1.81 million vehicles, a new record and exceeding its guidance of 1.8 million vehicles. Deliveries in Q4 jumped by 11% from the prior quarter, and by 20% year-over-year, to 484,507 vehicles, a new quarterly record.

Tesla has always been willfully lousy in reporting delivery details. It only reports global deliveries, not US deliveries, and it lumps its models together into two categories: formerly “Model S/X” and “Model 3/Y.” All other automakers report deliveries for the US and by model.

For Q4, Tesla made that situation even worse by changing the category Model S/X to “Other Models,” and including the Cybertruck in it, along with the Model S and the Model X.

Tesla’s delivery obfuscation is particularly infuriating these days because everyone wants to know how Cybertruck production and deliveries are coming along. And Tesla said nothing.

Nevertheless: “Other Models” deliveries in Q4 (Model S, Model X, and Cybertruck), jumped by 44% from the prior quarter, and by 32% year over year, to 22,969 vehicles in Q4. By contrast, for the whole year, deliveries rose only 3% to 68,874 “other models.” So the Cybertruck has begun to move the needle in that category at the end of the year.

Tesla just started delivering the Cybertruck in November, and production ramp-up will remain tough according to Musk himself, so not a lot of Cybertrucks were produced and delivered in Q4. But Model S and Model X are slow sellers, so any surge in deliveries in that category would mostly be due to the Cybertruck.

Model 3/Y deliveries jumped by 39% in 2023, to 1.74 million vehicles. In Q4, deliveries rose 10% from the prior quarter and by 14% year-over-year, to a record 461,538 vehicles. The Model Y has become the #2 bestselling vehicle model in the US in 2023, by registrations, behind the Ford F-150 pickup truck.

Globally, China’s BYD powered past Tesla for the first time in Q4, reporting deliveries of 526,000 battery electric vehicles globally in Q4, dethroning Tesla as the #1 EV maker.

But for the whole year, BYD still lagged behind Tesla with 1.6 million battery electric vehicles (BYD also sells hybrids, which are not included here). BYD sells EVs in China and other parts of the world, including Europe, but is not yet selling them in the US (it has been assembling and selling electric buses in the US for years).

Rivian’s deliveries in Q4 jumped by 73% year-over-year to 13,972 (down a bit from the blowout Q3 numbers); for the full year, deliveries jumped by 146% to 50,122 vehicles, spread across the R1T pickup, the R1S SUV, and the EDV electric delivery van.

Rivian, the startup, outsells Ford’s electric pickup truck by a wide margin: through Q3, Ford delivered only 12,260 Lightning trucks through Q3 (Q4 results coming this week) as it is struggling with a revolt by its anti-EV dealers.

Meanwhile, US legacy automakers are fighting revolts by their anti-EV dealers.

Ford disclosed just before the holidays that about half of its dealers refused to make the investments to sell and service Ford’s EVs and cannot sell EVs and won’t sell EVs in 2024 though 2026; they’ll stick to selling only Ford’s ICE models, according to the Detroit Free Press.

A year earlier, Ford said it had enrolled 1,920 of its nearly 3,000 dealers in the EV program for the initial certification period of 2024 through 2026, but some dealers have since then backed out of the program, and the total is now down to about 1,550 dealer. The next certification period will be in 2027.

Ford said that, despite this refusal of half of its dealers, about 86% of the US population lives within 20 miles of a dealer that can sell EVs.

This is an outright revolt by Ford dealers against EVs, they’d rather not invest anything and just sell ICE pickup trucks at big-fat profit margins.

GM has run into the same type of anti-EV dealer revolt but it cracked down – rather than giving its dealers that kind of leeway; it has used buyouts to get rid of its anti-EV dealers.

Half its Buick dealers have agreed to be bought out by GM after they’d refused to get in the EV program; they gave up their Buick franchise and won’t be able to sell Buicks anymore at all, leaving GM with just 1,000 Buick dealers. GM said that nearly 90% of the US population will live within 25 miles of a Buick dealer.

GM had already bought out about 20% of its Cadillac dealers in 2020 because they refused to make the investments to sell and service its EVs.

Ford and GM have made big investments in EVs. Ford has the Mustang Mach-E and the F-150 Lightning. GM has several new EV models now entering the market or scheduled to enter the market in 2024, after ending production of the old Bolt and Bolt SUV in 2023. Stellantis dropped the ball and doesn’t really have anything on the market in terms of EVs – just announcements.

But the investments in EVs that Ford and GM have made are hard to translate into sales if their dealers refuse to sell them. Even dealers that are part of the EV programs are dogged by sales staff that are not always into selling EVs; some of them would rather sell ICE trucks and SUVs because they’re familiar with them and have confidence in selling them, and they shift customers that way.

Ford and GM are limited by state franchise laws; they must sell all their vehicles through their dealers; they cannot sell directly to consumers. They can let consumers “order” vehicles online, but the deal must ultimately go through a franchised dealer. And in terms of the classic way of selling, where the dealer is handling it from beginning to end: If dealers or their staff don’t feel like selling EVs, Ford and GM cannot sell EVs. This is an unimaginably messy problem.

Tesla was able to get exemptions franchise laws in many states, back when it was a nothing and when franchised dealers, who are a powerful lobby at the state level, still knew that EVs would never work and would never amount to anything, and that Tesla would never be a competitive threat. So Tesla can sell directly to consumers in most states, and it does not have dealers, and doesn’t have to mess with a dealer revolt.

Even Tesla cannot sell directly to consumers in about a dozen states, though it can have showrooms. In those states, Tesla has to sell vehicles from a location outside the state, such as completing the deal and delivering the vehicle in a neighboring state, or at its stores on tribal land. Not having to mess with franchised dealers has turned into another strategic advantage for Tesla.

The high supply figures of EVs that have been touted in the media as proof of the slowdown of EVs are strictly for the legacy automakers. And the examples of Ford and GM show what kinds of problems they face trying to sell EVs through their dealers. But Tesla, Rivian, and Polestar don’t have dealers, and don’t report inventories; and they’re the majority of the EV market – Tesla alone has 57% of the EV market by registrations. So “EVs piling up on dealer lots” only applies to a minority of EVs, those sold by the legacy automakers.

In terms of the stocks, Tesla and Rivian have both made it into my pantheon of Imploded Stocks, where they belong because Tesla is still hugely overvalued, and because Rivian is a huge cash-burner that will need lots of new funding, and if it doesn’t get new funding, it might not make it.

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  114 comments for “Tesla’s Deliveries in 2023 Jump 38% YoY, Rivian’s 146%, while Ford & GM Are Tangled Up in Anti-EV Revolts by their Dealers

  1. Minutes says:

    In my perfect world, everyone who wants an EV buys one and everyone who doesn’t want one gets something else.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      That’s how it should be. People can figure out on their own what they want to buy. Some people like trucks, others like cars, and others like SUVs. Some like V-8s and raw power, while others don’t like blowing a bunch of money at gas stations. The propulsion method of ICE v. electric falls into the same decision making. It’s good to have a choice when it comes to blowing your money.

      • Mark says:

        “That’s how it should be. People can figure out on their own what they want to buy”

        Boy , that reminds me of a tough experience I had many years ago, in the middle of a major recording contract with my young wife in Los Angeles. We were bumping heads with the A&R executive over our desire to record songs of substance that meant something.

        He looked at us in his office and said : “You’re trying to sell people what you want to sell them. You have to learn to sell them what they want to buy”

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Tesla is clearly selling what people want to buy. You go on Tesla’s website and you put in your order. No one is trying to talk you into anything. If you want a Cybertruck, put down a deposit, get in line, and wait.

          Ford and GM — and other legacy automakers — are conflicted. See article above.

        • Einhal says:

          Wolf, while this is true, the reason you can do that with Tesla, and not many others, is that some states gave specific exemptions from the ridiculous franchise laws, ONLY to Tesla.

          I would love to be able to order any car at a set price the way I can order a Tesla.

          I HATE the negotiate with scumbag car salesmen game. Some people enjoy the process. I do not.

        • ballboy says:

          I think the Cybertruck is something most truck people don’t want. A lot of truck owners are outdoors types and don’t want to drive something that looks modernistic. They have attachments to Silverados and F150’s and Ram trucks and don’t want big changes. They view the Cybertruck as strange looking and don’t want to be that guy.

      • CCCB says:

        Im told by large dealers in Miami, “you can’t give away EV’s”, though obviously theyre selling some.

        Lol, I guess ownng a Tesla isnt cool anymore. 12 cylinder, 3 ton Rolls Royces are the ticket now.

        • Massbytes says:

          More like “you can’t give away EV’s” that aren’t Teslas. You did notice Tesla sales set another record right? How about the Tesla Model Y being the best selling (or number 2) vehicle in the world? Or that the current models of Cybertruck being sold are the Foundation edition for sticker plus 20K.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          ICE vehicle sales have been declining and are down by massive numbers from a few years ago. The only thing that’s growing in leaps and bounds are EV sales. And they come at the expense of already declining ICE sales.

          The Miami dealer you cite was the exact case of anti-EV dealer morons in the article that revolt against their manufacturers efforts to sell EVs. Those idiot dealer will either lose their franchise, or contribute to the downfall of their manufacturer.

    • MarMar says:

      Sure, except for the overarching issue that burning gasoline is destroying our future, so collectively we need to move off of it, pretty damn pronto.

      Most people wouldn’t say, for example, that leaded versus unleaded gasoline should be a personal choice.

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        MarMar – don’t neglect JP4, and various rocket fuels while you’re at it (…and won’t get into coal, wood, diesel, and other motive powers necessary for maintaining the modern living standards demanded by contemporary technoindustrial society, here…).

        may we all find a better day.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          …’motive fuels’, not ‘powers’. Idiot ‘autowhatchamacallit’ strikes again…apologies.

          may we all find a better day.

        • vecchio gatto veloce says:

          Motive fuel?

          A banana, vanilla yogurt with fresh pineapple and an omelet — after the coffee to start with — fueled me up nicely for 30 kilometers this morning. Fair amount of rolling resistance with the studded snow tires back on today, though.


          2,265 kilograms is a lot of mass. But the Model S Plaid with Track Package has me curious as hell, and I feel the need to take one out for a test drive this spring. If I was regularly driving the Bundesautobahn instead of the Minnesota’s highways, I’d probably have one in my garage charging up right now.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          DanRo – yer right, poor wording on my part but Zaphod sticks the landing downstream…best.

          may we all find a better day.

      • Glen says:

        Legislation can handle the legal and not legal choices. My state for example is going to be banning sale of various gas things over time from lawn mowers, leaf blowers and cars. Looking forward to the first two simply from a noise population perspective especially now with teleworking.

        • Coffee says:

          My thought is: let GM and Ford et al sell EV cars directly to the public and setup branded EV repair shops. Continue selling ICE vehicles thru dealerships.

          Win win…

        • Wolf Richter says:

          “let GM and Ford et al sell EV cars directly to the public”

          States would have to change their franchise laws, and the powerful dealer lobby is totally opposed to that, and so it won’t happen.

      • Paul from NC says:

        Leaded vs. unleaded remains a personal choice to this day. The truth is that leaded AV fuel burns cleaner than the koolaid that has become known as gasoline. It will literally run your motors cooler, more efficiently, extending the engine’s lifetime, and letting you no longer worry about ever having to clean your carb!

        • Wolf Richter says:

          “…clean your carb”???


          Have you even looked under the hood of a new vehicle in the last 40 years? Are you that far behind?

        • Toby says:

          So you rather have dementia 10 years earlier. Nice trade of lmao

      • Zaphod says:

        Well, to do a complete analysis of the environmental impact, you’d need to include the entire product lifecycle, including the energy consumed in manufacturing, mining of minerals, disposal of batteries, etc. EVs will not look so pristine.

      • LaughingLion says:

        MarMar, I agree… though (and I am not kidding) as a serious environmentalist I believe all private vehicle use, at a society-wide level, needs to be reduced dramatically. Yes, there are the edge cases of people living off the grid, needing to transport sick or elderly people, etc., where private cars will still be essential. But to make a real impact on overall emissions, we need to stop building cars and rely on electrified heavy-rail transit.

    • DUKE says:

      The only issue with your freedom to buy an ice vehicle is it impinges on my freedom to breathe clean air downwind. Otherwise I would agree.
      The people of Denver and Inland Empire don’t want to live and breathe in smog basins any longer. EVs = cleaner city air.

  2. Warren G. Harding says:

    I wonder if it was the same back in 1910 and wagon dealers refused to sell ICE cars.

    • Harvey Mushman says:

      Nah, back then the question was probably Steam Power (Stanley Steamer) vs. ICE.

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        McQueen’s Ghost – …or the early electrics, (Flanders, etc. Popular, for a time, with the contemporary urban female market), for that matter…

        may we all find a better day.

        • Anthony A. says:

          There was also an auto manufacturer that made a hybrid gas/electric back in those days.

      • max says:

        The history of the electric car is longer than you might think

        “In 1901, 38 per cent of the cars were electric, and 20 per cent or so were petrol, and in the middle, there was the outgoing technology of steam,” says technologist and historian David Kirsch.

        “If you’d asked the great experts of their age in 1900 which technology would come to dominate the motor-based transportation, I think most learned people would have said electricity.”
        But history would prove them wrong. Advances in internal combustion engines in the first decade of the 20th century lessened the relative advantages of the electric car.
        “The unexpected progress of internal combustion … surprised everybody by making extraordinary advances in that first decade,” Professor Kirsch says.
        “By 1910 you had the Model T, the iconic universal vehicle that was able to do almost everything that an electric vehicle could do and more.”

  3. Denise Sail says:

    I have been surprised by the number of Rivian’s in my neck of the woods including the very attractive RS1 SUV. Looks a lot like a high end Range Rover. First adopters are always those with money and ambition and style. Also name plate. Ford and GM will gain traction when they can produce mass market vehicles. Tesla’s are a dime a dozen here. But new market entrants are making headway. EV’s are here to stay.

  4. Micheal Engel says:

    1) Madam GM turned her back on Europe. Ilan built a giga factory in Berlin.
    2) Ilan competes with BYD, not with Ford and GM. Ilan cut prices in the US and China.
    3) Ilan produce batteries for extended ranges. BYD for safety. Ilan’s batteries are glued to the body like a snowboard to save time and money. Ilan sold 1.8M snowboards in 2023.
    4) TSLA might popup after closing at 248,42.

    • Hubberts Curve says:

      I had not heard the Snowboard analogy before, I like it. But in reality Ilan’s batteries are glued in-between two giant cake pans and the empty space filled with foam. Then they bolt the seats and carpet on to the cake pans and raise the whole thing up inside the hollow body and bolt it in place.
      It reminds me of this guy I knew in upstate NY with a VW bug. The floorpan of his car had so much rust in it that one day he pulled up to the curb and came to a stop and instantly everyone in the car got 6 inches shorter. The entire floor pan had detached ( with the seats bolted to it) and dropped to the ground. They were lucky that didn’t happen on the highway.

      • David in Texas says:

        Maybe they were trying to revise an old form of propulsion: the Fred Flintsone system.

      • El Katz says:

        The industry term for the “cake pan” you describe is “skateboard” (not snowboard). One manufacturer was once toying with a vehicle that you could change body panels on to make your sedan a SUV or a pickup and back to a sedan.

    • KGC says:

      If BYD had access to the USA market for EV cars Ford and GM would die in 1-2 years and the price of a new car would drop significantly. BYD is all over Europe and the Germans are in trouble.

      I drove a Seat EV for a week recently (rental from Enterprise) and was surprised by how nice it was. My major complaint was that I prefer having actual switches and buttons to works some of the features, as having to look at a touch screen while driving is not ideal.

    • Jak Siemasz says:


      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        …you know, that guy Ilan Moosk…

        may we all find a better day.

  5. 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

    Wolf – as usual, GREAT article, reflecting the many nuances in selling ANYTHING (…and sell, one must. SWOT, SWOT, SWOT…).

    may we all find a better day.

  6. Obi66 says:

    As a Ford EV owner, the only negative part of the experience has been the dealer. They suck value and create hassles. The legacy car makers will fail unless they move EV sales into the future. I know Ford is trying to separate out their EV business, but time (and old laws) may prevent them from succeeding.

  7. RagnarD says:

    People should rent an EV for a week and see how they like it. For example, go visit a faraway friend in the city or suburbs or out in the country. And then figure out how you are going to charge your “freedom machine” when you get there.

    will there be a charger near by? will it be available? how long will it take to charge? will it be compatible with my vehicle?

    Freedom! /s

    • Harvey Mushman says:

      Great Suggestion!

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Lots of people already figured it out, as can see from the EV deliveries. Maybe you can’t figure out though. But that’s your problem.

      • Typecheck says:

        Tesla is not doing well. Delivery is driven by massive price cut that eventually will lead to massive losses. Car business is a lousy business. Great cars but lousy business.

        • Einhal says:

          Just out of curiosity, what’s your basis for saying that?

          Yes, Tesla has reduced their prices, but they’re not selling at losses. So they’re still making a profit on each car sold, albeit a smaller one than before.

          So what?

        • jon says:

          Tesla makes great cars but they have been cutting prices quite a lot thus narrowing their profit margins thus not justifying their current stock price.

          I’d say it like this: Great cars but highly overvalued stock price like many other stocks.

        • Typecheck says:


          Tesla has reduced price dramatically which leads to lower margin. It’s a lousy business in general. Not just Tesla. Making little money for so much investment is a bad business. Losing money with so much investment would be a dead business. I didn’t say Tesla is a dead business. It can last a long time and always in between making money and losing money like Amazon. No dividend for foreseeable future. It may be a good stock because of its glamour quality. However, all business is supposed to make money.

        • Glen says:

          There was a time when making things that were valuable for society, created jobs and made enough profit to feed R&D and the next production cycle. Now it is just expected to create wealth who really have no involvement in the making of the product. It isn’t like the automotive industry suffers from profit, just vision.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          1. Tesla is killing the legacy automakers with those price cuts. They cannot compete with those price cuts because their costs are too high. Tesla broke their strategies of ever higher prices. Tesla is the fastest growing US automaker, and it now has the #2 bestselling model in the US. And yet, Tesla is still very profitable, has $20 billion in cash, and nearly no debt, unlike the US legacy automakers that have debt out the wazoo, and if there is a hiccup, they have to file for bankruptcy, while Tesla is laughing all the way to the bank.

          2. Yes, the car business is a lousy business, in terms of growth. The legacy makers have screwed it up with their constant price increases, and so new vehicle sales volume has stagnated for decades, interrupted by deep plunges. EVs are the only thing that is growing:

        • Nyguy says:

          Tesla isn’t killing Toyota, Honda or Subaru. I’ve noticed an increase of Tesla’s in my area over the last year so I decided to look up what theyre going for in my county. Used with low miles had shockingly low prices compared to the aforementioned brands. Shocking to me, anyway. My friend rented one for a date with an Instagram model (lol) and got a flat tire which cost him $800.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Tesla cut prices on its new vehicles several times, and with each price cut, used vehicle prices came down too.

          PRICE CUTS is exactly what Americans need after the ridiculous price spikes by the legacy automakers. New EVs are already less costly than comparable ICE vehicles with apples-to-apples performance. That’s why Tesla is putting the hurt on legacy automakers.

          In California, the Model Y is #1, the Model 3 is #2, and Toyota’s RAV4 is #3 (used to be #1). That’s what is happening everywhere, some places are just a little slower.

          The story of your “friend” is fishy. If you get a flat in a rental car, the rental car company pays for it. Maybe you meant to say that the Instagram model/date cost $800, which would make more sense. Sounds like he overpaid.

      • andy says:

        Wolf, i was just listening to Jack London’s Sea-Wolf, and Capt. Wolf Larsen called San Francisco Frisco. 😄

    • Jimmy says:

      Better yet, use it as you would your ICE car. Take it for your local commute, shopping, school run and weekend outings like you do your current car. Charge it in your garage at night (you own the “gas station” and the “gas” costs less than 1/3 of what you’d pay for fossil fuel. I anm mostly anble to charge for free at the office, our local college or at restaurants and public parking. Our family has driven two EV’s for the past three years and don’t even think about charging or range (driving an average of 60 miles per day for each car). If I visited a far-away friend or planned to drive over 500 miles I would rent an ICE car. The focus of “range” is just silly. “Freedom” machines will actually plan your route for you to assure you have adequate charge. I’ve had 4 Porsche 911’s which got 15 mpg on a 16 gallon tank. No one ever asked me what my “range” was though it was terrible. Fear of change is not change of fear.

      • rick m says:

        Charge for “free”? Nothing’s free. You or someone else (taxpayers, restaurant prices, public college fees, your employer) pay for “free” charging. I’ve no doubt that EVs are largely the future. But societies usually subsidize subsistence housing, adequate nourishment, and public transportation to avoid egregious social inequities that would otherwise lead to civil unrest and governmental collapse. Not for “free” energy for nascent technologies that are getting there but not quite universally practical just yet. Maybe city dwellers don’t understand that lots of rural areas and towns have little public EV charging presently. It won’t be long, but it’s not today. The government push for EVs may actually slow the inevitable process of adoption of the EV as the private transport of choice for average people. Americans don’t like being told what’s best for them. Even when it is. Especially by the government. And nothing’s free. One hundred years ago, there were no service stations, gasoline was sold from barrels at railheads, or so I’ve read. Didn’t take long for roadmaps, iced tea glasses, wipe your windshield, check the oil, service with a smile from the man who wears the star. It won’t take long for EV infrastructure to get up to speed. But it’s never going to be free. A dozen years from now this will be seen as an awkward, inefficient transition period for cars. Best forgotten, like the US cars of the late seventies/early eighties. Nothing that American carmakers have done in the past fifty years has served to demonstrate their suitability for survival in today’s and tomorrow’s market.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          rick m – thoughtful comment. Just to add, road and highway maintenance/construction is far from ‘free’, and funding shortfalls for same here in CA are already being forecast. We should be expecting significant increases in DMV fees for EV’s (mebbe hybrids, too) to compensate for declining gas/diesel tax revenues already experiencing reduced bang for our tax buck from inflation…

          may we all find a better day.

    • E says:

      I assume many people drive within the same small mileage radius. And many like myself don’t have long distance trips or friends far away I’d drive to. If I did I’d catch a ride with someone else for that long trip or fly. Could rent a car there or Uber. Exceptions always exist but sounds like most EV buyers have most of their routes figured out. I’m not an EV a owner but I’m thinking of it. I’m not a spontaneous trip taker.

    • blahblahbloo says:

      The Model 3 range is 333 miles. How far away do your friends live?

    • Glen says:

      Doesn’t have to be either/or. If they sold really inexpensive EVs that I could use for 99.9% of what I do I would be happy to rent an ICE for trips where that is more practical.

      • Zaphod says:

        This is a viable option.
        Plugging in at home overnight is very convenient.
        Road trips are a different issue and can be solved by renting an ICE.

    • Ken C says:

      with a plug, dear henry, dear henry, dear henry…all my friends’ garages have outlets

      • John Overington says:

        Ah yes, “there’s a hole in my bucket” but the plug filled the hole – didn’t refill it. Great song from the days of pantomime. Thanks for the memories.

    • Coffee says:

      I currently have two old (10 plus years each) ICE vehicles that we use for local daily driving. If we wish to visit out of state relatives or go on a long distance vacation we rent a large SUV that can hold the entire family (and dogs).

      So if I were to replace my old cars with EV’s I’d just continue that same pattern.

    • Wolfbay says:

      We recently did rent a model 3 for a week. I believe Hertz has trouble renting them and they had lowered the price. We’re not in the market for one but it was an impressive driving experience. With its low center of gravity it handles great and acceleration is impressive. Merging on the interstate is a breeze. Charging was not as big a deal that we thought it was going to be.

    • cc says:

      Some day it will be ICE vehicles struggling to find fuel!

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        cc – …certainly on the horizon and closing. (Some cities in my NorCal county have already banned any new construction of filling stations…).

        may we all find a better day.

    • Duke says:

      EV owners can buy a charger that plugs into a 110 or 220 outlet for a few hundred and take it with them. Electricity outlets are more ubiquitous than gas stations.

      Teslas superchargers are set to become eligible for government subsidies because NACS is now standardized. The Tesla highway experience in already great and will only get better. They just have to grow it by 10 to 30% a year to keep up with EV growth.

    • Dave Kunkel says:

      In my morning walk around our neighborhood today I saw a different Tesla model 3 parked in front of a house that has had 3 Tesla model 3’s for a long time.

      The Tesla parked in front had New York plates. Apparently someone from New York drove their Tesla out to California for the holidays – in the middle of the winter.

      • Wolf Richter says:

        Dave Kunkel,

        Yes, this stuff is always funny. When we go skiing into the Sierra Nevada, 3-5 hours from San Francisco, up there in the cold, at 7,000+ feet altitude, the parking lots in the ski areas are full of EVs of all kinds, dominated by Teslas. They’re doing just fine on I-80 going across Donner Pass or coming the other way, in winter. And they can recharge no problem. There are more charging stations than gas stations. And their heaters work just fine, and on the way down, they can recharge with their regen braking systems. But there are still people who think that EVs will never work because of yada-yada-yada.

  8. Greg Nikolic says:

    Tesla’s primary contribution to mankind will be known in future history as the money spinoff for Space X, Elon Musk’s pet project vehicle for space exploration.

  9. Brooks says:

    I think, as I have since the Volt came out, that hybrids are a great bridge to the EV future, and just now, manufacturers are realizing that. The new Ramcharger is going to be a game-changer, except for the fact of who is making it. EV are great for homeowners and people with two vehicles, but for many, the infrastructure just isn’t there yet.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Ford has had a hybrid version of its F-150 for two years. Many ICE vehicle models have been available for years with hybrid power-train options. Ram is just way behind the curve on everything.

    • DUKE says:

      That sounds great until you realize that now you have more complexity and maintenance with 2 drivetrains.

      While EVs reduce moving parts by about 1000x.

      BEVs cost curve is dropping like a rock. So they pin their hopes on hybrids and a manufacturer will be way behind by not having the BEV expertise, purchasing agreements, manufacturing in place. The longer they wait, the harder it will be to catch up.

      Great 300mi range EVs will be available for 20- 20k in 5 years. Cheaper and better always wins.

    • Jak Siemasz says:

      Hybrids are the worst of both worlds. A small battery lugging around an ICE and fuel, an ICE hauling around a heavy battery and electric motor, and each one having to carry all the tech to make it work.

      • Nie prawda says:

        A hybrid designed correctly will be LESS expensive to maintain and own than a regular ICE vehicle and does not have many drawbacks. For example regenerative brakes (just like and EV has) which reduce the friction brake pad wear tremendously. Then there is the transmission which in the case of an E-CVT has two electric motors and a planetary gearset and no clutch packs or belts to wear out. The tech to make it work is no more complex than a traditional ICE ECU/TCM combo.

  10. Trucker Guy says:

    I’ve yet to see any of those eyesore cyber trucks on the highway yet and I live in a pretty wealthy area and travel to the rich peoples pretend rugged hobby ranch playground constantly. Aka: Montana.

    I’ve just really skeptical that the cyber truck will actually catch on. Even assuming the thing is the greatest thing since sliced bread; it is just so immensely ugly. I’ve seen a lot of Rivians and car haulers carrying them out to Seattle. It remains to be seen if they can ever get to a point of straightening out their finances.

    It does make me wonder though if glider kits will be legalized once more once a full class 8 power train is available for big trucks.

    • Paul from NC says:

      As forever, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I’ve been begging the car-gods to bring back fully square looking cars (think 88 Sentra) since the everything-has-to-be-smooth-and-ugly 90s, and it has finally arrived!!! Reminds me of, and I’m sure inspired by the Delorean. I love how it looks through and through. If only I could afford one.

    • bulfinch says:

      Using “cyber” as a prefix to confer a futuristic quality upon anything is pretty lame. It’s like if the PT Cruiser had instead been dubbed RetroCar. The product itself…for anyone who’s always wanted to see a stainless steel boat chock riding around town, it’s a dream come true. Gonna age real well.

      Meanwhile, Stanley Kubrick & Harry Lange conjured the future miles more stylishly over half a century ago.

      • Trucker Guy says:

        I want a weird obelisk with wheels to drive like the alien statue from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

  11. Einhal says:

    I was all set to buy a Model Y last month until I saw it next to a Rav4 and CRV (happened to be parked in between those two in a parking lot).

    It’s a lot shorter. While people think of it is a crossover SUV, it’s really more like a hatchback. I prefer the higher ground clearance for curbs and such, and like being higher off the ground.

    As is, it’s closer to a sedan in terms of ground clearance than a true crossover.

    Hopefully they (or someone else) will come out with something closer to what I’m looking for at some point.

  12. NARmageddon says:

    The word hybrid occurred ONCE in the entire article and zero times in the comments so far. And hardly anyone understands that hybrid can double the mileage of any car, is less 50% less CO2 than EV (which keep coal plants running), and at 1/20 the amount of lithium mining per car.

    Toyota has started to tell people the reality, but everyone else has their head in the sand of lithium mining pit, or their head in a barrel of gasoline.

    It will give me no joy when people finally understand the truth, 20 years too late.

    • MarMar says:

      lol it would absolutely give you joy

      However it won’t happen. Hybrids are a transitional technology at best.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      1. “The word hybrid occurred ONCE in the entire article..”

      Yes. because hybrids are ICE vehicles, DUH, powered by gasoline, and they don’t belong into an EV article.

      We have a hybrid, they’re great in terms of gas mileage, but it’s still expensive gasoline you’re putting into them. And to get the gas mileage, the ICE itself is small and underpowered (2L Atkinson cycle), the battery is small, and the electric motor is also small, the whole thing is immensely complex, and combined it performs like an economy car, it’s slow, UNLIKE EVs.

      2. “And hardly anyone understands that hybrid can double the mileage of any car”

      Hybrids, apples to apples, don’t double the mileage of a car, but they do improve it noticeably. The regular Ford Fusion SE is rated at 25 mpg combined; the Fusion SE hybrid is rated at 42 mpg combined.

      3. “Toyota has started to tell people the reality,…”

      LOL, what ignorant BS. Toyota told its anti-EV CEO Akio Toyoda the reality… He was forced out in early 2023 because under him Toyota completely dropped the ball on EVs, and it now doesn’t have an EV to speak of, and it’s losing market share in leaps and bounds, and Toyota had a come-to-Jesus moment, forced out the CEO, and is starting massive investments in EVs under the new guy.

      • Louie says:

        Toyota, and some others are about to have a “Kodak Moment”. Perhaps the new CEO at Toyota can save them.
        We have two Teslas at our house now and will never look back. ICE over.

        • Massbytes says:

          Yours is the opinion of a large part of my family. Between my son, his wife, my daughter, her husband, my stepson and his girlfriend there are 4 Model Ys, a Chevy Bolt, and my soon to come Cybertruck. I only sold my 2017 Model S in anticipation of the Cybertruck. Not having to go to a gas station or get oil changes are the things that seems to come up the most when we talk about the advantages of EVs. But there are many more. Never going back to gas.

  13. Stav says:

    ECs are such a superior machine that it’s just a matter of time until they take over. The reason dealers are pushing back is because they make money of services and repairs and those will be much less lucrative with EC. The future will be here much faster than we expect…

    • eg says:

      This is what I took to be the primary motivation behind the reluctance of dealerships to sell EV’s — that those sales would reduce their reliable income streams on the service side, which I am led to believe have been a considerable factor in their profitability.

  14. SoCalBeachDude says:

    MW: Tesla, other EV stocks sell off, as delivery data spooks investors –

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Braindead anti-EV BS by morons for morons. The Nasdaq fell 1.6% today, and Tesla dipped only 0.2%. The 10 biggest losers on the Nasdaq plunged by 23% to 35% today, and none of them were TSLA or RIVN. Something spooked investors today, but it wasn’t Tesla’s deliveries.

      • Frank says:

        TSLA is down 6% is the last week, over 50% from it’s peak, and has a long ways to go. You’re peak Tesla fanboy. Why there is such a Tesla cult is beyond me.

        • Wolf Richter says:


          “You’re peak Tesla fanboy”

          LOL. No, but you’re peak moron.

          You don’t even read my Tesla articles, or else you would have known that I have forever considered Tesla’s stock way overvalued, and still do as per the last paragraph in this article, and that it should come down; and so you also don’t know that I said that it’s great that Tesla is cutting prices because lower prices is what Americans need, and it’s great that Tesla has taken on the oligopolistic pricing behavior by the legacy automakers that has ruined the car business for most Americans.

          Unlike GM, Ford and Stellantis, Tesla actually manufactures in the US all vehicles it sell in the US, and it exports the rest. Its vehicles have the most US content of any automaker. And with its price cuts, it’s tearing up the legacy US automakers, and that’s a great thing because their decision-making has been idiotic and disastrous for many years, and they had it coming.

  15. roddy6667 says:

    Tesla claims huge numbers in China, but I don’t see them here on the street. Do people buy them for bragging rights and then NOT drive them? On the other hand, BYD EV’s are everywhere. You see one about every 20 seconds. Most of the taxis and Didi’s (Chinese Uber) and government vehicles now are EV’s. There are more brands than you can count. The other day I rode in an MG taxi. EV. Google it. About 3 years ago the American stock jockies were flogging Nio stock. Back then you couldn’t evveer see one in traffic, only in car shows and on display in high end malls. Now there are a few, but the company is a tiny participant in the EV parade.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      You probably cannot tell the difference between a BYD ICE vehicle and a BYD EV (BYD has made a lot more ICE vehicles than EVs in its history) since you aren’t even able to see the Teslas.

      • roddy6667 says:

        In China, EV’s have a distinctive green and white license plate. They are very long, like a European plate. I can spot them from 100 yards. Getting educated about all the Chinese cars has been a passion of mine for ten years now. Maybe the people who buy Teslas in China drive far fewer miles, so there are always a lot more BYD’s on the street. They are used for fleet vehicles. That might explain some of it.

        • roddy6667 says:

          Yes, that’s the “Aha” moment. Tesla’s are passenger vehicles. Many people use them less than once a day. BYD vehicles are used as taxis, Didi (Uber), municipal and police cars, and all kinds of business usage. That makes the number of Tesla’s on the road at any given moment to be less than BYD, even though there were a lot of them sold. BTW, in China they are called “New Energy Vehicles”, not EV’s. This includes hybrids, CNG, hydrogen, compressed air, and anything else used to propel a car. My son-in-law just bought a new Denza D9 van 5 days ago. Denza is a joint venture of BYD and Mercedes-Benz. It is a $65,000 hybrid van, 7-seater. Luxury interior equal to a MB 550 and a luxury ride. He took us to a fair in a village outside the city on Saturday. Nice vehicle.

  16. Andy says:

    How many dealers does Tesla.
    Not many.
    Ford and GM shod just copy Tesla and go to a direct sales model.

    • Wolf Richter says:


      Here is what it says in the article, quoted verbatim:

      “Ford and GM are limited by state franchise laws; they must sell all their vehicles through their dealers; they cannot sell directly to consumers. They can let consumers “order” vehicles online, but the deal must ultimately go through a franchised dealer. And in terms of the classic way of selling, where the dealer is handling it from beginning to end: If dealers or their staff don’t feel like selling EVs, Ford and GM cannot sell EVs. This is an unimaginably messy problem.

      Tesla was able to get exemptions franchise laws in many states, back when it was a nothing and when franchised dealers, who are a powerful lobby at the state level, still knew that EVs would never work and would never amount to anything, and that Tesla would never be a competitive threat. So Tesla can sell directly to consumers in most states, and it does not have dealers, and doesn’t have to mess with a dealer revolt.

      Even Tesla cannot sell directly to consumers in about a dozen states, though it can have showrooms. In those states, Tesla has to sell vehicles from a location outside the state, such as completing the deal and delivering the vehicle in a neighboring state, or at its stores on tribal land. Not having to mess with franchised dealers has turned into another strategic advantage for Tesla.”

      • Louie says:

        Here is what the legacy mfg. could do however. They could create EV only dealerships just as Toyota created separate dealerships for Lexus. Also Honda and now Hyundai doing the same with their luxury brands. they could do that. That could also sell through the sovereign nation locations (what you call tribal lands). I,E., every native owned casino could have an Ev dealership. They could do both of these things. they could also strip the dealerships who are not willing to cooperate of their dealership status. They have done that before.

        • El Katz says:

          Lexus is a different “franchise”, not just a dealer. Go back a few years to when Toyota tried to put together another brand/franchise… the Scion. They ended up being consumed by the Toyota dealers due to the low flying lawsuits. Scion died because it made little sense for Toyota to serve another set of dealerships and the profits were so skinny that the retailers had a problem even making a lean-to showroom pencil. That infrastructure is expensive – for both the manufacturer and retailer.

          Manufacturers, notoriously, make lousy retailers. It’s been tried before in (I believe) Salt Lake City where Ford had it’s “Ford Collection” back in the 90’s. They lost their azz. IIRC, the original dealer who sold out to them, bought it back for pennies on the dollar. Like the old joke: How do you make a million dollars in the automobile business? Start out with $10M and buy a dealership.

          Native owned casinos *could* certainly have a dealership but there’s a whole bunch of issues with licensing, titles, and taxes. Since the casinos are on native land and, technically, not part of the United States (that sovereign nation thing), any vehicle sold there could be thought of as an “import” by U.S. territories and subject to all kinds of things like tariffs, certifications, etc.. Keep in mind that existing dealerships are both public companies and owned by individuals of some wealth. They are either a politician themselves, related to one, or own a few.

          Strip the dealerships, who are not willing to cooperate of their “dealership status”? Hahahahaha! It appears that you don’t know much about contract or franchise law. The franchise agreement is a contract. Dealers have an investment. If you paid attention to Wolf’s writing, GM bought out the Buick franchisees… and ditto the Cadillac franchises that didn’t want to play ball. If you were to read the terms of a franchise agreement, it’s not cheap to buy out a dealership…. parts buybacks, unsold inventory, etc.. The manufacturer usually finds another dealer to eat the assets of the buyout – but that requires many carrots. Also: IIRC, the bulk of the buyout non-EV players were in fringe markets where the EV sales volume wouldn’t justify the investment of $500K or whatever the amount was demanded by the manufacturer to be “certified” to sell their EV’s. In order to terminate a dealership, there has to be an egregious violation (believe it or not, many agreements have morals clauses) of the agreement and then there are periods to correct an deficiency…. but they are not unilateral where the manufacturer can modify the existing agreement willy-nilly.

  17. Kenn says:

    Here’s my thoughts; Blackouts affect BOTH EVs and Gas vehicles since the gas station pumps don’t work in a blackout. The solution is having a fully charged battery, or filled gas tank. It’s simpler to keep the EV charged since you can plug it in at home.

  18. Escierto says:

    Uruguay has transformed itself so it is using 98% renewable energy. Before you slam Uruguay as a Third World hole, I have been there. It is definitely not Third World but very close to First World. People obey the traffic laws. The government is actually responsive to what people want. So it is possible!

  19. tom10 says:

    Baby steps Wolf

    Work truck…at my age…most likely retire with ICE haulers.

    Personal: Will need to do more research on comfort & reliability for life in rural & cold. ICE or EV makes no difference. The Mrs & I already enjoy our electric bikes.

  20. Anthony says:

    The problem, throughout the rest of the world, is the fans of EVs have their cars but few other people want them.

  21. LB says:

    Last fall we decided to replace one of our two compact cars. We considered ICE and hybrid but then realized we are a perfect case for an EV. We don’t drive much, mostly just around town, and can fire up the remaining ICE car if we go any significant distance.

    A local Nissan dealer had stocked up on late model Leafs. We got a very clean 2020 model that had come off lease with just over 15,000 miles. Price was just over $18k at a no-haggle dealership. We charge it 1-2 hours a week at a price of 8.4 cents per hour. We couldn’t be happier.

  22. Greg P says:

    I’ve driven our Model S across the country – from SoCal to NC – and it is no big deal. If people haven’t been inside a Tesla they don’t understand the route mapping. I just tell the car where I want to end up, and it plots my course, tells me where I need to stop to charge, and can show me the number of charging stations as well as how many are currently in use – in real time. I also own an ICE. Filling my ICE up with gas to go 300 miles costs me $43.20 (25 mpg/$3.60 per gallon gas). Charging my Tesla to go 300 miles costs me $9. And as far as the story above about a flat “costing $400”. A NEW 21″ tire for my Tesla costs that much. Don’t know what to tell you – they aren’t run-flats :)

    • El Katz says:

      Does your charging cost you $9 when you charge at a public charging station with your credit card? The ones I’ve seen cost a tad more than that… like multiple times.

      • Greg P says:

        I’ll be honest – I have free lifetime supercharging with my Tesla, so I don’t have a ton of experience. However my son is a (relatively) new Tesla owner, and I were both appalled at some of the pricing in the area (outside of Charlotte). We know that we pay $0.09 – $0.10 per kWhr for electricity here (nuclear, Duke energy)… so to see superchargers charging 3x as much was shocking. It depends upon where you are and time of day… but I think Tesla may be rethinking superchargers as “break-even” to income generators.

        That said… we are building a new house and I have just installed 2 level 2 chargers in my garage. 44 miles of range per hour of charging. I rarely need to drive more than 300 miles per day.

  23. Greg says:

    Great article until you totally lost me when you said Rivian might not be able to secure funding. they list amazon as a partner who owns almost 20 percent of their outstanding shares do they not? your statement lacks credibility in light of this fact alone.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Ford was a big equity investor in Rivian as well and sold its shares and walked away. Amazon wants to get electric vans. How many billions of dollars do you think it will plow into Rivian to fund its losses on its pickups and SUVs, in order to get electric vans, which Amazon would have to pay for, on top of the funding it provides Rivian?

      Rivian raised $1.5 billion in October by selling more shares. It can only sell more shares if the price of its shares doesn’t totally tank. They’re already down 85% from their high.

      Rivian needs lots more funding to get to breakeven cash-flow, assuming it can get there. If it cannot get that funding, it’s over. Amazon made its initial investment in it when it was a startup. Amazon has walked away from many of its investments when they didn’t work out. Why would it plow several more billions into Rivian, if Rivian doesn’t have a path to cash-flow breakeven? If you know anything about funding, you know it’s not secured until it is in the bank.

      The word “Amazon” does have the effect of clouding people’s brains.

  24. Bob says:

    We are now a hybrid and EV family – Volvo XC90 hybrid and Audi Q8 E-Tron. Both vehicles are fantastic. The EV has not been a problem to charge once we learned where the reliable stations are located, which are somewhat few and far between in the upper midwest. However, that is only relevant on the rare occasions when 200+ miles are required for a single trip. We would not buy another ICE, except perhaps as a toy. I have noticed that views on EVs seem to vary wildly depending on primary new source. The maga folks are often of the view that EVs are unreliable and failing, which according to our dealers, Wolf’s article, and our own experience, is far from reality.

  25. Happy1 says:

    Tesla really muddies the waters for people trying to extrapolate EV sales in the US by not providing numbers for the US. They have seen enormous growth but sales growth on a global basis is clearly slowing. And the market in the US is massively distorted by Federal and State subsidies. I would be interested in a more mid priced Tesla, if prices drop another 10K or so. But Tesla is clearly having slowing sakes and is cutting prices to drive sales. It will be very interesting to watch the next year.

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