One of the most polarizing and controversial CEOs in history is Elon Musk. The South African born billionaire has built Tesla from the ground up and re-energized the electric vehicle. Tesla’s first mass car, the Model 3, sold an estimated 160,000 units last year. Musk’s rivals have their work cut out. Tesla is speeding away.

After the Model 3, the next best selling EVs is the Model S and X. Other than Tesla, the other EVs are from General Motors and Nissan. It was a particularly bad year for the Chevrolet Bolt and the Nissan Leaf whose sales fell by 8.9% and 16% respectively.

The European models did not fare that much better either. Porsche has just started selling its much anticipated Taycan in December, selling just 130 units in December. The Audi E-Tron sold 746 units in the last quarter of 2019 for a total of 5,369 units in the entire year. The Jaguar I-Pace sold a dismal 2,594 units all year. After years of taunting Musk, traditional car manufacturers are finding it out firsthand, how hard it is to build an electric car that people love. Many of them will have to focus on longer-range before plugging in and charging. Even when that happens, they might still fail to topple Musk.

“Perhaps Tesla’s best asset is its brand,” Joe Spak, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a report Friday. “Many consumers are evangelical about their vehicles.


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