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Tesla’s Grip on US Electric Car Market Slips in Q2

Tesla

Tesla’s dominance of the American electric car market has faded, even as vehicle sales surge.

The company’s share of the electric vehicle (EV) market fell just below 50% in the second quarter of the year, The New York Times reported Tuesday (July 9), citing new estimates from Cox Automotive.

The figures showed that Tesla made up 49.7% of EV sales from April through June, compared to 59.3% a year earlier, with the company facing competition from Kia, GM, Ford and Hyundai.

This marks the first time the Elon Musk-owned company’s market share dropped below 50% in a quarter, according to the report.

Fierce competition “is leading to continued price pressure, helping push EV adoption slowly higher,” said Stephanie Valdez Streaty, Cox’s director of industry insights, per the report.

Overall American EV sales climbed 11.3% from a year earlier, the report said, a sign that consumer demand for these vehicles is still healthy, even if sales aren’t climbing at more than 40% per year as they did in 2023.

U.S. consumers bought or leased more than 330,000 electric cars and light trucks during the quarter, or 8% of all new cars sold or leased during that period, according to the report. That’s up from 7.2% a year earlier.

Tesla sold 443,956 EVs worldwide during the second quarter, surpassing Wall Street estimates. Despite this, deliveries fell 4.8% year over year, following an 8.5% drop during the first quarter.

Overall industry growth could be held back by consumer concerns over the ability to charge vehicles and then pay for those charges.

A U.S. Department of Energy report noted the key issues include the reliability of network connections, the robustness of hardware and the integration of payment systems.

There is a need for strong network connections, and the report suggested the use of external antennas and redundant SIM cards to enhance connectivity. Durable, weather-resistant card readers and regular maintenance to ensure functionality are also important.

“Failure to accept and process payment is a cause of public [EV] charging session failures,” the report said, spotlighting the need for reliable payment solutions to avoid service interruptions.