Is Tesla the best electric car company

Tesla remains on the road to success

Tesla continues its record run and has posted a profit for the fifth quarter in a row amid the corona pandemic. While the traditional carmakers are struggling to get out of the crisis, the electric car pioneer from Silicon Valley is circling in its own orbit. But the air is now getting thinner, because the competition - especially Volkswagen - has set out and wants to overtake Tesla soon. "The company is still incredibly highly valued, as if it were operating in a vacuum. But the competition is working like crazy to catch up," said analyst Craig Irwin of Roth Capital Partners. He pointed to more than 400 new battery vehicles that should hit the streets by 2024.

Between July and September, Tesla delivered 139,300 vehicles, more than ever in a quarter. Sales rose around 40 percent to nearly $ 8.8 billion, exceeding analysts' expectations. Net profit jumped to $ 331 million, more than twice as much as a year ago. However, the profit is mainly fed by the sale of CO2 credits to other car manufacturers, who use them to offset their own emissions values ​​for achieving the climate targets. In the third quarter that was $ 397 million. Without this revenue, Tesla would not have been profitable in the third quarter. Since the competitors are bringing more and more climate-friendly cars to the start and thus improving their CO2 balance, this rain of money for Tesla should be significantly smaller in the future. Then, according to analysts, it will show whether the company can make money selling electric cars.

Tesla boss Elon Musk, here on a visit to the construction site of the new plant in Grünheide near Berlin

Tesla, the investor's darling

On the stock exchange, Tesla has been the world's most valuable car maker for some time. The share price has risen by a good 400 percent since the beginning of the year, and by almost 730 percent in the past twelve months. Most recently, Tesla's market value was $ 394 billion. This means that the e-car pioneer from Silicon Valley is trading more than three times as high as the two largest US manufacturers, General Motors and Ford combined in terms of market shares, despite much lower sales figures. Tesla is also miles ahead of the German car companies in terms of market value.

Tesla reiterated its goal of delivering half a million cars by the end of the year - for which, however, it would have to increase sales significantly in the final quarter. Towards the end of the summer quarter, CEO Elon Musk personally drove the workforce to record deliveries. The capacity for 500,000 cars is ready, stressed Tesla. However, it has become more difficult to achieve the goal. It depends above all on the success of the compact SUV Model Y and production in the Chinese plant in Shanghai.

Waiting for Grünheide, another plant in Texas

For Tesla's dazzling company boss Musk, who also runs the SpaceX rocket company and many other projects, the soaring is a triumph. For years his company was in the red and the future seemed uncertain. Now Tesla even delivered a record in operating profit - although the car market as a whole is groaning under the Corona crisis. "The third quarter was the best in our history," said Musk after presenting the financial report in a conference call with financial analysts. Tesla is meanwhile pushing its international expansion vigorously, production at the Chinese plant in Shanghai is to be ramped up quickly. In addition, the construction of the first European factory in Grünheide near Berlin is progressing rapidly, it said. Tesla plans to produce and deliver the first cars here as early as next year. In addition, the group wants to quickly pull up another car plant in Austin, Texas, where the compact SUV Model Y and the planned cybertruck will roll off the assembly line.

  • The most popular electric cars

    The most popular electric car of 2019

    A look back at the past year: In 2019, the Tesla Model 3 was the most frequently registered car with an alternative drive. Almost 445,000 vehicles were new on the road. In the US, the Model 3 costs at least $ 37,990. Still - because Tesla boss Elon Musk emphasized this June: "What bothers me most is that our cars are not more affordable. We have to fix that."

  • The most popular electric cars

    Number two

    The Nissan Leaf followed closely behind the Tesla Model 3 in 2019, with around 434,000 cars sold. Last year things went well for the Japanese automaker, this year Nissan slipped into the red for the first time in eleven years and announced a loss of almost 6 billion euros.

  • The most popular electric cars

    Model S in third place

    In third place of the most popular electric cars in 2019 is a Telsa again: the Model S. And 2020? "Like Porsche, Tesla is the clear winner in the crisis. While everyone is reducing their production capacities, Tesla is implementing a huge growth program," says auto expert Dudenhöffer. Tesla is investing in new plants such as in Brandenburg. However, the Model Y is to be built there.

  • The most popular electric cars

    Compromise for more range

    The Model S is followed by the Mitsubishi Outlander plug-in hybrid. Mitsubishi would also like to offer purely battery-electric cars in the next two years. But only for customers in Asia. The other regions are covered by the partners Renault and Nissan.

  • The most popular electric cars

    A dinosaur among the hybrids

    ... and yet still in great demand. The Toyota Prius made its debut in Japan in 1997 and has also been available in Germany since 2001. In 2019, almost 210,000 plug-in hybrids of the Toyota Prius were sold worldwide. The Japanese carmaker sees the future more in fuel cell technology.

  • The most popular electric cars

    BAIC? Never heard!

    In China, electric cars sell like hot cakes that nobody in Europe knows. In sixth place worldwide, the BAIC EC 2019 was the most successful car on the Chinese market. The BAIC EU also sold well internationally. From 2025, the Chinese car company BAIC only wants to produce e-cars. Although more than 95 percent of the cars sold in China are pure combustion engines.

  • The most popular electric cars

    Once upon a time: the Chevrolet Volt

    In eighth place among the electric cars in 2019 is GM's Chevrolet Volt. The car presented in 2007 was a quick response to Elektor pioneer Tesla, who presented the roadster a year earlier. However, the Chevrolet Volt did not come onto the market until 2010. It is no longer produced. But: GM plans to offer at least 20 new electric cars by 2023.

  • The most popular electric cars

    Small but electric

    ... and the Renault Zoe is very popular in Europe: it was the best-selling electric car in Europe in the first half of 2020. Last year, the little Stromer was ranked 9th among the most popular electric cars worldwide. Germans also very much like to choose the Renault Zoe when they switch to electromobility.

  • The most popular electric cars

    Finally a German e-car

    ... even if only in tenth place: the BMW i3. The German carmaker has long been accused of not having made enough steam in the electrical segment. That should change now. Five fully electric vehicle models are to be launched on the market by the end of next year.

    Author: Insa Wrede

hb / bea (rtr / dpa)