Chart of the day: Tesla’s hot air superiority


In the past weeks, Tesla has come under increasing criticism for creating more puff than product. Jalopnik wrote yesterday:

“So where are those battery-swapping stations Tesla promised? Or its big push into the energy storage biz? Didn’t we hear something about the Roadster being upgraded? Are we seeing a pattern here? Cut through the hype and the accolades and the endless profiles couching Elon Musk as Tony Stark, and you’re met with a long string of Tesla over-promising, under-delivering, or delivering late.”

The trouble is, as much as Tesla loves to hype its disrupting of the car business, data to prove the claims are short in coming. Elon Musk himself is famous for withholding data. He would be foolish if he would release data, because numbers would prove that emperor Musk has no clothes. Musk may be naked, but he is no fool. As long as most people think that Tesla reigns supreme in the EV space, why should he contradict them?

There is one company that quietly has been outproducing and outselling Tesla in battery electric vehicles, and that is the Nissan-Renault Alliance. When Tesla came on scene in 2012, creating the impression that Tesla invented the electric car (sorry, that idea is more than 100 years old), Nissan-Renault already was cranking out its all-electric Leaf by the thousands each month.

According to data supplied by JATO. Tesla’s worldwide registrations peaked in the first half of 2014 and have been downhill ever since. Looking at the chart, Tesla’s production reduction in the later part of the year was a wise move to avoid sitting on unsold cars, which some think are there anyway.

In the later part of the year, the battery electric vehicles put on the roads by Renault-Nissan outnumbered Teslas around four to one. Renault-Nissan’s trend is steep up, despite cheaper gas. Tesla’s trend is down, despite its rich customers supposedly not counting pennies at the pump.

We have smoothed the data using a moving three month average to do Elon Musk a favor. He said at the last earnings call:

Part of the reason why we don’t release the monthly deliveries number is just because it varies quite a lot by region and then the media tends to read all sorts of nonsense into deliveries. We’ll have like 1000 cars reach a country one month and none the next month and then people — or like 100 the next month trickle in or something because those were the numbers that were registered in one month versus the next and people say Tesla sales dropped by a factor of 10.

Glad to be of service.

It is interesting that a small blog like us needs to go to the trouble of plotting the numbers. Nissan-Renault is surprisingly un-tooting. Maybe, because they have their hands full producing cars instead of hot air.

By the way: Blowing hot air bad for the environment.