Tesla Passes 1 Millionth Electric Car Mark…But There’s A Long Way Yet to Go

Tesla announced that they are the first automaker to produce their first millionth electric car, a goal of theirs that once appeared far-fetched. Elon Musk tweeted a picture of said millionth car, a Model Y, a fully electric mid-size SUV and a flashy red one it is, of course.

By some miracle and despite numerous production hiccups, Tesla surpassed BYD last October to have delivered the most electric vehicles—807,954 electric vehicles compared to the Chinese automaker’s 787,150 deliveries. BYD’s number includes plug-in hybrids while Tesla’s comprises all-electric vehicles, making the achievement even more impressive.

Tesla remains bullish and will be ramping up production at both their Shanghai-located Gigafactory and Fremont facility in California. Musk predicts that they will deliver over 500,000 cars this year, a significant jump from the 367,500 cars delivered last year.

While Tesla deserves the applause they are getting, electric vehicles still have some way to go. The combined penetration rate for all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles remain at a slow 2% to 3%. Infrastructure remain scarce; the tiresome two- or three-hour recharging time has not been resolved; and electric cars remain a premium, because only the rich can afford to do less harm to the environment, apparently. Meanwhile, the sales of petrol-hungry SUVs are rising—in the UK, for every electric car sold, 37 SUVs also join the road.

However, General Motors’ recently revealing of their new car battery promises to remove at least one of the barrier: a cheaper battery to make cheaper electric cars. In addition to their experience of selling 7 to 8 million cars a year, their own millionth electric car achievement might come faster than Tesla’s did.

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