For an average person, Tesla is synonymous to electric cars. It could also be the pioneer in the electric car segment and Elon Musk close to a cynical genius who will make this world emission free. Wait a minute! Tesla is neither the pioneer in electric cars, nor the segment leader. Then who is making the real waves in the market?
Renault-Nissan alliance leads the way
This may come as a surprise to you but Renault-Nissan is actually a pioneer in the electric car segment. While Tesla manages to be a noisy young car maker with big dreams and an outrageous market capitalization, its Renault-Nissan that manages to rake in the money. This doesn’t mean that Tesla cars are more marketing and less substance. It has some beautiful electric models but when we look at the commercial side of car manufacturing, the alliance wins by a clear margin.
In the first quarter of 2017, tesla shipped about 25,000 electric vehicles to its customers. During the same time, Renault-Nissan Alliance moved about 37,000 electric vehicles out. That is almost 50% more than the Tesla numbers. This is not all, the age-old Leaf by Nissan has outsold the much-hyped Model S too. In the first quarter, it was the largest selling electric vehicle in the world.
The Renault Zoe is also creating waves among customers and experts alike, gathering award after award. Meanwhile, Leaf is still going strong in the electric market. In December 2017, Leaf had fallen out of the top-tier competition but remained in the list of top 20 electric cars. Zoe overtook Model S in sales.
In YTD figures too, Renault-Nissan were clearly ahead of Tesla. The overall figures of 2017, Renault Zoe sat the top of the best-selling cars. Nissan Leaf came in at number 4 while Tesla managed the fourth spot. By sales numbers, Renault-Nissan are the leaders in electric car segment followed by BMW, Mitsubishi and finally Tesla. South Korean manufacturer Kia’s Soul EV is also one of the most promising vehicles in this segment.
China is the world’s largest net buyer of electric cars, followed by Europe. In both these markets, Renault-Nissan is cashing in on their early presence, loyalty from the customers and years of great design philosophy.
Deliveries are not sales
In the world of electric cars, deliveries are almost never equal to sales, like the traditional cars. Therefore, it is always better to focus on the actual sales figures than the delivery numbers. In this regard too, Renault-Nissan has beaten Tesla. It is difficult to ascertain one reason behind this change but we must note that there is certainly an added advantage to the alliance because of years of car manufacturing records to show off.
Will Tesla be able to match the numbers of the alliance? Speculations are ripe about the directions of this market but we must note that BMW and Volkswagen are spending billions to dominate this market and have started making waves already. It will be interesting to note how this market works out.