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Researchers slash electric vehicle sales forecasts for 2024

Electric vehicles sales are now projected to reach 16.7 million units in 2024, down from 17.5 million earlier this year

While electric vehicle sales are still on track to grow in 2024, analysts have grown more cautious toward the segment following a disappointing year of unexpectedly timid demand and disillusionment among car industry executives.

Last week, BloombergNEF (BNEF), an economic data analysis firm managed by Bloomberg, revised its expectations for electric vehicle sales in the new year from roughly 17.5 million units, originally projected this June, to 16.7 million units. Although this would still represent a 20% increase from this year’s forecasted total, analysts are concerned that the industry’s current attitudes toward EVs restrict the fledgling market’s prospects.

Slashed production targets among the Detroit-Three, lack of affordable models, and outdated product offerings from the segment’s current top player were of particular concern to BNEF researchers. “The slowdown in the ambition from [Ford and General Motors], combined with Tesla’s aging model lineup limiting its growth potential, and tougher economic conditions for many of the U.S. customers, indicate that the U.S. EV market is facing a more difficult year,” they wrote.

Ford and General Motors recently dialed back expectations for electric vehicle sales ostensibly due to underwhelming demand. Although the former’s F-150 Lightning continues to beat out competitors in the battery-powered pickup segment, the automaker lowered its 2024 production target at the truck’s factory by 50%.

Meanwhile, GM has announced layoffs at two key Michigan facilities building electrified models as it looks to cover costs. It is important to note that the two brands are also hoping to recoup billions in losses sustained during this year’s United Auto Workers strike, potentially providing an alternative motivator for revising their expensive EV strategies.

Tesla, on the other hand, has also faced difficulties in the 2023 EV market, although its challenges to overcoming these obstacles may be more internal than external. As BloombergNEF researchers noted in their report, the company has yet to introduce a new or improved model to its lineup, giving consumers few options to upgrade.

Although Tesla did launch the Cybertruck before the end of the year, the pickup’s arrival was soured by years of troubled production and backtracked promises, limiting the chances it would help the automaker attract new buyers. Multiple price discounts, some more than 20%, implemented since the start of the year also appeared to made only moderate impacts on the company’s electric vehicle sales, which have fallen behind projections at multiple points throughout 2023.

Given these factors, it is clear the EV market has significant ground to cover before it can reflect the visions shared by automakers just last year. That being said, the onus to overcome the segment’s challenges lies predominantly with manufacturers, many of whom ignored warnings that electric vehicle sales would be limited until matters of charging infrastructure and range anxiety were appropriately addressed.

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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