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Tesla could further its EV lead post-pandemic as legacy automakers delay electric programs

Analysts believe that Tesla could further its lead in electric vehicles post-pandemic due to other automakers delaying their electric vehicle programs, especially when it comes to electric pickup trucks.

Long before the pandemic, Tesla was building an impressive lead in electric vehicles with more sales than any other established automaker.

However, several analysts predicted that once those established automakers would put their money behind mass-market electric vehicle programs, Tesla wouldn’t be able to compete.

Some of those programs, like the Chevy Bolt EV, Audi e-tron, and others, have come and had virtually no impact on Tesla.

Now some of those programs are even being delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic and some analysts are seeing the situation extending Tesla’s “competitive edge”.

Adam Jonas, Morgan Stanley auto analyst, and his team released a new note to clients this week:

“The further along other competitive EV programs get pushed out, the more Tesla will, in our view, be able to extend its competitive edge in electrification from the perspective of the consumer,”

Of course, Tesla could also suffer from delays, but the automaker is seen as having some advantages, like not having to work with workers’ unions and being quicker to react in general than more established companies.

Jonas and his team continue in the note:

“We believe budgets will prioritize projects with near-term impact on regulatory costs and payback periods (EVs) rather than longer-term ‘moon shots’ with a more uncertain path to revenues (AVs). Either way, we believe this situation overall favors Tesla in the medium term as there would be less competition from higher quality electric vehicles and the disruption could inadvertently help sustain Tesla’s premium multiple on the AV front as well.”

In the US, the next battleground for Tesla is expected to be electric pickup trucks.

With the Cybertruck, Tesla wasn’t expected to be first to market since the electric pickup truck is only expected in late 2021.

Rivian was expected to be the first to market by the end of 2020

However, earlier this week, we reported that Rivian will likely push first deliveries of its electric vehicles into 2021, but they should still arrive before the Tesla Cybertruck.

It’s unclear how the current crisis is going to affect other electric pickup truck programs that aim to launch next year, like the Ford F150 Electric, and the GMC Electric Hummer.

Electrek’s Take

I think there will be some truth to this in the short and mid-term as described by Morgan Stanley.

That said, there’s the potential for the crisis to benefit Tesla even more in the long-term, which is nice for the company but scary for the pace of electric vehicle adoption.

Some markets, like Europe and China, are considering slowing down their emission standards for the auto industry due to the current crisis, which could encourage companies to slow down their investments in electric vehicles – resulting in lower volume EV programs.

In the US, it shouldn’t have any difference since they were already rolling back the standard before the crisis.

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