Elon Musk's failure to expand rapidly enough will see Tesla's share of the electric vehicle market plunge dramatically in the next few years, Bank of America says.
As the world's richest man's net worth plummets, Bank of America analyst John Murphy said in his annual Car Wars forecast Tesla will be overtaken by traditional powers Ford and General Motors by 2025.
Murphy predicts Tesla's share of the market will drop to 11 per cent by 2025 – well down from the more than 70 per cent share it currently enjoys.
With annual sales expected to quadruple from 800,000 to 3.2 million, Murphy sees Ford and General Motors leading the way with 15 per cent market share each.
Murphy said Musk, whose personal fortune has plunged $62 billion this year, will pay for failing to lock up the market while there was little competition.
"Elon has had a vacuum for the last 10 years in which to operate, where there hasn't been much competition," Murphy said. "That vacuum is now being filled in a massive way in the next four years by very good product, not by econobox, toaster-box EVs, but real good product."
"One of the biggest mistakes that whenever they look back at this in five to 10 years, is that Tesla didn't take greater advantage of the free money it could have gotten, raise much more, open capacity faster, grow much faster and shut the door," Murphy added.
"He (Musk) didn't. He didn't move fast enough. He didn't recognise what was going on in the market. He had tremendous hubris that they would never catch him, they would never be able to do what he's doing, and they're doing it …
"He's introducing product at a slower rate. He doesn't have a full product portfolio, so there's huge opportunity for manufacturers to shoot the gap and catch up a bit."
Murphy said GM – which plans to spend $35 billion on EVs and autonomous vehicles — would launch 17 new EV models from 2023-26. Ford — which plans to spend $50 billion — will debut six and plans to be manufacturing two million per year. Volkswagen will have 11 during the same span while Hyundai and Kia will also eat in to Tesla's market share with 13 each.
But it's just one man's prediction and as the electric vehicle market takes off Murphy expects Tesla's overall sales to keep climbing.
Teslarati.com writer Simon Alvarez isn't convinced it's all doom and gloom for Musk.
"Murphy's conclusions are quite interesting because Tesla has been supply-constrained for the past several years.
Today, the company is essentially holding back a wave of competitors with only two vehicles — the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y crossover — and it is still winning. It should also be noted that Tesla's vehicles are in a constant state of improvements, which are typically rolled out through free over-the-air software updates.
"In a way, the Bank of America analyst's conclusions about Tesla and Elon Musk's 'hubris' seem quite off base.
With the Cybertruck and the Semi entering the market and the Model Y seemingly on track to become one of the world's best-selling cars, Tesla's EV market share does not seem to be in danger."
Australia is lagging behind most of the world with its uptake of electric vehicles – a situation that has been blamed on our lack of fuel efficiency standards.