One reason to be skeptical of electric vehicles is that no one has any history of making them in large numbers. Now, though, Tesla Motors is close to laying that concern to rest. Tesla recently passed the rate of 100,000 units per year. Just as important, in a few more weeks the automaker may have more than a week of inventory. It will be the first time in its history that Tesla will have vehicles in stock. Previously, Tesla had long delays in delivering orders. The delays and accompanying uncertainty made most potential customers hesitate.
Batteries are the one remaining obstacle. For electric cars to be more than a niche product at the current price of gasoline, the price and durability of batteries will have to improve by another notch or two. That seems inevitable, though it’s always hard to predict the timing of breakthroughs in materials engineering. As the manufacturing cost of batteries falls, the demand for electric cars will increase. Though there will surely be periods of shortages as component supplies get out of sync, the electric car sector looks ready to expand to meet the growing demand.