Letters to the Editor: Why are most new EVs still Teslas? Blame oil-bound carmakers

Tesla vehicles are charged at a Tesla Supercharger station in Miami last year.
(Rebecca Blackwell / Associated Press)

To the editor: The reason that electric vehicle sales are mostly Teslas isn’t because they are more expensive or because the company’s chief executive is an abrasive right-wing jerk. The reason that Teslas are selling well is that the company does not have a competing internal combustion engine (ICE) business.

The established auto industry does not make EVs that compete well with their ICE cars. They fear the cost of retooling their factories, and their dealer networks are terrified of reworking their business model.

As a result, their EVs are styled strangely and they are not producing a significant number of EVs or supporting charging networks. Dealers are not selling very many of the cars.


Unless the ICE companies wake up and see in there heart of hearts that the age of oil is passing, they will flounder.

Charles Dunn, Pasadena


To the editor: Here’s another reason the glut of Teslas on the road today dissuades people from buying less expensive EVs.

The vast majority of public charging stations use a standard plug different from Tesla’s proprietary plug. Tesla includes an adapter with its cars that allows drivers to plug in at both non-Tesla chargers and Tesla-only Supercharger stations.

So, when we non-Tesla owners who cannot charge at home try to find a public station to use, odds are that many of the chargers within a fair radius of our homes are already in use by Tesla owners.

Don’t get me wrong: Tesla drivers have as much right to charge their vehicles as I do. But it is unfair for them to overcrowd the charging infrastructure used by the rest of us who have no choice in plug type.


Potential EV owners probably scope out the availability of charging stations before buying and see all those Teslas tying up the chargers that they would need to use. If Tesla is the dominant brand, the charging stations designed for their use need to become as plentiful as the ones designed for the rest of us EV owners.

Kymberleigh Richards, Van Nuys


To the editor: Though I understand the editorial board’s concern about Teslas being out of many drivers’ price range, I favor letting the marketplace play this one out.

Here’s why: If about 20% of new car sales are EVs, that means (simplified) that the air is 20% cleaner than it would be otherwise.

My husband and I are in the market for an EV. I am paying attention to charging stations, which seem to pop up frequently in shopping centers, museum parking lots and anywhere people will be staying a while. Some of these are Tesla-only; others are universal.

Eventually, charging stations will become more common, and other automakers will jump in. And then there will be a used EV market for people who prefer pre-owned cars — either because of a tight budget, or because they’d rather save their money for exotic travel. (I haven’t bought a new car in 45 years.)


Diane Scholfield, Vista