Wasn't it just the other day that there was a long waiting list for Mustang Mach-Es?
Now my colleagues report seeing them stocked — even overstocked — at their local Ford dealership.
A number of unsettling data points have raised some doubts about the electric vehicle revolution. Market share appears stuck at around 7 percent. Publicly held dealerships say Tesla's price cuts are putting pressure on incumbent brands' EVs. Incentives are double those of gasoline-powered vehicles. At the end of last month, U.S. dealers had a 103 days' supply of electric vehicles, which is a worrisome number — at least in normal times with mature products.
Of course, it's really a different situation for EVs, with a new technology, an incomplete range of vehicles available and volatile production. But the data does reflect some of the challenges of growing from a niche to the mainstream.
Most Americans who have bought an EV in the past decade are early adopters of new technology — curious consumers who have money to spend and environmental enthusiasts who are eager to minimize their carbon and karmic footprints.
There are enough of those folks to make Tesla large and profitable. But to find enough EV buyers — and repeat buyers — to support most or all of the domestic auto industry's product plans, EVs are going to have to offer a compellingly superior value proposition.
And we're not there yet.
This is not a surprise, and it shouldn't raise any doubts about the electrification trend.
It took decades for the auto industry to become the efficient, well-understood engine of the economy that we've known for our lifetimes. Switching from gasoline power to electricity is going to take some time, too.