Tesla Motors Inc., the world’s largest maker of electric cars and trucks, is on track to have a quarter of its vehicles by 2025 and nearly all of its electric vehicles by 2040, according to the company’s financials.
But it may have to ditch its electric cars in favor of more conventional gasoline-powered cars and other hybrids and plug-in hybrids.
Automakers have been shifting toward electric cars because they are cheaper and less energy-intensive to run than traditional ones.
But they have also struggled to make them as fuel-efficient as conventional vehicles, and some experts have warned that they are not as safe as conventional ones, especially when it comes to crashworthiness.
Tesla said it plans to sell roughly 3 million electric cars by 2025, up from 2 million last year.
Tesla is still building its production line at its Fremont, California, factory, but it said in a statement last week that it has begun “rethinking the design and production of its Model S sedan” and will make the vehicles more fuel-saving.
Tesla has been testing electric cars with some of its suppliers and with customers, and its cars have been getting closer to their expected performance targets.
Tesla will use the savings from shifting production to electric vehicles to help pay for some of the costs of the Model S and other products it plans for mass-market production.
At the same time, the company said it expects to build its first electric cars at its factory in Fremont by the end of the year.
It expects to begin production of the first Model X crossover and the first electric sports utility vehicle, which it expects will be a model that will become the backbone of the automaker’s future fleet.
The Model X, with a price tag of about $70,000, will be the first crossover with the same styling and performance that Tesla has developed.
The company also said it is working with suppliers to develop more fuel efficiency.
In addition, Tesla said in the statement that it is investing $150 million to build a “next-generation lithium-ion battery” that will enable it to build larger battery packs than its current battery technology, known as lithium-air cells.
If the company gets that production ramp up and achieves its goal of having half its vehicles powered by battery energy by 2039, it would be able to provide its customers with electric cars that can be used for miles and miles at a time.
Tesla said that while the electric vehicle market is still very young, it expects its electric vehicle fleet to grow by about 3 million vehicles by 2020.
(Reporting by John Bresnahan; Editing by Susan Heavey)