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Tesla’s brand has become synonymous with electric vehicles.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Electric-vehicle sales around the world are rising while sales of conventional cars are falling. There are few reasons for that.


Tesla

—alone—might deserve the bulk of the credit.

“There appears to just be quite a profound awakening of the desirability for electric vehicles,” said Tesla (ticker: TSLA) Chief Financial Officer Zachry Kirkhorn on the company’s third quarter earnings conference call on Wednesday. “Folks want to buy an electric car, and folks want to buy a Tesla right now. It’s very exciting for us.”

Exciting indeed. Kirkhorn’s observation led DataTrek Research to wonder about that EV-Tesla portion of the comment.

DataTrek found that people do want Teslas—more than other EVs. “Aggregate the three Tesla models’ [Google] searches and they far outnumber ‘electric car’ queries,” wrote the firm in a Friday research note.

Barron’s modified the search a little. EV actually does better than “electric car” in Google search. But the results remain the same. Model 3 and Model Y searches crush the competition and, combined, outnumber total searches for EVs.

“Takeaway: one can argue about ‘Tesla the stock,’ but ‘Tesla the company’ has built a very strong EV brand here in the States,” added DataTrek.

Recent results are a testament to that strength. Tesla vehicle sales are up almost 100% year to date, compared with 2020. Third-quarter volumes grew more that 70%. That’s impressive considering U.S. light-vehicle sales dropped about 13% year over year in the third quarter.

A shortage of semiconductors is the reason the industry is struggling to meet demand.

Tesla stock has been resilient, however. Shares are up about 38% over the past three months, and just set a record high on Friday, passing the previous intraday high of $900.40 that was set in January. Tesla stock is at $901.41 in early trading Friday, up about 0.8%.

The

S&P 500
and

Dow Jones Industrial Average
are up about 0.1% and 0.3%, respectively.

Write to Al Root at [email protected]

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