Bulletins

Tesla’s first quarter sales show the EV revolution could be upon us

The automaker behemoth delivered than 310,000 electric vehicles, a nearly 70% increase compared to last year.

Tesla's line up of cars.
Tesla is raising prices across its entire range.
Photo: Tesla

The electric vehicle future is here, it's just unevenly distributed. Tesla had a massive first quarter in 2022 and continues to be the leader in EV sales that could climb ever higher due to wild gas prices.


The company reported delivering a total of 310,048 vehicles in the first quarter of 2022, up nearly 68% compared to the same quarter in 2021. Tesla's Model 3 and Model Y made up the majority of its cars delivered for a total of 295,324 units for the quarter.

In its announcement to investors, Tesla said it achieved these numbers "despite ongoing supply chain challenges and factory shutdowns." The automaker hit record high sales last quarter, but it still announced a price hike of between 5% and 10% across its entire range in mid-March, citing inflation as the reason for the uptick in prices. (It's hardly alone in the EV maker price hike department.)

Compared to the auto market as a whole, EV sales were high in the first quarter, according to an Autodata report viewed by TechCrunch, as traditional automakers electrify their offerings and EV manufacturers ramp up business. Hyundai has already sold 6,244 units of the Ioniq 5, its latest EV, which hit dealerships in late 2021. Not exactly Tesla sales, but then no company has yet to challenge it for EV supremacy. Last month, Electrek reported that roughly 70% of all EV registrations last year were Teslas. Nissan and Chevrolet — the second and third place automakers for EVs — accounted for just 8.5% and 7% of the market respectively.

Globally, EV sales hit 6.6 million in 2021, according to the International Energy Agency. That represents more than 9% of the total global car market, showing that EVs still have a long ways to go. Monday's blockbuster United Nations climate report indicates changes could be coming, though. The report shows EV battery prices dropped 85% over the 2010s, which is great news given the need to rapidly end the use of the internal combustion engine.

Prices for some commodities needed to make batteries — notably nickel — have spiked recently following the Russian war against Ukraine. But if the soaring Tesla sales and U.N. report are any combined indications, EVs aren't going to slow down anytime soon.

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The CFPB said it has terminated a sandbox deal that gave earned wage access provider PayActiv “temporary safe harbor from liability” under key lending regulations.

The CFPB granted PayActiv “special regulatory treatment” in December 2020 to offer “earned wage access” products that would allow employees to obtain wages they already earned before payday.

PayActiv gets paid back through a payroll deduction from the employee’s next paycheck. The company makes money through fees.

The CFPB said it had informed PayActiv early this month that it was “considering terminating the approval order in light of certain public statements the company made wrongly suggesting a CFPB endorsement of its products.”

The company requested that the CFPB end the sandbox order after notifying the agency that it planned to modify its product fee model, the CFPB said.

The move underlined the CFPB’s increasingly critical view of sandbox deals that the agency said “proved to be ineffective.”

Safwan Shah, PayActiv’s founder and CEO, is credited with coining the term "earned wage access," which has been criticized by consumer advocates as being potentially predatory, especially when it comes to workers who don’t make much money.

Shah has argued that it benefits ordinary workers, citing a dieting principle: "The less you are paid, the more frequently you should be paid," he told Protocol in a 2021 interview. "If you're going to eat 500 calories, don't eat them in one sitting. Spread them throughout the day."

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of PayActiv's name. This story was updated June 30, 2022.

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Bulletins