Tesla's share of the EV market is shrinking as electric cars get more popular overall, Joann reports today.

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1 big thing: Tesla loses steam

Change in share of new U.S. registrations for select electric light vehicles, by model
Data: S&P Global Chart: Tory Lysik/Axios Visuals

Electric vehicles (EVs) accounted for 7% of new vehicle registrations in the U.S. in January, up from 4.1% in January 2022 β€” another sign that the EV transition is gaining momentum, Joann Muller reports.

  • As the overall EV pie grows, Tesla's market share continues to shrink.

Why it matters: EVs aren't just for early adopters anymore.

  • With broader selection and some signs of moderating prices, mainstream car buyers are increasingly turning their EV curiosity into purchases.
  • At the end of 2022, there were 47 electric models available for sale in the U.S., up from 33 the prior year.

Axios has been tracking the historic shift away from gasoline using vehicle registration data from S&P Global Mobility.

  • EVs made up 5.6% of all new U.S. car registrations in 2022.
  • That's up from 3.1% in 2021 and 1.8% in 2020, but still way behind China and Europe.

Zoom in: The latest data shows that Tesla continues to dominate, but its market share is shrinking as competitors roll out new models.

  • Since January 2022, for example, Tesla's share of the EV market fell from 72% to 54% β€” and it will likely slide below 50% in the next month or two, says Tom Libby, associate director of industry analysis at S&P Global Mobility.
  • Tesla's Model S sedan, in particular, has been struggling. Registrations for the S plummeted 75% in January 2023, while those of Mercedes-Benz's new EQS sedan quadrupled.

Where it stands: Tesla's Model Y and Model 3 hold the largest market share and are still growing, but rival cars are quickly gaining ground.

  • General Motors' Chevrolet Bolt is the most popular non-Tesla EV, with a 10% share β€” due in part to a $6,000 price cut following a damaging battery recall.
  • Volkswagen's ID.4 and Ford's Mustang Mach-E rounded out the top five EVs registered in January by market share.

Reality check: Less than 1% of the 279 million cars and light trucks on American roads are electric.

  • Even in California, the country's leading EV market, they represent just 2.6% of all registered automobiles.
  • It will take a couple of decades for the slow transition from gasoline to electric vehicles to be complete.

Driving the news: Existing consumer tax credits for EV purchases are being reworked β€” again β€” in part to bolster U.S. manufacturing and reduce reliance on China.

  • Changes to the existing $7,500 tax credit will likely affect the pace of adoption.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department on March 31 spelled out how new sourcing requirements for battery components and critical minerals under the Inflation Reduction Act will be implemented β€” rules that affect which vehicles will qualify for tax credits moving forward.
  • A list of qualifying vehicles will be announced in mid-April, but few of today's EVs are expected to meet the new standards.

The intrigue: Anyone racing to snag the $7,500 tax break before the rules get stricter is likely to find EVs in short supply.

What we're watching: Whether EV leasing ticks up, especially for foreign models.

  • There's a loophole in the Inflation Reduction Act that allows commercial vehicle owners β€” like leasing companies β€” to bypass the domestic content requirements for EVs.

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2. NASA's new, more diverse lunar crew

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photo: NASA

NASA made good on its promise to center diversity in its Artemis program when it announced this week the four astronauts who will travel around the Moon and back as soon as 2024, Axios' Miriam Kramer writes.

Why it matters: The crew β€” which includes the agency's first woman and first person of color to launch toward the Moon β€” highlights the differences between Artemis and the Apollo program of the 1960s and 70s.

  • "For Artemis to succeed, it has to maintain public support, and this is one way of doing it, giving a face to it," John Logsdon, founder of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, tells Axios.

Driving the news: The Artemis II crew includes NASA astronauts Christina Hammock Koch, Victor Glover and Reid Wiseman, plus Canadian astronaut Jeremy Hansen, NASA announced this week.

  • Koch and Glover will be the first woman and person of color, respectively, on a flight toward the Moon in NASA history.
  • The mission also paves the way for Artemis III, which will be the program's first crewed lunar landing. It's expected to include the first woman and person of color to land on the Moon.

What they're saying: "We need to celebrate this moment in human history because Artemis II is more than a mission to the Moon and back," Glover said during the announcement event.

  • "It is the next step that gets humanity to Mars ... and this crew will never forget that."

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3. πŸ“Έ Autonomous solar flight

Skydweller takes off on its first autonomous flight from Albacete Air Base in Spain. Photo courtesy of Skydweller Aero

Future-of-aviation startup Skydweller Aero recently flew the first totally autonomous flights of its solar-powered aircraft, seen above.

  • The aircraft is a modified version of the Solar Impulse 2, which in 2016 became the first solar-powered, fixed-wing airplane to fly around the world β€” though with a pilot aboard.

Skydweller Aero bought Solar Impulse 2 in 2019 and has since installed a fully autonomous flight system.

  • "In the initial validation flight tests, the system flew the aircraft autonomously from takeoff to landing without pilot input, although there was a safety pilot on board," the company says.

What's next: The company is working with the U.S. military to prove out the concept of long-endurance autonomous solar flight.

4. Nintendo looks beyond games

Illustration: AΓ―da Amer/Axios

Nintendo's biggest release this April isn't a video game β€” it's "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" debuting today, Axios' Stephen Totilo writes.

Why it matters: After decades of operating with a fervent focus on making acclaimed video games, Nintendo is now testing its potential as a cross-medium entertainment powerhouse.

Driving the news: Buzz from the Mario movie's Saturday premiere has been positive.

  • The animated film, which features Chris Pratt as the voice of Mario, follows another uncharacteristic push from Nintendo β€” into theme parks, with February's opening of Super Nintendo World at Universal Studios Hollywood.

The big picture: Nintendo's Hollywood move drops it midstream into the fast-flowing trend of games-turned-movies-and-shows.

  • Old Nintendo rival Sega found success with a pair of "Sonic the Hedgehog" movies, which have earned $700 million at the global box office.
  • Sony's PlayStation division hit it big with 2022's live-action "Uncharted" movie and again with this year's HBO smash "The Last of Us" adaptation.
  • Even Apple TV+ just debuted a Cold War thriller based on the licensing of the Russian game Tetris.

Read the rest.

Big thanks to What's Next copy editor Amy Stern.

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