Tesla had the highest-ranked electric cars in the annual Kogod Made In America Auto Index, which estimates the domestic content of new cars sold in the United States.
The Tesla Model 3 took third place in the overall rankings, while the Model S and Model Y were part of a five-way tie for fifth place, along with the Ford Expedition full-size SUV and gasoline versions of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon midsize pickup trucks. The Ford Mustang topped the list, albeit not the fully electric Mach-E and only versions with the 5.0-liter V-8 engine.
Organized by American University’s Kogod School of Business, the index estimates U.S. content based on publicly available data.
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid
The index doesn’t just consider the percentage of North American parts content, as figured by the government, but also considers the location of a company’s headquarters, the location of R&D, its labor footprint, and other elements.
As an accompanying explainer points out, not all foreign-based automakers are at a great disadvantage here. Honda performs well because it has a high level of domestic content in the vehicles it sells in the U.S., as well as a large U.S. manufacturing footprint.
Although the Ford Mustang is at the top, the Mustang Mach-E isn’t nearly as American-made. With Mexican assembly, battery cells from Poland, and 15% total U.S./Canadian content, it’s far from that.
2020 Tesla Model X
Most EVs for sale in the U.S. have American-made batteries, however—thanks mostly to Tesla and its Nevada Gigafactory.
President Biden has pushed for union-made, U.S.-built electric cars, but there’s only one available today—the Bolt EV, which is technically on a production pause.
A massive Ford investment in battery plants and production facilities for the F-150 Lightning and other future electric trucks should help bring much more of it back to the U.S.A.