If anyone looks at the electric vehicle market today, they’ll note just one bright spot, Tesla Motors. Somehow, Tesla Motors found the sweet spot, the perfect balance of power, luxury, price, technology, and the x-factor, which is really difficult to quantify.
At prices ranging from $50,000 to $90,000, Tesla Motors already has a backlog of clients waiting to get their very own Model S. Having just reached full-production levels of 400 cars per week, Tesla Motors’ business model, starting from the top down, that is, low-volume high-profit, seems to be working out well.
Other electrified vehicles, on the other hand, including Fisker, Better Place, and CODA, are just barely hanging on, barely making the sales figures to keep themselves afloat. Other automakers, of course, can count on the rest of their conventionally-powered lineup to make profits, but sales of small electric vehicles and extended-range electric vehicles are stagnant.
Part of the problem, aside from range and price, is the lack of infrastructure, which makes cars like the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model S difficult to justify outside of infrastructure-rich areas like Los Angeles and New York City.
What exactly was it that Tesla Motors found that the other automakers haven’t? The sweet spot must be a very small target, indeed, but electric vehicles are gaining a foothold in the American conscience. Tesla Motors may have most of our attention now, and will eventually move into smaller automobile segments, but other EVs like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are also gaining a cult following.
While other automakers flail in their electric vehicle offerings and are looking toward other alternative fuels, hydrogen fuel cells for example, Tesla Model S and other electric vehicles will already have staked their claim in the electric vehicle market.