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Is Tesla Motors the Tortoise to the Automotive Industry’s Hare?

Tesla Motors is Ahead of the Game
Tesla Motors is Ahead of the Game

It’s an old story, the Tortoise and the Hare, which might apply well to Tesla Motors’ foray into the automotive world and the rebirth of the electric vehicle.

Of course, Tesla Motors wasn’t the first to launch an electric vehicle, which have been around, in limited numbers, for over a century. On the other hand, the Tesla Roadster and Tesla Model S have been the world’s most-successful electric vehicles, forcing other automakers to play catchup.

Tesla Motors, our modern-day tortoise, took the time to design and build an electric vehicle that people would actually want to drive, something that could replace the conventional vehicle without much sacrifice on the part of the driver. The result was the Tesla Roadster, a Lotus Elise body with a Tesla Motors electric-vehicle powertrain, and featured a respectable range per charge, and opened the public’s eyes to what an electric vehicle could be.

Suddenly, other automakers, our modern-day automotive hares, had to get into the game, as they’d been sleeping on it for a long time. The results haven’t been encouraging. True, the Nissan Leaf has topped 100,000 units as of January, 2014, but it’s 84 miles range is less than one-third that of the base Tesla Model S 85 kWh’s 265-mile range. At a $/mi ratio, the Nissan Leaf( $343/mi) comes in severely lacking, compared to the Tesla Model S ($300/mi or $273/mi), and it’s pretty much the same for all the other electric-vehicles brought out of the woodwork by other automakers struggling to catch up.

So, in the race to create the affordable and desirable electric vehicle for the masses, it seems that Tesla Motors, none too quick to just throw an electric vehicle powertrain into any old body, is ahead of the game. The question is, “Does Tesla Motors have the race, or will the hares beat it to the finish line?”

Photo credit: Cle0patra / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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  1. PROBLEM:  Everybody hates big business and big government for the same reasons.  Tesla doesn’t have this problem.

     I am a “Poster-Boy” for GM and it’s products.  I’ve
    purchased the 2003 Cadillac CTS (credited for turning Caddy and GM around
     – this just simply means that I can “see”.  But while
    waiting for Cadillac’s ELR plug-in for two years, I purchased, early 2013 the
    Lincoln MKZ non plug-in Hybrid, which is mechanically a Toyota hybrid clone,
    and is a disappointment on many levels, but costs literally half (MSRP $35k)
    what GM’s ELR base costs.
    Inter Tesla:
    I have seen the Tesla
    “body-off”.  Trust me, it’s a great concept, but it’s not filled
    with any advanced technology.  GM’s plug-in technology is close, as is
    Tesla’s, but as concepts go, neither is very radical, and both are steeped in
    “old” technology (seems “new” only in a stale automotive
    I am
    looking for a “GM” (or even a Tesla) to come forth and work with me
    to develop a product that will literally “put Tesla to sleep”,
    thereby rendering there “direct-sales” approach moot by eliminating
    the specter of the “carbon footprint” and at the same time arresting
    the tyrannical hand of the EPA (for now, anyway).  We can mass produce and EV with a reduced carbon footprint, and can offer such an EV for half the price of a Tesla (and zero emissions, for now).  No lithium ion batteries or petroleum based fuel as we know today

    Bill, I’m looking to be put in touch with the GM innovators that
    can think way beyond their ELR and incorporate my new approach to
    automotive/transportation technology.  
    Once a major concern, i.e. GM, improves on the
    Tesla “model”, others will certainly follow.  The consumer
    will ultimately benefit because marketing a more efficient “Tesla”
    at half the cost, will prompt consumers to abandon Tesla – everything is
    easy. . . . to someone (it’s vision dependent).


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