I’ve been following the Tesla story closely over the last few months.
Tesla have launched their Model S since the last quarter of 2012. This is the make or break car for the company. The performance model sells for 80k+ in the US which is equivalent to Audi or BMW models. It has a maximum range of 300 miles. Other cheaper versions have significantly lower range.
They had a bad write-up in the NYT but got a lot of publicity out of it as there were many questions as to the fairness of the reviewer and his judgement. The issues were more with unfamiliarity with charging electric cars along with the current lack of charging infrastructure. The car is also more suited to warmer climates. Top gear also do a hatchet job on electric vehicles to make the story appear more interesting or funny to it’s readers.
I can see this car getting traction as a new status thing for the rich in the US, it’s made by a silicon valley company and will get traction with early adopter types especially in California. Think Apple’s iPhone for the cashed up , fashion conscious and environmentally concerned. The bragging rights on fuel savings alone are amazing, coming in at perhaps 1/10th of the fuel cost of other luxury sedans, that’s got to add up after a while! The Toyota Prius is already the number one selling car in California. It’s also got very positive reviews in terms of it’s performance , styling and decor.
They are burning through money but if they can reach their target of 20,000 cars sold in the next few months they should have no problem raising more money and getting cheaper models out to the middle classes. To be honest they may even be doing the right thing by focusing on the 1% (or 10%) as they have bags of money to burn and it still adds up to a huge potential market.
If they get traction in the US and Europe they could eventually go global with the global rich eager for the next latest and greatest thing and bored with the Mercs and BMWs and Audis that they and their friends have. I know which car I’d like to purchase if I had the money and it’s not the ones you see on the roads already.
So what do you think, stick a few quid into Tesla and go for it?