Massive investments are now being channelled towards the development of electric cars
In 1996, General Motors tried to bring a side of automotive design that wasn’t mature yet: the electric vehicle. Branded the EV1, the electric car’s performance was lacklustre, ending production prematurely after remaining EV1’s were spectacularly crushed in Arizona, in an event that was dubbed “t he killing of the electric car”.
Fast forward 20 years later, and the concept that was once termed LAME, is what auto manufacturers are falling heads over heels for.
Massive investments are now being channelled towards the development of electric cars; what many experts are now referring to as the future of the automobile.
For instance, Ford recently announced an investment spanning $4.5 billion on electric cars. Mercedes on the other hand, has 10 electric car models set to be launched before 2020, with another wide array of automakers scrambling for this suddenly coveted technology; not to mention, BMW, Nissan and Chevrolet who already have some models selling in the market.
But what caused this?
Save for the strict emission standards that have been set by EPA and European environmental protection bodies, there is one player in the automotive industry who believed that the electric vehicle would never be killed; that is the Silicon Valley auto manufacturer, Tesla Motors.
More so, they are the reason why electric cars no longer spell “LAME”. To get a better understanding of why Tesla Motors has made the electric car awesome instead of lame, let’s dig deeper into this silicon valley auto manufacturer.
Tesla Motors History
Tesla Motors was founded in 2003, by a group of engineers who wanted to truly define what an electric car could do. It took them 5 years before the first Tesla ever rolled out, the Roadster, which had impeccable performance (248 HP) and range of approximately 400 kilometres per single charge of its lithium ion batteries.
The Game Changer: Model S
It wasn’t until 2012 that Tesla shook the industry with the release of the luxury sedan, the Model S. This purely electric vehicle packed high level performance, packing up to 416HP. It bragged of the longest range ever of any electric vehicle (over 400KM, under the strict EPA testing) and unparalleled comfort expected of any luxury car.
Image: A Tesla Model S
The success of this vehicle could be seen by the quick succession in which more powerful siblings came through. 3 generations of the model S have so far been launched, with the most powerful yet being the Model S P100D, with a whooping output 762HP, and an acceleration of 0-100KPH in just under 3 seconds.
Now am getting your attention right? So have established auto manufacturers.
The Now Emerging Success Story
According to Automotive Industry Data (AID), a British-based newsletter, Model S sales in Western Europe in 2015 toppled that of established automakers such as BMW and Mercedes. Incredibly, the model S beat the Mercedes S class, Audi A8, Porsche Panamera and BMW 7 series.
This neck to neck battle saw 15,787 Model S sold in the third quarter, with Mercedes following closely with their flagship S-class which sold 14,990 units.
Speaking to the German publication Auto Motor und Sport, the research and development boss at Mercedes, Thomas Weber stated that Mercedes was well advanced in its plans in making an all electric and highly attractive vehicle that would rival the Model S.
General Motors, Ford, Volkswagen and other major industry players have already started taking note of the evolution of the electric car, with most of these companies developing what pundits are calling “Tesla fighters”.
Final word: A Big Win for Both the Consumer and the Planet
Tesla has definitely played a major role in the electric vehicle revolution we are seeing today. Though the technology is still comparatively expensive than gasoline power, tremendous research is being done on reducing the cost of batteries that power these cars up.
All in all, the overall effect these green cars will have on our personal lives and the environment at large will be simply priceless.