The race is on to deliver an affordable long-range electric car, with 200+ miles range and $35,000 MSRP as the next target. Several car makers are working on this, promising to deliver such vehicles in the next couple years. The rush to declare this vehicle or that a Tesla Killer has led some in the press to describe GM’s Chevy Bolt as a clear Tesla Killer, because the Bolt’s 238 mile EPA range is a little higher than what Tesla Motors suggested the Model 3 would have.
Is that the only measure of likely victory? What about charging networks? What if, once the car gets above 200 miles range that a few miles here or there doesn’t matter as much as it does when the car has 100 miles range?
The primary feature of the Tesla Model S and Model X and the forthcoming Model 3 is the Supercharger network, and that in general Tesla designed in ultra-fast charging support from the get-go. Yes the Model S and Model X are very well built cars with tons of cool features, but I believe it’s the Supercharger charging network that makes the difference.
Because of the Supercharger network, Tesla Model S/X owners are able to take cross-country trips with ease. Try that with a car from any other manufacturer and you’ll find that the CHAdeMO and CCS fast charging infrastructure is woefully inadequate to inter-city trips much less cross-country trips. The exception to this is the USA East Coast and parts of Europe where there is sufficient DC Fast Charging that it’s easy to hop between cities on CHAdeMO or CCS. Stray outside those areas and you’re struggling.
To think that success is rooted solely in long range is simply incorrect. A long driving range is useless unless there’s sufficient DC Fast Charging between cities.
Why do I say this? Most driving is within a short range of home, so surely inter-city fast charging is not needed? There’s a point to that statement that’s more-or-less true. However, the existence of inter-city gasoline stations demonstrates the need for long distance travel even though most driving is within a short range of home. The people who are about to buy 200+ mile range EV’s will include many newcomers to the EV field. They will arrive with expectations of taking longer trips, I think. Why? One clue is that they passed up buying shorter-range EV’s.
Why does the title say “Tesla is a threat to itself”? Tesla’s ambitions are huge, and they’re moving at an impossibly fast break-neck pace. One wonders how long the company will be able to keep up, and when will it (the whole company) collapse from exhaustion.
- US Dept of Energy funding electric vehicle and battery research - March 6, 2020
- Bucharest abandons Oxygen tax, amid high pollution event, and Dacia’s first electric car - March 5, 2020
- Renault brand Dacia unveils most affordable electric car in Europe - March 4, 2020
- Pandemics, like Coronavirus, and our RoboTaxi-driven autonomous future - February 28, 2020
- Big advertising splash for GMC Hummer EV - January 30, 2020
- EU’s Green Deal means Romania risks losing 40% of electricity production - January 27, 2020
- Hyundai/Kia investing in Arrival to co-develop electric vehicle technology - January 16, 2020
- EV charging station costs can be reduced, says Rocky Mountain Institute - January 16, 2020
- GM’s Hummer jaw dropping electric pickup return a sign of shifting car industry - January 13, 2020
- Every plug-in vehicle has the right to access charging stations - December 28, 2019