In 2018 when electric cars are mentioned, most people think of Tesla. Tesla has redefined the automotive industry and continue to disrupt the market with innovations and sustainability-driven decisions that are unrivalled amongst its competition. The ‘Apple’ of the sustainable energy market, Tesla's grasp, style and intuition are driving consumers to think responsibly about energy, emissions and the environment. Most of all, they are redefining what consumers should expect from vehicle manufacturers and this has never been more apparent than now.
November 16th, 2017 Tesla held an event tailored towards the announcement of its Semi-truck, a long-awaited yet underwhelming announcement for the average consumer. That is until the specifications were revealed. The truck dubbed the ‘Semi’ is able to reach 0-60 in 5 seconds, faster than many production cars today. Even more impressive is the technology packed into the truck which includes; enhanced autopilot, a 500-mile range, the ability to charge up to a 400-mile range in 30 minutes, two independent screens for customised user interfaces and lastly a drivetrain with a guarantee of 1 million miles.
why does this matter?
To the average consumer, it doesn’t. Most people have no interest in semi-trucks and until now that has been for good reason. Tesla’s Semi garners attention because it highlights just how slow the automotive industry has progressed up to this point. With safety equipment that rivals almost all of today’s vehicles and an AI technology that can control an entire convoy of trucks autonomously. It’s not only defining what’s possible but going beyond what is expected in an industry that has stagnated over time.
one more thing…
Elon Musk, in a similar play to the days of the late Steve Jobs, had a surprise closing announcement. The unexpected reveal of the new Roadster. At £200,000 it’s not cheap, so why has it caused a stir? The Roadster will be the most affordable ‘Super Car’ available when compared to manufacturers like Bugatti, Ferrari and Lamborghini, but It doesn’t end there. The vehicle has shaken up the automotive industry by setting new benchmarks for all production cars to date. 0-60 in 1.9 seconds is unrivalled and beyond the capabilities of any street legal vehicle at present. And with a 600-mile range, the Roadster shatters the limitations set by fuel-hungry combustion engine vehicles.
is electric the answer?
Globally, there are 2 million Electric Vehicles (EV’s) on the road, with many more expected to invade motorways over the next few years. Governments across the world are expecting that 30% of the vehicles on the road will be electric by 2030. And with the UK making plans to ban petrol and diesel car production by 2040 including the incentive of free parking for EV’s, the rise of low emissions vehicles is inevitable. But does that mean electricity is the answer?
The rise of electric powered vehicles will inevitably increase power usage across the country and many debate whether our current power plants are capable of handling demand. 10 power plants are proposed to help ensure the UK is prepared for the ‘electric revolution’ but the question remains, how environmentally friendly is it to build additional power plants and will the environmental costs of both electric and combustion vehicles begin to equalise?
I think that over time electric will become the norm for all vehicles going forward and traditional manufacturers like Ferrari, Rolls Royce and Porsche will all begin to follow suit. Just like how the digital watch changed the market for watches worldwide. The combustion engine cars of today and of the future will face a similar fate. Appreciated for their soul, ingenuity and clockwork rather than their capabilities and specifications. The roadster isn’t going to disrupt the supercar industry overnight, but it showcases what we can expect from performance vehicles of the future and boosts the innovation in an industry steeped in tradition.