What would it take to democratize the electric car?
The electric car has been around for a while, but up to now it really hasn’t gotten all that much traction and saying that 99% of cars still run on a oil-based fuel one way or another is probably actually a conservative estimate. The one company that has had some headlines in the past couple of years in this arena has been Tesla Motors. Recently Tesla’s CEO gave an interview on his vision for the company. Tesla originally released their first product that Roadster at an exotic luxury price of well over 100k, while the Model S is about 70k, now Mr. Musk predicts that within the next couple of years that he will be able to produce a product that is about half that. Mr. Musk has also made the bold declaration that the system of supercharger network he’s opening for his cars will be now and always free. Finally he said despite having a great product, he admits that the quality of their service isn’t great, with the need to make it top notch in terms of speedy fix-up times. So with this three pronged strategy of creating a new network of infrastructure, a more reasonable price point, and improving their service quality, can Tesla be the one to finally overcome the oil dependent hurdle and democratize the electric car? I can’t say for sure, but if you were gonna bet on anyone, might as well be the guy who founded Paypal and sent the first private spacecraft into space.