I suppose considering all the other bone-headed things we Americans seem to be doing lately, it shouldn’t be too surprising that it takes the genius founder of both Tesla Motors and Space-X, Elon Musk, to explain some incredibly basic logic about what will likely propel the electric car industry into its next and substantially expanded era. Put simply, it’s all about RANGE.
A great post over at Quartz points out that while the average American commute is roughly 37 miles roundtrip (and that’s not accounting for areas with high traffic congestion – e.g, everywhere except maybe South Dakota . . .), most currently marketed “pure” electric vehicles have a maximum range of only 75 miles. Given the paucity of recharging stations in pretty much everywhere except California, that constitutes a fairly large disincentive for any driver considering whether to “go electric.” (Not even factoring in relative cost)
Tesla, in contrast is focused on building increasingly less expensive models with a maximum range of at least 200 miles and, simultaneously, is developing a growing network of Tesla “recharge stations” located specifically in areas where GPS data has told them that Tesla owners are actually likely to be driving (yet another way to brilliantly capitalize on their technology AND win over new customers from other manufacturers . . .) Although current Teslas remain out of reach for most consumers, the company is planning on launching a $30,000 model within “several years.”
That’s exactly the sort of common sense, long-term thinking the United States could use a lot more of these days. Nicely done, Mr. Musk. NOW SEND ME MY FREE TESLA!!