Saturday, March 24, 2018

New competitors coming to challenge Tesla's EV dominance

Tesla did not show up for the Geneva Motor Show. Perhaps the company feels it doesn't have to, as it already dominates in the EV market and EV news coverage. But there is some tough competition headed Tesla's way.

There are numerous new model EVs at the Geneva Motor show that will compete with Tesla models, although some have yet to come on the market. More luxury EV's and hybrids are coming on the market than ever before. This article considers only purely electric cars not the hybrids. Discussion of the hybrids can be found in this article.
The Jaguar I-Pace
The I-Pace measures up closely in its specs with Tesla's Model X 75 D the company's base version of its SUV. Both have a similar range and acceleration. Although the Model X is larger and boasts more seats and storage space it is also $10,000 more than the I-Pace. The I-Pace is already is also $5,000 less than Tesla's entry level Model S.
The I-Pace will be available some time during the second half of 2018 and orders are open even now.
Audi E-Tron Quattro all-electric SUV
Porsche also has a concept car that will compete with some Tesla models but Audi already paraded a prototype of the E-Tron Quattro through Geneva streets rather than on the show room floor. It is supposed to be in Europe by the end of 2018 and in the US in 2019. It has a range of over 200 miles, and fast charging and will launch with several other E-Tron models.
BMW is also launching an i4 sedan after earlier introducing the i3.
The Hyundai Kona Electric SUV
This small SUV will be more affordable than the I-Pace and has a model with a very long range of 292 miles. It will be a competitor of GM's Bolt as well. Bolt is the second best selling EV after Tesla's Model 3 and will also be in competition with Tesla. However as reported in a recent Digital Journal article the 2018 Bolt is little changed from last year's model.
Renault has the best-selling EV in Europe the Zoe and it has received a better motor and retains a mileage range of over 180 miles.
Tesla faces several issues
While Tesla may dominate the market, it is unable to produce the new affordable Model 3 fast enough to keep up with demand. It has preorders of a half million. Many potential customers may decide the wait is too long and opt to buy competitors' cars such as the Chevy Bolt or the Kona if it is available.
A second issue for Tesla is that the company is quickly approaching sales of 200,000 EVs in the US. At this point, the company will gradually lose the federal government's federal tax incentive which slowly decreases and eventually disappears. Competitors will enjoy a price advantage as none are near that mark. Of course, President Trump could decide to end the tax incentive entirely and that would put everyone on a level playing field.
The Geneva Motor Show at least shows that all the talk about EV's that company's have been pushing is not just marketing hype but is being followed up by commitments to actually produce new EVs.


Previously published in Digital Journal

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