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Tesla motivated the big automakers to pursue EVs?

Discussion in 'Tesla Motors' started by Fr23shjive, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. Fr23shjive

    Fr23shjive Member

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    I remember reading some where that because of the progress that Tesla was making on their EVs it prompted a lot of the big automakers to get off of their asses and start pursuing their own.

    I've searched google for articles which state that but I can find any. Any truth to that statement?
     
  2. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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  3. Fr23shjive

    Fr23shjive Member

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  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    http://www.benrosen.com/2007/12/car-of-future.html

     
  5. tdelta1000

    tdelta1000 Active Member

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    TEG's quote is the exact article that set the industry on fire for EV's.
     
  6. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't thought of it that way. At the time it was vindication for the EV and a huge compliment to Tesla, but I had not really thought about how that quote might make other manufactures really sit up and pay attention more. They might have been taking a more wait-and-see attitude before that comment but the simplicity of the statement would have to make other companies at least ask themselves (engineers, marketeers, even customers) that very question.
     
  7. theBike45

    theBike45 Banned

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    The claim that Tesla was resnsible for the current boom in EVs is rather preposterous and simply not true.
    Far and away the three most important factors that led to the re-emergence of EVs ar : 1) fears of global
    warming (regardless of whether those fears are baseless or not) , 2) fear of foreign oil dependency and higher
    gas prices, 3) the advent of li ion battery technology. Without all those factors present, no automaker (or
    consumer) would have the slightest interest in producing (or owning) such a vehicle, anymore than they had
    since the demise of the electric car when the Model T and electric starters appeared.
    The emergence of the modern EV occurred not when Tesla Motors appeared, but back during the oil crisis
    of the 1970's, which spawned the GM EV-1 and the Toyota Rav-4 electric and an EV from Honda. The
    statement by Lutz that the Tesla ignited interest in EVs in Lutz's mind (but not in the mind of other GM execs)
    is true enough, but what GM eventually agreed to produce was nothing like the Tesla concept, either in looks,
    price, functionality, or performance. It was not, in fact, an electric car at all, but instead an amalgamation of two
    totally different drivetrain technologies. And extraordinarily complicated. The most in-elegant automotive design
    on the planet.
    Tesla can, however, take credit for realizing that the only path economically for an EV would be by targetting
    well-heeled consumers who want to achieve poltical correctness and look good driving down the road as well.
    Sex sells, and Tesla took advantage of that human characteristic. But the problem is that the number of such willing
    souls is somewhat limited. What Tesla has going for it is the talent of a GM castoff von Holtzhausen, who created the
    terrific looking Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky and Model S. And a battery strategy that may just give them a leg up
    in that critical arena.
     
  8. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    Tesla was the paradigm shift needed to advance the EV. Up until their Roadster, EV's were characterized by the "attributes" of the EV-1.
     
  9. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    While I agree the points 1) and 2) are good reasons to make the move to EVs, I don't think it has made the shift to EVs in any appreciable way.
    These pages have dozen of links to studies on why people have a renewed interest in the EV. I drive and electric car and listen to hundreds of people who are just coming around to that way of thinking. Those are points that are really low on the list of what motivates them I assure you that climate change is way down the list with dependency on foreign oil only slightly above that. People just don't care about those things, What get them is when I say, no trips the the gas station, no costly repair bills, quiet fast ride. (!) They care about things that touch their lives a a daily basis. Not things they can't see.

    As for number 3), It was AC Propulsion who saw the battery tech and Tesla who sponsored the testing and went on to actually produce a real production car.
     
  10. richkae

    richkae VIN587

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    Electric drive is a vastly superior technology to the ICE. Many have known for a long time that if the energy storage problem could be solved, it would make a better car.

    It has been tried several times and failed. Since there are so many entrenched interests against EVs they face a huge uphill battle.

    GMs EV-1 was one of the most important players in the electric car wave of the 90s that failed. ( I would say smothered in its crib by its creator. )
    It is totally fair to say that without the GM EV-1 Tesla would not exist. The EV-1 prototype controllers were built by Cocconi who
    eventually became AC Propulsion, who then inspired the founders of Tesla. Much of the talent that GM wasted ended up at Tesla.

    Bob Lutz has made several public statements giving Tesla credit for reviving their interest in EVs. They didn't make a true EV but thats a different point.
    Unless you are a GM exec, how do you know what is in the minds of the other GM execs? Are you a GM exec? I haven't seen any public information that other GM execs were interested in EVs on their own. Without other evidence I think its fair to say Tesla revived GMs interest.

    Then any car company that pursued EVs in order to catch up to GM was indirectly influenced by Tesla.

    There is another public piece of evidence about Tesla inspiring the mainstream automakers to pursue EVs. The statements and actions of Akio Toyoda.

    Clearly Tesla is an important link in the chain of bringing EVs to the mass market.


    My reasons for buying a Tesla have nothing to do with "achieving political correctness".
    I have talked with many Tesla owners, EV enthusiasts, and people who want a ( more affordable ) EV and am confident in saying that the majority of them are not concerned with it either.
    If you want an EV, Tesla was your only option and even now that there are other options coming to market, Tesla is still superior in several ways.
     
  11. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    This comment misses the point of the OP's question. The "current boom" means the one happening now... i.e. since Tesla appeared (years after the demise of GM's EV1).
     
  12. Norbert

    Norbert TSLA will win

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    #12 Norbert, Jan 19, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
    Re 2), it's not just higher gas prices, but well, also this problem of oil supplies being limited. Not everyone wants to wait until we squeezed the last drop of oil out of this planet. (In a matter of just a few hundred years, if even that. How long do we intend to stay on this planet?)

    In general, I think it's the other way around: no consumer would be interested in anything else than EVs (although some might miss the motor sound) if it wasn't for those specific problems which Tesla has proven are now in the range of being solvable.

    Tesla should get credit for building electric cars which are desirable not only for looks and calming fears, but are, to put it simply, good cars. And for showing that due to the technical advances which have already happened and are about to happen, the remaining difficulties are to be seen in perspective and will eventually be fully resolved. And for showing that there is a path in doing so with profit, at first within certain smaller markets, however later also with larger markets.

    Tesla increasingly makes a compelling statement that Electric cars are here for real.
     

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