Tesla Could Lose Lead in Electric Cars to Big Automakers

Similarly, the race to produce the world’s first affordable electric car was arguably won six years ago when Nissan launched its Leaf. It remains the best-selling electric car model over its history, but sales have undershot initial expectations, probably because the car’s limited battery life gave consumers so-called “range anxiety.”

Could the Model 3 be the product that finally shifts the gear? Possibly. Mr. Musk enjoys an Apple-like marketing halo that will give the Model 3 an advantage over rival products from Detroit and beyond. Consumers also seem to love Tesla’s design, which rejects the modest environmentalism of the Leaf in favor of sleek futurism.

But there are crucial differences between cars and phones. People replace cars less frequently than they buy new phones, giving competitors more time to react to innovation. And car crashes matter more than phone crashes, so practicality can win out over style. Above all, phones are far cheaper to make. Apple could pitch its iPhone as a luxury product, with luxurious margins, that was nonetheless affordable. Tesla can’t make an underlying profit selling cars for upwards of $70,000. The Model 3 is evidence it knows it needs to halve the price to stay in the game.

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Trump Vs. Tesla

If it’s really the case, as Tenneco’s chief technologist says, that internal combustion (gasoline and/or diesel) engine cars are now or will very soon be cleaner than even the best battery-electric scenario, companies who have put all of their eggs in the battery-electric basket need to prepare for legislative headwinds:

Subsidies: At best, dramatically reduced. More likely, abolished ASAP.

Penalties: Electric cars to be taxed more than gasoline cars, potentially banned outright.

Tesla emptied all its chambers in the third quarter of 2016 anticipating a Hillary Clinton win that may have yielded more subsidies, government loans or other legislative preferences. That would have papered over the bleak outlook for the fourth quarter of 2016 and all of 2017. Instead, the legislative cover for which Tesla had planned now looks like a potential legislative nightmare.

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For Tesla, Electric Car Sales Explode In All The Wrong Places

More than 2 million electric vehicles may be on the world’s roads by the end of 2016, writes the Guardian, citing data from the electric vehicle world database EV Volumes. That should be good news for electric carmaker Tesla. It is not. A closer look at the data shows that most of the growth comes from Tesla competitors, and from regions where Tesla is weak. It is a stereotype “that the U.S. market is further ahead in deploying the zero-emission technology thanks to cars such as the Tesla Model S,”  writes Automotive News. As far as Tesla is concerned, electric vehicle sales are exploding in all the wrong places.

The “America First” stereotype was coined in 2014, when America was the world’s largest EV market. A year later, this changed in a big way, and it is changing in an even bigger way as we speak.

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