Tesla Motors is not appearing to be worried about new electric vehicle (EV) offerings from General Motors (GM) or China, or so it appears. The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, seems more focused on Mars and space internet than new EV’s hitting the market.
Tesla recently revamped the Model S with an all-wheel drive rocket and upgraded the now discontinued Roadster to become the EV with the greatest range available at around 400 miles per charge. Now, GM is preparing to release a $30,000 EV called the Bolt, playing off the already available Chevrolet Volt, and China is looking to come after Musk’s forthcoming SU-EV, the Model X.
The Chevrolet Bolt is expected to gain ground on the EV market clearly held by Tesla Motors, according to the International Business Times. The $30,000 offering from Chevy has a range of 200 miles, and will likely be targeting the Model X, priced at $35,000 when released. Tesla boasts that the Model X will seat seven people, and have the functionality of a SUV. The Bolt is a sedan, and not a full SUV model.
Bidness ETC reported that Guangzhou Automobiles showed off their new WitStar at the Detroit Auto Show. The vehicle from China looks like a clone of the Model X right down to the gull-wing, or Falcon Wing as Tesla Motors calls them, doors. However, unlike the Tesla, the WitStar is a plug-in hybrid with both an electric motor and gasoline engine. The claim to reach up to 117 miles per gallon (mpg).
Tesla cars, up until the Model X, have come at a premium price. The Roadster came in at around $100,000 and the Model S starts at just under $70,000 for the entry-level model, and nearly $105,000 for the high performance P85D model. With the expected price of $35,000 for the Model X, Tesla Motors is about to open the doors to a whole new group of customers. The Tesla performance, 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds has not seen much competion from other EV’s like the Nissan Leaf or the Chevy Volt which come in at 7.9 seconds and 8.9 seconds respectively.
It is not anticipated that either the GM or Chinese offerings will put numbers up to worry Tesla Motors. Tesla is actually more happy about the increase in EV and Hybrid offerings coming out. Musk is looking to make the world a better place. He even offered up the design specs of the Model S to other car manufacturers as a sort of open source, allowing manufacturers to use Tesla’s technology, as long as they would share it with the world and not make it proprietary.
While Musk and Tesla Motors are likely not worried about the Chinese WitStar or the Chevy Bolt from GM, it has shown the world that more affordable EV offerings are on the horizon. Lessening the need for fossil fuels is what Musk is all about. Even his HyperLoop project could lessen the need of airlines or trains using fossil fuels. All in all, the general appearance is that Musk is trying to save the planet. And Musk is not done. He has another EV set to come out in the near future. The Model 3, which details are slim on. There has also been speculation that Musk would revisit the Roadster concept and release a new two-seat sports car in the near future.
By Carl Auer