Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Tesla Model 3 Is More Than an Electric Car―It’s a Landmark in Automotive History:  Wired

Tesla Model 3 (Credit: Tesla) Click to Enlarge.
The arrival of Tesla's Model 3 signals a new chapter in automotive history, one that erases 100-plus years of the gas engine and replaces it with technology, design, and performance hot enough to make electric vehicles more than aspirational—to make EVs inspirational.
Creating the Electric Dream
If one is to harken back to draw a comparative analysis to 2007, it's worth remembering that just as there were smartphones before the iPhone, there are other electric cars available now.  But those other vehicles are clunky and awkward.  The Chevrolet Bolt rivals the Model 3 in range and price (and beat it to market), but it hasn’t captured the public imagination.  The BMW i3 is futuristic, using novel materials and the option of a tiny range-extender engine, but buyers aren’t clamoring for it.

With the Model 3 Tesla promises a smoothly integrated electric driving experience, from generation to acceleration.  Customers can walk into shiny white Tesla stores, order a car, a solar roof, and a home storage battery.  They can take long road trips knowing they have access to a proprietary Supercharger network for high speed top-ups.  It’s a neat, tidy, contained ecosystem—just like Apple’s.

And as with Apple, the Tesla brand and Elon Musk’s celebrity is enough to create a fanbase that is legion and enough potential buyers to excite competitors:  Audi, Jaguar, and Porsche, have all shown electric car concepts that are not just functional, but damn sexy.  The e-tron Sportback, the I-Pace, and Mission E all have Tesla in their crosshairs.

“I have to hand it to Tesla, and the leadership in particular, for being able to create the hype and use public market equity as a source of for generating a whole new narrative about cars,” says R.A. Farrokhnia, Columbia University business and engineering professor.

Building an Autonomous Future
The car should be a leader in self-driving, too.  Right now, Tesla’s Autopilot function is semi-autonomous, so the car will only drive itself on a highway and requires a person behind the wheel.  But some day soon Tesla will send an over-the-air update that enables full self-driving for all its cars on the roads—no hardware changes needed.  It’ll be like the day Apple introduced the app store.  Flicking that switch led advances that nobody imagined from a phone:  new ways to do things like date and move money, social media’s dominance, and the rise of the sharing economy.  This Tesla change will enable drivers will come up with clever ways to lend, share, and monetize their vehicles in ways that are inconceivable now.

Read more at The Tesla Model 3 Is More Than an Electric Car―It’s a Landmark in Automotive History

No comments:

Post a Comment