The Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) Model S is gaining traction and witnessing better sales as the Tesla Supercharging infrastructure is put in place in key markets. This car and the technology it is built upon is transforming how we think about vehicles as consumer reports gave this car very high marks this year. Drivers are concentrating on the benefits that this car provides like green transportation, saving money on variable costs, and curb appeal.
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s supercharging stations, that are built in conjunction with SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY), are a great example of how the company can both reduce range anxiety and increase the company’s already green image. SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) is providing solar panels to power recharging stations and any electricity generated beyond what is needed to charge cars will be sold back to the electric grid.
Other green cars like the Chevy Volt, built by General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), are bridging technology to an all electric car, and try to mate the best of both worlds at a more reasonable price. The key difference in the Volt and a Tesla is that the Volt can still fill up its on-board gasoline engine to generate electricity when its battery is depleted.
As the U.S.’ power grid “greens up” over the next few years, we will see more power coming from renewable sources, and that generated power can be used in electric vehicles. Even though hybrid vehicles produced by other manufacturers stretch miles per gallon to the extreme, they can not claim to be as non-polluting as the Tesla.
General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) isn’t seeing the amount of demand for the Chevy Volt as Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is seeing for the Model S, but they are also both targeting different segments of the market than each other. Once GM brings the Cadillac ELR onto the scene in 2014, we will see a more direct comparison of sales.
Saving money on variable costs
After many attempts at solidifying the Continuously Variable Transmission, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) are coming out with an 8 speed automatic to help increase performance on gasoline engines. Cars do need repairs every so often, and as cars become more complex, those repairs can become more costly. Electric motors have fewer moving parts, and require wires instead of drive trains. This all means that there are fewer parts to wear out and replace. This makes Tesla’s vehicles overall more efficient and simpler (mechanically speaking), saving owners on repair bills.
The flip side to owning a Tesla is that it is an expensive car, and expensive cars inherently cost more to insure. This is good news for companies like Allstate, but not such good news for buyers of electric cars looking to save on operating costs.
Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) has made a push into the plug-in electric vehicle market by introducing the Focus Energi, a hybrid electric vehicle that can travel 100 miles on electricity and is priced at $34,000. All of the old guard vehicle companies are hedging their bets on electric cars due to the lack of infrastructure and price. However, by doing so, they are also letting Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) become a dominant first mover in the industry.