Tesla co-founder shares warning about OEM’s EV focus: “They haven’t really done the math fully”

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“The Model S was such a different car. The Roadster was a technology validation. We proved that batteries could work, they could go on a car, they could be safe, they could do the range and acceleration. The S was a whole different thing. It was so good. We put so much effort into that. Elon was hell-bent on making it the best car on the road. And I think we really delivered on that at the time. It was phenomenal. “I’m still amazed at the skepticism there was. Even after delivering those, we kinda imagined, I imagined, that people would see this and go ‘Clearly this is the future. This is all gonna work.’ All the car companies are gonna copy this immediately, and we’ll have to go really fast to figure out how we can carve out a niche. And it just didn’t happen. Customers loved it. It was a runaway hit with reviewers and magazines and customers, but the copying and market change didn’t happen,” Straubel said. The automotive landscape today is different, however. With Tesla now the most valuable automaker by market cap and with Chinese car companies aggressively coming up with modern electric cars, OEMs have now adopted the narrative that they are going all-in on EVs. Straubel, however, noted that these announcements might not necessarily be realistic.


I find it stunning that this guy thought the car industry was going to roll over and drop ICE as soon as Tesla looked successful. Historically it almost never happens where an incumbent canabalises their own market with new tech. And given that they didn’t jump into EVs, is it really surprising that their increasingly bold plans to switch to EV production are unrealistic? Power brokers within the orgs obviously still don’t want to do it. These people have to be weeded out, but given the rapid pace of transition it’s more likely the companies will end up collapsing before that can happen.


Not really much to say other than this is a Teslarati article, a well known rag that creates multi page articles from a single sentence.


Bit unrelated, but I consider auto OEMs to be similar to the huge military contractors like Lockheed and Northrop. Slow moving, resistant to change, legacy technology, bureaucratic. It’s only a matter of time till someone comes along and eats their lunch, just as Tesla is doing to Ford, GM, Toyota etc.


Making the said electric parts and cars is one thing, but no one is taking about chargers and infrastructure needing to be built out. US is such a vast country I don’t ever see us providing a good infrastructure all over the country.