If we look at the electric car market today, there is no doubt that Tesla has been the front-runner, breaking down various barriers and investing billions of dollars. This is a company which continues to go from strength to strength, although the risk profile associated with the company has also increased Now, many are now starting to ask the question, "has Tesla cleared the way for competitors such as Mercedes-Benz, to attack the electric car market?"
What can we expect from Mercedes-Benz?
Mercedes-Benz is expected to use the success of the B-Class electric drive to push four new electric models which should hit the market by 2020. They indicate there will be two electric sedans and two electric SUVs, which will certainly grab the attention of those looking towards the luxury end of the market. The company has already put together a strong team, which it continues to strengthen, to attack the electric car market. But will this be enough to challenge the position of Tesla?
Selling on reputation
When Tesla Motors began, it had an array of physical challenges when it came to the electric car market, along with the challenge of building a reputation. The way Elon Musk managed to create the Tesla brand and associate it with perfection and innovation - set against the array of the traditional automobile manufacturers around the world, is a miracle to behold. It is easy to forget how difficult this has been and how much time and effort has been spent fighting the establishment while also trying to manage and grow a new business.
While Mercedes-Benz may not be associated with electric vehicles at this moment in time, there is no doubt that the industry is certainly moving in this direction. The likes of General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and other leading car manufacturers are unlikely to sit on the sidelines and let Tesla dictate future direction. These are companies which will be selling on reputation, although in reality the reputation of traditional automobile manufacturers has been tainted with the recent emissions scandal.
Is competition good for Tesla?
Speaking to experts in the electric car market, the general opinion on the ground seems to be that Tesla is so far ahead of its competitors that they will always be playing catch-up. When the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, etc. have vehicles which can guarantee 200 miles per full charge it is likely that Tesla will be upwards of 400 miles plus per charge. When you also take into account the mass-market production of the Tesla Model 3, by far and away the most successful pre-launch vehicle of recent times, it seems that Tesla actually thrives on competition.
It is great news for the electric car industry to see the likes of Mercedes-Benz putting time, money, and effort into the future of the electric car market. This is an industry which is still relatively young, and while Tesla is most certainly pulling away, there are many competitors trying to catch up. The fact that Tesla is able to concentrate on creating mass-market electric vehicles at affordable prices while also pushing the boundaries of technology is a testimony to the focus of Elon Musk.
It will be interesting to see who challenges Tesla Motors in the years ahead and whether Tesla can maintain this growing gulf between itself and the technology of competing companies.