We've all seen the introduction of high-speed, high efficiency, and very expensive electric sports cars over the last few years, but what role do they play in the long-term electric car market? This is a question which many people are now beginning to ask themselves because while there appears to be greater success at the more luxurious end of the electric car market, the average motorist has not yet been switched on to the benefit of electric vehicles.
In many ways the luxury end of the electric sports car market is very similar to that of Formula One and the traditional motorist. If you consider things on the surface, there seems to be little in the way of overlap between the highly efficient, high-technology systems used in Formula One and your traditional gasoline car. But is that really true?
Developments in Formula One often make it to the mass market
The fact is that while we see Formula One as a multibillion-dollar sport which allows racing drivers to put their lives on the line, attracting millions of viewers around the world and is often seen as the plaything of the rich and famous, this is not necessarily the case. The fact is that in many ways Formula One, and an array of other motoring sports, offer themselves as something of a testbed for new ideas, new philosophies and new systems.
If you watch Formula One today you will likely see an array of new technologies which seem 1,000,000 miles away from your traditional car. However the fact is, that the vast majority of these technological advances will at some point appear in some shape or form in the mass market. This may be in the sporting arena, this may be in the family car arena or it may be in the overall market where discoveries in the Formula One arena will emerge.
Will electric cars of the future benefit from electric sports cars?
If you look at electric sports cars of today you will see they are highly efficient, compared to their more affordable electric counterparts, even though the price of these vehicles is in the eyes of many people astronomical. The trick is that when electric cars become mass-market we will see some of this technology become more visible in the larger electric car market.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "I am lucky enough to have a Tesla dealership with in a 20 min drive of my house, and I received an email from Tesla stating that they have them now in their show rooms."
That is not to say we will see a like-for-like transfer of technology, that is not to say that your electric car of the future will hit astronomical speeds, but sometimes the theory behind new systems can be replicated in a diluted format. Therefore, while we may look at electric sports car market and automatically assume it has no relevance to the overall electric car market, this is not necessarily the case.
In much the same way as Formula One is often seen as a testbed for the gasoline car mass-market, in many ways the electric sports car arena should be seen as a testbed for the electric car market. There are new technologies and systems as well as aerodynamic twists and turns which could benefit an array of vehicles going forward.
The transfer of new technology and new systems from the electric sports car arena may well take longer than its traditional gasoline powered counterpart but in reality it will occur at some stage. Therefore, the millions of dollars invested by the U.S. government, and other governments around the world into the likes of Tesla Motors should eventually yield significant rewards for the industry as a whole.