Tesla is Not the Future of Electric Cars, Golf Carts Are

Tesla Model S 1 photo
Photo: Catalin Garmacea
It's fair to say up until this point, Tesla's all-electric efforts have been well received by the public, media and customers alike. However, the small number of critics provided some stingy remarks, and now someone claims Tesla Model S is not the future of EVs. Despite favorable feedback from the media, Tesla has its vehement critics that claim the company would go down as there is no future for Elon Musk's empire. Some months ago, Jonathan S. Geller from Boy Genius Reports argued Tesla has not figured out how to make a great car overall. Also, he claimed that when BMW, Audi, and Mercedes will launch their EVs, such models will be better designed, better manufactured, and better engineered than whatever Tesla is working on. The next wave of skepticism about Tesla's ability to lead the future of EVs comes from Thomas Bartman in a piece published in the Harvard Business Review. He is a member of the Forum for Growth and Innovation, and a Harvard Business School think tank studying disruptive innovation. Moreover, Bartman believes "Tesla is not disruptive and will have trouble scaling as it seeks to grow". Low-speed EVs and EUVs
He splits what he calls 'disruptive EVs' into two categories: low-speed electric vehicles and electric utility vehicles (EUVs). From these two, he considers the low-speed EVs to be the future of electric cars and offers golf carts as an example.

In his vision, small golf cart-like EVs are the ideal solution for short trips around a development or city, for that matter:

"They [slow-speed EVs] are actually more desirable than cars; they don’t create tailpipe or noise pollution; they’re slow, increasing pedestrian safety; and they’re cheap to buy and charge. Range and comfort limitations aren’t important factors because they’re only used for short trips in good weather. Full-size cars would be overkill for applications like this," Bartman argues.

He offers another example out of Tesla's performance in China, stating that China is, in fact, one of the largest EV markets in the world, if you know where to look. Here, Chinese consumers bought over 200,000 low-speed EVs, almost four times Tesla's cumulative production through 2014.

There's surely a lot of things to be discussed here, but you have to agree that his statements are worth taking into consideration. After all, no carmaker is bullet proof to market trends.
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