A few months ago here at the Blog, we wrote about Tesla's competition bringing legal action against them in North Carolina and other statements. Something about Tesla not requiring its cars to be sold through a dealer network. Its competitors complained that wasn't fare - if all else fails and you can't keep up with your competition, solve the problem by suing them.
Now comes news that the giant General Motors is throwing its hat in the ring to compete against Tesla in the electric car market by pushing its product development team to come out with a $30,000 all-electric car that has a 200 mile range.
The finest electric cars you can buy
For a little context, Tesla was started about ten years with the goal of making the highest quality electric cars that money can buy. Auto-giants like Ford, Nissan and GM have dabbled with electric cars (which run only on electricity, unlike hybrids which run on both gas and battery) in the past. But consumers haven't taken a broad liking to models like the Leaf and the Volt, which is why they sell less than 10,000 units per year of these models.
On the other side of the fence, Tesla can been kicking its competitions' butt with the Model S - a high end sedan that performs like the best sports car you can buy while boasting the finest luxury fittings and details, all while achieving Consumer Reports high possible quality rating for its most recent 2013 model. Again, Tesla's goal is to make the finest electric cars. Not the cheapest. Which is why the Model S starts at $71,000 before incentives, while the Leaf and the Volt both start around $35,000.
So the Tesla Model S costs twice as much, but the company runs rings around the cheaper cars in sales figures. Which means we could conclude that consumers are more interested in quality than in price.
If you can't beat them
All of this success by Tesla has led GM to announce that its going to focus more in the coming year on producing an all-electric car that will rival Tesla in performance and quality. GM hopes its Cadillac ELR will change consumer perceptions on electric cars that, so far, have pigeonholed its Chevy Volts with the image of being driven by granola-eating hippies and not by the savvy, sophisticated driver with money to spend. That kind of driver has gone to Tesla up to this point.
So will GM succeed? If they do, it will only be good news for the American driver.