Posted on January 05, 2016 by Matt Pressman
The media loves to toss around the term "Tesla Killer" with any and every conceivable challenger to Tesla's throne. And at this time, according to Consumer Reports Best Cars of 2015, Tesla is the King (and Prince if you consider the fact that Tesla won both the #1 and #2 awards). Nevertheless, the media laps up the hype that comes whenever even a concept of Tesla competition is served up. The perfect example: Faraday Future.
To be fair, there were a few media outlets that didn't take the bait. Tech Insider* reported: "Faraday Future, the electric car startup with big ambitions of taking on Tesla and the rest of the auto industry, had a strange Monday night. In a press conference ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, FF executives showed off a... concept car called the FFZERO1. It looks like this...
... Funky looks aside, keep in mind the vehicle shown Monday is just a concept... Since they don't have much to show off now in terms of real technology, executives spent most of the keynote highlighting the pedigree of the 750 employees who are working on the project... There were teaser videos. There were bold claims that FF could move faster than any other car company in history... But despite all those promises and all the hype, there was very little substance."
The article pointed out an immediate Twitter backlash, my favorite being the satirical Bored Elon Musk twitter account...
My competition apparently. pic.twitter.com/0Bjge8ChUE— Bored Elon Musk (@BoredElonMusk) January 5, 2016
And tweets like this...
The archetype of a CES announcement: A thing nobody needs and nobody can buy that you promise will change the world https://t.co/i2ntuFmYjO— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) January 5, 2016
And, kudos to the good folks at Jalopnik for dishing out a no-nonsense account of FF: "Faraday Future, or 'FF', was... heavy on optmistic techspeak and relatively sparse on how the company plans to compete with established automakers, let alone completely disrupt the transportation industry... None of that stopped Faraday Future from comparing themselves to the original iPhone, because that’s how everything works in the tech world, right? Everything is the next iPhone, and every app is the next great invention that will change the world. The key difference was, Apple showed the iPhone, not the iPhone’s '1,000 terabyte' prototype."
Nevertheless, my favorite commentary came from the awesome blog Teslamondo: "Funny-Shaped Future (FF). Raise your hand if you expected an alternative — not a market-ready alternative, but at least a conceptual alternative — to Tesla products. Instead we got a wholly unmarketable race car and some talking points about modularity in battery design and platform. All quite cool, and a nice invitation to ponder the high limits of interchangeability in electric platforms, but hardly a material imposition on Tesla. Indeed, FF’s ploy is no farther along than Mission Eventually by Porsche."
Our thoughts? Well... we welcome electric vehicle industry growth wherever we can get it. And, we applaud the team at FF for forging a way forward as an electric vehicle (EV) company. However, we're frustrated by many in the media for embracing so much early hype from those not-even-close to being Tesla competition. Not until a car company makes an all-electric, long-range, viable competitor with access to a worldwide fast-charging infrastructure will we take these "concepts" too seriously. Unfortunately, until major companies take EVs seriously, the future is indeed... faraway.
*Source/Image: Tech Insider