It was just announced that Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA] will be making its first appearance at the LA Auto Show. A few years back, Silicon Valley's electric car automaker would have been an oddity among all the gas-guzzling cars being displayed. Not anymore. The Los Angeles Times* reports, "at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which opens to the public Friday, Porsche, Mitsubishi, Jaguar and Mini will unveil their new all-electric models or electric concept cars. Cadillac will show off its CT6 plug-in, while Chevy will be pumping the Bolt, an all-electric sedan with a 238-mile range."
Above: Tesla Model S (Instagram: sarahtesfai)
Have the falling costs of electric vehicle lithium-ion batteries played a role in the proliferation of electric vehicles? Indeed: "Battery costs are plummeting, even as power and range increase. Batteries are the most expensive part of an electric car, accounting typically for about a third of the cost. Those costs, though, have dropped 65% over the last five years and are still headed down, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Partly that’s due to greater volume and scale, but advances are being made in battery chemistry too... [and] according to forecasts from Ark Invest, a Camry-quality 200-mile range electric car will cost less than a gasoline Camry by 2022."
Above: Price of 200-mile electric cars as compared to typical Toyota Camry gasoline engine car from 2013 - 2022 (Source: Los Angeles Times*)
“It’s the 200-miles border which makes electric vehicles acceptable to the majority of car buyers,” said Roland Irle, co-founder of consulting firm EV Volumes, based in Sweden. And research in California, America's EV epicenter, backs this up: "A survey of 837 Californians conducted in August by Vrge Analytics found that 43% would consider buying or leasing an electric vehicle by 2025. If those vehicles were priced similar to combustion-engine cars and offered a range of 200 or more miles per charge, the number jumped to nearly two-thirds [66%]."
Above: This month California reaches a major milestone of 250,000 plug-in electric cars sold since December 2010 (Source: InsideEVs via California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative)
Since the Tesla Roadster was launched in 2008, Tesla's electric vehicles have been long-range — exceeding 200 miles on a single charge. And Tesla's success is challenging other automakers to go electric. After all, "the Tesla Model S is now the world’s bestselling luxury car model, beating out models from Mercedes, BMW, Audi and others and their gas and diesel powertrains. At least 373,000 customers have put down $1,000 deposits on the Model 3." Colin McKerracher, head of advanced transportation research for Bloomberg New Energy Finance explains, "I wouldn’t underestimate the influence Tesla has had on pushing the other manufacturers along."
Above: Tesla Model 3 (Instagram: teslamotorspictures)
And, governments around the world are looking to phase out gasoline powered vehicles: "there’s talk in some countries of banning combustion engines in new cars altogether... India, which made news recently as the citizens of Delhi choked on polluted air, is talking about banning new combustion-driven cars within a decade. So are Norway, the Netherlands, Austria and Germany, motivated by concerns over global warming." And, "China is also the world’s largest and fastest growing market for electric cars. Government incentives and mandates have created thriving demand as the country’s leaders seek to clear the notoriously foul air that hovers over its major cities."
Above: German-based Dalia Research conducted a survey across EU and found that 58% of Europeans would consider purchasing an electric vehicle (Source: InsideEVs)
And, last, electric vehicle tech has distinct advantages over antiquated internal combustion engines. InsideEVs published this infographic* (via Plugless Power) to showcase the many reasons consumers fall in love with their electric vehicles. Customer satisfaction is off the charts. And they're green, really fun to drive, cheaper to "fill up" and cheaper to maintain. For all these reasons, it's clear that we're about to see a massive paradigm shift in the automotive sector as electric cars take over the market — all led by EV industry pioneer, Tesla Motors.