The Economist: Tesla's tech 'leaves rivals in the dust'

Posted on March 14, 2020 by Matt Pressman

In 2017, The Economist declared the internal combustion engine "roadkill" on a controversial cover claiming, "it had a good run. But the end is in sight." For the conservative publication, this was a bold statement. Fast forward to 2020 and now Britain's financial pub points to Tesla as the carmaker to look out for as the industry transitions to electric.

Above: Tesla's Model S, 3, and X (Source: Tesla)

In a recent issue, The Economist states, "Profits and production are not the only reasons Tesla is joining the automotive mainstream. New products and plants are also on track. Its Cybertruck, an angular pick-up straight out of a 1980s sci-fi flick, which Mr. Musk unveiled in November, is set to hit roads in 2021. This year Tesla will launch the Model Y, a smaller SUV, and the Roadster, a pricey sports car." The company's Semi truck is also slated to launch.

In addition, "It has just started making Model 3s at a new 'Gigafactory' in China, showing that it could react far more swiftly than leaden-wheeled competitors; it got the plant in Shanghai up and running in 11 months." And another Gigafactory is already underway in Germany. Also, rumors are swirling that Tesla is considering Nashville for yet another Gigafactory in the US.

New vehicle launches and factories have (indeed) captured the auto industry's attention. But the Silicon Valley automaker shows the most promise, perhaps, on the tech front. The London-based publication claims that Tesla's "electric-car technology leaves rivals in the dust. It is also unencumbered by the legacy of a business based on internal combustion engines, which, reckons UBS [United Bank of Switzerland] could make it the world’s most profitable carmaker."

Meanwhile, it's reported that "Jefferies, one more bank, points out that a stronger balance-sheet (should it in fact strengthen) would allow Tesla to start thinking beyond merely making cars. It speculates that the firm may confirm it is working on a project to develop a 'million mile' battery, which will set a new standard for energy density and lifespan." In fact, clues are continuing to surface that Tesla has big plans on the battery front.

In any event, according to the Economist, Tesla is finally "proving itself as an automaker" while, at the same time, maintaining a "technological lead in electric cars." This has allowed Elon Musk's disruptive company to continue to "bask in a Big Tech valuation, predicated on its disruption of carmaking."

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Source: The Economist

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