Posted on August 30, 2016 by Matt Pressman
The Wall Street Journal* has a history of being a tough, often jaded critic of Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA] and its prolific but polarizing CEO Elon Musk. Not so this weekend. In a surprising turn of events, Christopher Mims of the Wall Street Journal proclaims, "mass adoption of electric vehicles is coming, and much sooner than most people realize... Tesla Motors Inc. is the standard-bearer, promising a Model 3 vehicle meant to appeal to the masses at $35,000 without incentives and more than 200 miles of range. By comparison, the average new car in the U.S. today sells for about $33,000."
Mims explains, "this is because electric cars are gadgets, and technological change in gadgets is rapid... [but] drivers won’t switch to electric vehicles as rapidly as consumers adopted smartphones. The average American keeps a car for 11 years. For most people, though, by the time you’re ready to buy another car, there will be a range of plug-in vehicles available at prices comparable to gasoline vehicles. And that doesn’t count the projected savings in fuel, or in maintenance, since electric vehicles have many fewer moving parts."
Above: A peek inside the Tesla Model 3 interior (Instagram: @model3.news)
Mims interviews Mike Fox, executive director of Gasoline & Automotive Services Dealers of America and comments that, "It is the nature of disruptive technological shifts that it seems like nothing is changing — until it seems as if everything is changing at once. Electric vehicles have been a long time coming, but they now represent such a clear and present threat to the gasoline engine that Mr. Fox, of the service-station association, now recommends that members signing long-term contracts for fuel include an option to renegotiate if more than 10% of a state’s fleet goes electric."
So what might spark this exodus to electric vehicles? The Wall Street Journal concludes with a bold statement from Mike Fox especially considering his title as executive director of Gasoline & Automotive Services Dealers of America. Here's where Fox sees the turning point in all this: "If Tesla can deliver on its current promises with the Model 3, says Mr. Fox, 'gas vehicles are history — it’s horse and buggy days.'"
*Source: Wall Street Journal