Tesla’s incredible sales success has automakers the world wondering how to counter the Silicon Valley automaker, and General Motors could have the answer. GM is developing a 200-mile electric car with a targeted sales price of $30,000, right in the same sweet spot Elon Musk is aiming for. But who will launch first?
GM has already hinted that it is developing a line of Tesla-rivaling EVs, one with a 100-mile range and the other with 200-miles of range per charge. Elon Musk’s goal is to launch a $30,000, 200-mile electric car by 2017 at the latest. While GM hasn’t put a timetable on the launch of its own Tesla fighter, executives have said the technology exists; it’s just the price point that remains a sticky issue.
To date GM’s only pure electric car is the Spark EV, which has been surprisingly well-recieved, though it is for sale only in a handful of markets for now. It also has just 82 miles of range per charge, well short of Tesla’s entry-level Model S which boasts up to 208 miles of range as well as a $70,000 price tag.
But whereas Tesla needs to launch the Model X SUV next, GM is free to concentrate on an affordable competitor that might even reach the road first. It just comes down to price, with automakers stuck paying twice as much or more for their battery packs. Tesla’s use of laptop batteries (which could soon lead to a worldwide shortage) means their batteries are substantially cheaper than the batteries used in the Chevy Volt. Speaking of which, may I suggest returning to the original Volt concept (above) for design inspiration?
GM will have to overcome that price hurdle, or else sell its electric vehicles at a loss, in order to compete with Tesla. They only have about four-years to do it though. Is GM capable of fighting Tesla on its own turf? Or will another automaker steal the show?
Source: Wall St. Journal