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Why Tesla Should Make a Single Passenger EV: The Race for a Mass Market EV

According to Elon Musk, most car rides are single passenger rides. If this is true, why isn't Tesla making a single passenger EV?


70% of Rides Are Single Passenger

There is a race to build a single passenger EV at the lowest cost in order to reach the largest target market - the world.

According to TheAlternativeDaily, 85 percent of cars have only one occupant when driving. Other data sources show this at different percents, and Elon Musk even said it was just over 70%. Regardless of the source, it is clear that a large percent of daily driving occurs in a car with just one passenger.

There are two people that are working on single passenger or tiny EVs that I've seen, and more and more seem to be going in that direction. The reason is that Tesla has not yet touched this small market and others want to get a jump on it.

This market makes sense everywhere around the world and in the U.S., many people would love a daily driver that is single passenger that comes at a much lower cost. I would use a daily commuter EV if it was much more efficient than my Tesla Model 3 RWD.

The market for such a vehicle is huge. If you believe the statistics about single passenger vehicles, then you have anywhere between 40% to 70% of the world as a market and if you can produce a vehicle in volume enough such that it costs around $10,000, then you can tap into most of that market.

These small and single passenger vehicles can also function as an autonomous Robotaxi fleet, and having solar panels on them would make a lot of sense in order to be able to continuously drive more and more. They would also have a lot less wear and tear on their frame, and the tires would experience a lot less wear and tear too.

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A Single Passenger EV: Aptera

The single passenger EV will eventually be built by Aptera, I believe, as well as numerous other companies. I believe Aptera is in the prime position to build this, and I think they will eventually build a single passenger version once their current version reaches mass production.

I expect that an Aptera vehicle will have incredible efficiency for daily driving, especially with all the solar panels in the vehicle. Some calculations put the Aptera at 474 MPG-e, which is an equivalent of miles per gallon of fuel. That is incredible efficiency.

Aptera will become a vehicle that, in sunny areas, can almost drive indefinitely as a Robotaxi. Aptera will license Tesla's FSD software suite when it is finished and add their vehicles to the Robotaxi fleet.

Let's look at an example of a single passenger EV with a 20 kWh battery that weights about 1,000 pounds. This vehicle still needs cameras and software, along with a frame that can withstand impacts. It does no good to drive a vehicle where the driver can be injured easily in the event of a crash.

If this vehicle has solar panels, like an Aptera, this vehicle should be able to easily get 200 miles of range on a charge - probably much more. At a 20 kWh battery, battery costs are not a huge factor in the cost of the vehicle. The smaller size of the vehicle also reduces cost and manufacturing time. A 20 kWh battery would be about $2,600. Not bad.

In the future, these types of vehicles are going to be everywhere, and battery costs won't be a factor. By 2030, a 20 kWh battery will be about $1,200. Ten years later and it's about $600 to $800. That's negligible. Solar panels and their efficiency and cost become a determining factor at that point. I expect the robotaxis of the future to be covered in solar panels and driving as much as they can during the day. For those areas that need a lot of nighttime driving, a larger battery pack will make sense.

I think Aptera is in the pole position for a single passenger/2 passenger EV that is very efficient. I see Aptera building a single passenger version - or announcing one - in a few years time. Sometime in the future, I see Tesla simply buying Aptera in order to add these two very efficient vehicles to the Tesla fleet. After all, Aptera is modeling their vehicle after Tesla.

What do you think about single passenger EVs? Is there a race to be the first to mass produce them?

In Related News: Tesla Model Y Is Starting to Lead the World in Sales

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Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he's become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News.

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