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'Tesla Killer' Vehicles Are Just Hype

As more electric vehicles come onto the market from both the main manufacturers and small outfits, many are being touted as 'Tesla Killers,' but do any of them have what it takes?
Posted: February 16, 2017 - 9:21AM
Author: Dave Ashton

At first I was going to call this post, 'Enough Of The Tesla Killer Vehicles' but that just seemed to read like I'm having a bad day or too much favouritism, but the point remains that as soon as another electric vehicle sees the light of day, its usually referred to as something that will take down Tesla and their vehicles entirely, which couldn't be further from the truth.

The latest supposed Tesla Killer comes in the form of the Lucid Air, which is at the prototype stage. The vehicle has futuristic looks, a proposed 1000 hp from a 130 kWh battery pack, with a predicted 0 to 60 mph time of 2.5 seconds and a 400 mile range on a single charge. The car is predicted to cost roughly $160,000 and may be available in 2019. There are other offerings such as the much touted Faraday Future vehicles, but the main problem here is that they are EV cars from potentially small outfits and with the likelihood of a new car been produced by main manufacturer such as Ford or GM costing anywhere like $1 billion for the complete development cycle, these smaller outfits have a long way to go before they can take on the likes of GM, never mind Tesla.

This is the point where Tesla will most likely be one of the main players in the EV market and autonomous vehicles in the coming years. It's unusual for an automotive company to now be at the point where Tesla are now with the production of their next vehicle, the model 3 which will give a reasonably priced sedan to the mass-market with an infrastructure for all their hardware and software for years to come. In relative terms, it's been a quick ascension from a small niche EV vehicle producer to one of the main players.

Much larger automotive manufacturers such as GM aren't usually touted as Tesla killers as the market for larger outfits seems to concentrate on EV vehicles for the masses and not face melting performance, while smaller outfits almost want EV supercars, and also in the luxury EV stakes. The current Tesla Model S and Model X are simple and refined, while the Lucid Air can be seen as much more luxurious, but they are all still in the niche market compared to Tesla, still arguably the only luxury EV company.

The other noted point of why many of the other niche EV vehicles will never be Tesla killers is the simple fact of Tesla having too much headway. They have had years of development, investment and models currently tried and tested on the roads. They also have a marketing push, which is arguably unique to themselves and a fan base which is ever-growing. Unless the other companies can produce a range of models which range from an allrounder to a high-end luxury vehicle, I can't see the niche players being able to catch up.

However, it does make a great headline, when the latest EV prototype comes out and is called a 'Tesla Killer.' It may be seemingly as fast or a touch faster on paper, more luxurious, but moving forward they will probably be like the present small supercar market, fast, expensive and highly exclusive, but not as good all-rounders as the main players.