Let’s talk, again, about business, about technology and about the future.
Let’s talk about Tesla.
I like Tesla. Most business analysts don’t. But I admire Elon Musk. I even think he’s right to buy SolarCity.
But I think the namesake product has a limited runway. Here is why.
The story of the Tesla car is a three-legged stool.
- There’s the electric angle. Don’t just save the planet, but recycle energy from the Sun, through the battery. Just as important, deliver a car with far fewer moving parts, so it won’t wear out. An electric motor has very few moving parts. A Tesla car is basically a drivetrain. If you replace the batteries, keep the drivetrain maintained, and change things like tires and wiper blades you’re good.
- There’s the performance angle. The Tesla’s electric motor can deliver enormous power to the drivetrain quickly. Its “ludicrous speed” goes from zero to 60 in nothing flat. The sleek design screams sports car. This is a car that has always been compared to high-end luxury vehicles, or sport vehicles, and has won in that niche. It’s had to compete there to justify its price.
- There’s the self-driving angle. Musk promises that you can ignore the car in a few years, and for now just keep an eye on it as you go down the road under the control of your GPS. It will avoid collisions and go where you want it to go.