Tesla Motors Inc serious success in the electric vehicle space is already causing car makers to start EV projects of their own. However, Tesla need not worry about GM, BMW, Ford, or Toyota going into the EV space. Even if these firms become serious about the EVs, they are not likely to close their assembly lines for ICE cars with their billions of dollars in R&D costs.
Tesla Motors still pretty much has the EV Space all to itself for the near future.
However, Tesla should worry about radical minds (people like Elon Musk and Steve Job) that appear to be showing an interest in the EV space. The problem here is that they will compete with Tesla even before it has a chance to establish itself.
Meet the Tesla Motors competitors
Tesla should be ready to face rivalry from the most unexpected of places. First, there is Faraday Future, which is already poaching talent away from Tesla. There is Dutch super car marker, Spyker, which is merging with electric aircraft maker, Volta Volare, and then, there is Luka EV, which has already built an EV from scratch right in a garage.
Faraday Future is a serious rival that Tesla must watch. Faraday Future is secretive about its ownership and technology. Yet, the firm is sure that will have an EV in the market by 2017. It seems it will be fighting Tesla in the premium EV market because the only thing its cars will have in common with existing cars are – four wheels.
Faraday Future is serious – it is staying in a former Nissan research and design building. The firm currently has 200 workers and it is adding 10 new workers per week.
Before you dismiss Luka EV as a hobbyist fad of some unknown hackaday EV fans, it might interest you to know that they have built a car from product conception, to design, to production, and it’s street legal – all under one year and without an assembly line. Below is a highlight of what Luka EV had it mind when it started the project.
Top speed: 130km/h
Weight: Under 750kg
Range: Over 300km on a single battery charge
Retail price: Under EUR20,000
Project time frame: Must be Certified to drive on EU roads by Sept 1st 2015.
Appearance: Must be a beautiful vehicle
It seems that Luka EV will be fighting with Tesla Motors on the mass market where its Model 3 plans to debut. The fact these guys plan to do so much so much (including a road legal electric car powered by hub motors) with minimal resources makes them serious contenders.
Spyker might not pose much of a threat to Tesla Motors in the short to medium terms; however, it has a strong brand presence that will give Tesla a run for it money whenever its EVs hit the roads. Spyker is a supercar maker notable for its C8 and C12 fast cars. The firm went into voluntary bankruptcy to restructure after it hit troubled financial waters late last year.
Spyker is back afloat and it has placed a target on Tesla’s back. Spyker CEO, Victor Muller says “the company I founded 15 years ago is now set to build sensationally elegant and classy electric motorcars and electric planes for decades to come”.