Published on July 2nd, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


Tesla’s Elon Musk Predicts 50% of New Cars EVs in 20 Years; Model S Gets EPA Rating of 89 MPGe, 265-Mile Range

July 2nd, 2012 by  


The Model S came out to rave reviews on Friday. Also, as indicated in the Gas2 repost below, the car has received an EPA rating of 89 MPGe and 265 miles of range. This comes close to backing up Tesla’s previously unverified range claim of 300 miles.

Tesla reports that its first batch of 6,500 Model S EVs are sold out. And, not only that, Tesla CEO Elon Musk is predicting that “more than half of new cars manufactured will be fully electric” in 20 years. He’s confident enough about that to say that it’s “a bet I will put money on.” Actually, “it’s probably going to be in the 12- to 15-year time frame,” he says. Hmm, that would be something.

Michael Graham Richard of TreeHugger has some good thoughts on this:

Are things likely to happen that way? It’s hard to say, but I do know that non-linear systems can surprise people when tipping points are reached. It wasn’t that long ago that almost nobody had cellphones, and someone looking at the cellphone adoption rate could have projected that it would take decades for cellphones to reach even a pretty small market share.

But at some point, certain conditions were met and cellphone adoption exploded rapidly, faster than almost anyone could have predicted. These conditions were things like price, performance, size and portability, the network effect (the more people have them, the more useful they become), features, familiarity, etc.

Electric cars aren’t cellphones and even if they reach the right conditions, adoption won’t be as fast. But it could be much faster than some people think. Once you reach a certain level of price, performance, familiarity, and infrastructure, things could happen rapidly. At some point, most new car buyers just won’t have much reason to prefer a gasoline car over a fully electric or plug-in hybrid vehicle, and with some help from high oil prices and a better economy, people will be more ready to spend a bit more upfront for big fuel savings over time.

Here are more details on the Tesla Model S from Gas2:

EPA Rates Tesla Model S At 89 MPGe, 265-Mile Range (via Gas 2.0)

It’s hard to believe that of all the major automakers around the world, it took an upstart known as Tesla to build and sell a viable electric car. Sure, the Tesla Model S starts at $50,000 after tax breaks, but the EPA rating now certifies the mileage claims from Tesla itself. The EPA has officially…

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

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  • Anne

    The Michael Graham Richard quote is 100% on target. I have been thinking exactly the same thing.

    People underestimate exponential growth. That’s why so many of those bitter opponents of clean energy have been pooh-poohing pv sales for many years. They simple-mindedly made linear extrapolations, but what was going on was exponential growth.

    The same mistake is being made by the same bitter types that have now shifted their attention to EV’s as the next ‘big green threat’.

    Exponential growth will make sure that some manufacturers will be taken off-guard and fade into oblivion. They missed the sudden shift. Their ceo’s are also thinking linear instead of exponential.

    • Captivation

       The paradox is that all growth is exponential, which means they are true believers without actually knowing what they believe.  I’m personally enthusiastic about most of the exponential miracles that are on the horizon, but feel that some types of growth (population, CO2, land use, etc.) need to end at least on this planet. 

      • well, great way to put a damper on this. 🙁 😉

        totally true though. and, unfort., CO2 emissions and such had a big head-start.

        can’t say i’m optimistic about us adequately tackling the situation… but you never know… until you know. 😛

    • Yeah, definitely. That’s why i just went ahead and block-quoted it. And thanks for adding on. Solar definitely came to mind for me. Growth up until now, and what i think we’ll actually see. I mean, look at just the latest news out of china:
      but think people are starting to get it with solar. with EVs, think most people are still clueless that they could really blow up.

  • Ross

    Elon is the man. I vote to put him in personal charge of saving the planet.

    • he’s awesome. that’s the first i’ve actually seen him speak. what an awesome and humble (it seems) guy.

      • Scienceguyorg

        I purchased a hybrid car a few months ago and I am very pleased with it. When I purchase a new vehicle again in several years I sure hope it will be a pure electric. The hybrid seems like a way for manufacturers to learn the electric side with a large base of cars.  Below is an article I wrote about the basics of hybrids and also pure electric trucks.

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