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List of “Tesla Fighters”

That’s it. That’s the full list. Story over.

Well, actually, the story isn’t over….

Tesla Model S Brown Amsterdam 3

Quite hilariously (or not), the media is fond of writing about “Tesla fighters” who will finally give Tesla* some competition. But the thing is, there isn’t a single actual “Tesla fighter” on the market. If you look at the list of electric cars on the market today, let’s first be frank and note that the only plug-in cars in the price vicinity of a Tesla Model S (240-270 miles of all-electric range, 0–60 mph in 3.1 to 5.4 seconds, insane touchscreen & software/tech package) are the Cadillac ELR (only 37 miles of electric range, 4 seats, 0–60 mph in 7.8 seconds doesn’t compare, tech package doesn’t compare, but is reportedly a bit more plush), Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid (only 14 miles of electric range), Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid (only 22 miles of electric range), and Volvo V60 PHEV (only 31 miles of electric range according to generous European testing). The notes in parentheses explain well enough, but for a little backup, let’s look at US sales figures in 2015 so far (I don’t have solid European figures, so am leaving the Volvo V60 PHEV out):

  • Tesla Model S = 11,254 (informed estimate)
  • Cadillac ELR = 593
  • Porsche Cayenne S E-Hybrid = 542
  • Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid = 230

I rest my case.

But most stories about “Tesla fighters” are about future models, concept cars. Many of them are still plagued with the limitations of the “competitors” above — low electric range and/or much weaker acceleration and/or a much less exciting and useful infotainment system and software. But assuming they somehow do get all of these things lined up, there’s still one obvious issue that too many outlets seem to miss….

Tesla Model S 2

As CleanTechnica reader jeffhre noted the other day, “the announcements for Tesla fighters from OEMs are at around 2019. That should work out well — for competing against the Model S — of 2012!”

Yep, these stories are often about models planned for 2018, 2019, 2020, etc. Saying a 2019 model is a competitor to a 2012 model is… stretching it. And the question is: do you really think Tesla’s 2019 models are not going to be leagues better than its 2012 model? (Just sayin’.)

Oh, and let’s remember another thing: Tesla owners can Supercharge for free forever. Drivers of all other electric models don’t just have to pay for charging, but they can’t access Tesla’s stupendous network of Superchargers at all! Make no doubt about it — the Supercharger networks in the US and Europe (and growing fast elsewhere) are big draws for many buyers. Other electric car drivers don’t have anything that compares.

So, next time you see an article about another “Tesla fighter,” perhaps direct the writer and readers over here.

Tesla Model S 3

All images by Zachary Shahan | EV Obsession | CleanTechnica (CC BY-SA 4.0)

*Full Disclosure: I’m long TSLA, for obvious reasons.


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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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