Tesla Dominates KBB Awards, Battery Day & “Full Self Driving” Price Increase Rescheduled

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Tesla recently won 5 out of 6 Kelley Blue Book 2020 Brand Image awards for luxury cars. The company wasn’t shy about celebrating.

Here’s how KBB describes its Brand Image awards. “The Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards are given in recognition of automakers who excel in creating and maintaining brand attributes that create excitement about their products. This favorable brand image can attract the attention of new car shoppers, a critical element in their ultimate success in the marketplace.

Image credit: Combo of photo from Zach Shahan/CleanTechnica and image from Kelley Blue Book.

“New vehicles are important as a means of transportation, but also as a way for buyers to express themselves through brand image. How important is this? Look at a notable development with this year’s awards. An electric-car maker has broken through to come out on top in a number of categories. This reflects a paradigm shift in consumer attitudes towards the types of vehicles they admire and aspire to own. (emphasis added) It also bodes well for similar products which a wide swath of manufacturers have announced.

“This data doesn’t come from an online poll or a quick survey. The Kelley Blue Book Brand Image Awards draw on insights from more than 12,000 in-market, new-vehicle shoppers who research their purchases on KBB.com. This data is compiled as part of our annual Brand Watch Study, which is designed to track consumer trends and attitudes towards new vehicles on the market today.”

The domination of the awards is richly deserved, with one caveat. The awards are all for what Kelley Blue Book calls “Luxury Cars.” There are lots of Tesla owners who don’t think of themselves as driving a luxury car. In their view, the are simply driving the best car available.

While the price of a Tesla is certainly not in bargain-basement territory, the average price of a new car in America today is rapidly approaching $40,000, which just so happens to be the starting price of the Model 3. So it’s not like Teslas are way above the price of “ordinary” cars, as many Tesla detractors would have you believe. When you consider the cost of ownership benefits, it looks even better for Tesla.

Battery Day Moves To May

Those who have been impatiently waiting for Tesla’s Battery Day will have to wait a little longer, thanks to the coronavirus and social distancing. The good news is it will streamed online whenever it does happen. Many hoped it would happen on April 20 — the numbers 4/20 having special significance for Tesla addicts — but, alas, the event will probably happen sometime in May according to an Elon Musk tweet.

During the Q4 earnings call, Elon told the audience, “Wait until Battery Day. It’s gonna blow your mind. It blows my mind, and I know it!” Should be an awesome event.

Full Self Driving (FSD) Price Increase Update

There is also news via Twitter of a price increase for the Full Self Driving upgrade available to Tesla owners. This has been delayed several months, but you can now look for the cost of FSD looks set to go up sometime after July 1. Or not. We’ll find out in a few months.

If you are planning to buy a new Tesla and you want the FSD package, you might want to order yours now before the price increase takes effect.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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