January 14th, 2015
In what's shaping up to be a race to produce the first mainstream, long-range electric car, automakers are scrambling to combine technology and function for mass production. The problem is that creating an electric car that can be used effectively every day is very expensive - upwards of six figures.
However, Tesla has already released descriptions of the features to its upcoming Tesla Model 3, which includes an electric battery with a 200-mile range with a value of $40,000, according to The Verge. But even so, the car won't be available to the public until 2017.
Because the Model 3 would be a huge step forward for the electric vehicle industry, other manufacturers- some of which are being encouraged by Tesla CEO Elon Musk - are looking to get in on the action as well.
Forbes noted Tesla will be able to produce 2 million cars a year by 2025, though the company's capacity is currently only 30,000 annually. The company has yet to turn a profit on its commitment to electric vehicles but is still pushing further action and innovation from governments, consumers and automakers to rise up to the occasion and make electric cars the way of the future.
"It's important for leaders of the three automakers to accelerate their investment in electric cars in a serious way - I'm not talking about the minimum number of cars for compliance," said Musk, according to Forbes.
Though electric cars have been in production for years, they're still far too expensive for mainstream buyers to take a chance on the new vehicles. But with greater competition on the marketplace, prices could be driven down.
General Motors is already in the works producing the Chevy Bolt, which is comparable to Tesla's Model 3 in range and price. Using lightweight technology and looking to steal Tesla's momentum, the Chevy Bolt would be priced at $30,000, according to Wired.
Car buyers have options when it comes to electric cars, including the Nissan Leaf or the Fiat 500, but these cars don't have the battery power to make such a large investment worthwhile. If Chevy can back up its claims and release the Bolt before Tesla finalizes its Model 3, then the electric car industry could catch on quickly. Once it's determined that electric vehicles can be produced cheaply, other manufacturers may take notice once customers begin buying.
"My sense is that Chevy probably looked at the numbers, cost and range Elon was claiming for the Model 3, and said, 'You know what? We can do that,'" said Kelley Blue Book Analyst Karl Brauer, according to Wired. "I think they're gonna be able to. I don't think they make those claims lightly."
All of these changes could take place in a matter of years depending on just how fast automakers can get their products to the public. And with gas prices subject to frequent fluctuations and governments subsidizing a portion of electric car manufacturing costs, consumers may be apt to make the switch to electric sooner rather than later.
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