Tesla has an edge over its rivals who are still working on electric vehicle concept designs. This does not make Tesla CEO Elon Musk complacent, and he recently provided insights into the competition that the big car firms pose in an interview.
Big car firms have huge resources
Tesla will start deliveries of its third car, the Model X, and is having a pleasant ride in the EV space to date. Even though it has a notable head start in the segment, the firm is still relatively small and hence vulnerable. Moreover, major car companies are already preparing for moving into the electric cars segment.
Musk has always maintained that the competition from the big automakers does not scare him at all. He firmly believes that the electric vehicles are the future of transportation, and thinks this idea will move closer to reality when more car makers show interest in the EV space.
Musk was excited about competition in the EV space and welcomed it initially, but now he has started acknowledging the risk that big automakers can pose to a startup like Tesla. “The big car companies and big energy companies have quite sharp elbows…so they try to squash small companies like Tesla,” Musk said during an interview with the Danish newspaper Børsen.
Volkswagen leading the charge against Tesla
As big car companies enter the EV space with their own electric cars, the situation could get worse for Tesla. The big firms have an abundance of cash, marketing networks and production capabilities using which they could use to stampede Tesla out of the market.
Volkswagen, the giant German automaker in the headlines today for a diesel emissions scandal, is leading the assault against Tesla in the high-end luxury market. At a recent auto show in Frankfurt, Volkswagen showed its interest in the EV space though it premium brands Audi and Porsche.
Audi recently unveiled E-Tron Quattro, which is capable of beating Tesla Model X in terms of specs and range. The vehicle is expected to hit the roads in 2017, but by that time it will be two years behind Model X. On the other hand, Porsche has also made an effort to blend luxury with high performance in an EV through its Mission E concept car.