The specialist electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has already confounded observers of the motor industry by establishing itself as a serious rival to the biggest and most established manufacturers in the sector. Now the company is flexing its newly developed muscles further by trying to prove that electric cars are going to be an increasingly viable commodity for American consumers in the near future.
It was at one time unthinkable that the electric car could seriously compete with a petrol-driven engine, but Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has recently been highlighting the extent to which its network of charging stations is now covering the mainland of the United States. And they’re doing this via a publicity stunt which will see two teams of Tesla employees drive from Los Angeles to New York using an electric vehicle, a journey which they expect to take three days.
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Tesla charging station network growing
Of course, the system is far from perfect at this point in time. To make this particular trip using Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s existing charging stations does involve the budding electric motorist going 600-800 miles out of his or her way! Despite the fact that Tesla’s existing transcontinental network of chargers is spread across 3,400-600 miles, with a significant number of the devices found on smaller highways.
Nonetheless, the fact that such an undertaking can even be contemplated, let alone carried out, gives some indication of the extent to which the company has made electric motoring a feasible reality in the last few years. Its Model S vehicle has proved extremely popular, particularly in China, and can run as far as 300 miles on a single charge.
While this still makes the vehicles a little logistically inadequate for especially long journeys, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) states that it is adding an extra charging station every day, making the concept of cross-country treks via electric car increasingly feasible. The company anticipates that it will be possible to take direct routes across the United States by the end of the year.
Oil market issues
And perhaps the most obvious selling point of the Model S vehicle is that access to the Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) superchargers is completely free for Tesla owners. While oil prices have yet to explode as has been expected by some, and there continues to be huge government subsidy of this sector in the United States, the fact remains that there could be serious increases in gasoline prices at some point in the future as oil becomes more scarce.
Many people continue to pour scorn on the idea of ‘peak oil’, but it seems fairly clear to me that when we’re seeing fracking now taking place on a pretty large scale and there has been a willingness to allow drilling for oil in the Arctic that there is a pretty desperate desire to find new sources of oil to exploit.
Regardless of where people stand on this issue, the notion of a car that costs you nothing once you’ve bought it is obviously an attractive one to many people. It is possibly this above else that Tesla is banking on in the United States, in contrast to its Chinese operations. It is clear from its previous activity that Tesla considers the world’s second largest economy as a key growth engine and catalyst for its overall efforts, with the East Asian nation particularly open to the notion of the electric due to massive pollution problems caused by rapid industrialization.
Meanwhile, the medium to long-term prospects of the company still look to be very good. Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has been a favorite of short sellers for quite some time, but continues to confound its critics. Its share price virtually quadrupled last year alone, and its excellent prospects have been reflected over the last couple of days with more outstanding trading news.
Meanwhile, the company continues its ambitious program in the North America and Europe. Tesla already has over four dozen showrooms scattered around the United States, while the Model S has shown itself to be a hit in Canada, and is begin to achieve some impressive market penetration in Europe. The more environmentally friendly marketplace that exists in some European nations is enabling Tesla is set to expand its operations in the continent significantly, with Norway’s tax exempt status for electric cars, for example, offering the company a huge sales boost in Scandinavia.
Model S is high performer
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is so emboldened by its recent performances and prospects that it’s even been willing to publicly take on one of the icons of American engineering. A recent YouTube video shows the Tesla Model S taking on the 2014 Corvette Stingray in an amateur drag race at the Palm Beach International Raceway. Despite the perception that electric cars cannot stand up their petrol-driven competitors, the result rather denies conventional wisdom. In fact, the instant torque which is offered by an electric-driven drivetrain in fact gives the Tesla model a slight superiority off the mark.
The future looks extremely bright for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), and if the delay of its much awaited Model X has been a bit of a disappointment, this appears to have occurred due to largely practical reasons. Quite simply, Tesla is happy to ride the crest of their existing wave for the time being.