orgtheory.net

electric car innovation puzzle

The Tesla has attracted a great deal of attention because it has achieved an important technical breakthrough – a fully charged battery will support 300 (!) miles of driving. In other words, daily charging is enough for most people most of the time. That’s a huge breakthrough – the Nissan Leaf only promises about 100 miles per full charge, which a lot of people would use up just commuting.

Here’s a question – what allowed Tesla to pull this off? A few hypotheses:

  • Luck. Tesla isn’t any different, it just so happened that the engineers got lucky.
  • Tweaking. Tesla just kept tweaking a design that was already there. Maybe they just work a bit faster, or they had more money to throw at the problem.
  • Semi-marginality. Tesla is not tied to the auto industry, so it is easier for them to think outside the box.

Anyone have insight on this? Other theories?

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Written by fabiorojas

June 13, 2013 at 12:06 am

3 Responses

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  1. None of the above. They don’t have any magic, they just don’t give a shit about maintaining a realistic price point because it’s a (heavily subsidized) luxury good, not mass market.

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    gabriel rossman

    June 13, 2013 at 3:23 am

  2. I agree with the none of the above comment. they simply use a lot more battery module and charge much higher price (including subsidy). the bottleneck remains the battery technology.

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    Peter MacCormack

    June 13, 2013 at 10:54 pm

  3. The battery size is the greatest difference. The Nissan Leaf has a 24 kW*h battery, the Tesla Model S comes with either a 60 or 85 kW*h.

    Like

    Zack Tillotson

    June 14, 2013 at 8:25 pm


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