Friday, May 10, 2013
Consumer Reports gave the Tesla Model S electric vehicle an outstanding rating, but is it enough to get over anxiety about the range of these cars? The Model S is a luxury car designed for short to middle-distance commutes. For longer ranges, it is hampered by a lack of charging stations and by the time it takes to top off its batteries. There is an opinion that without major breakthroughs in battery technology, electric vehicles will never be popular. Citizens will refuse to wait even 30 minutes for a quick charge. From a PR perspective, Tesla has a challenge that might be insurmountable. It might do well as a niche vehicle but can it ever become a mass-market product? Should the company every think that way? Perhaps remaining a small company is the most profitable course of action to take -- a company that is close to its public and listens to them carefully. Other car companies have taken this course successfully, notably Porsche whose sports cars were never built for the masses. Tesla has the credibility, but what can it do with it?