When it comes to all-electric vehicles that you’d actually want to be seen behind the wheel of, the only real name that comes to mind is Tesla Motors (TSLA).
After all, the flagship Model S sedan is one of the best vehicles you can buy, and that’s not just among electric cars. Recall that in 2013, the Tesla Model S electric car was crowned Motor Trend Car of the Year, an honor that’s the envy of every auto maker.
Indeed, the success of the Tesla Model S electric car, and the incredible success of TSLA stock (up more than 1000% since it began trading four years ago), has caught the interest of Tesla’s much-bigger rivals. The thinking here is that if Tesla, a small-fry compared to major automakers, can develop an electric car of such quality, and with such a cool factor, then why can’t the bigger guys duplicate that success?
Moreover, at a base sticker price of $69,000, the Model S is the most expensive electric car for sale. So, could the bigger automakers come in with an electric car that goes as far as a Tesla on a single charge, but that costs half as much? Could other luxury automakers such as BMW come up with a luxury, high-performance electric car to rival Tesla? And what about newer technologies? Could other automakers come up with an even more fuel-efficient way, e.g. hydrogen, to power their vehicles?
All three of these factors — competition from other luxury brands, bargain electrics and newer technologies — represent potential threats to Tesla and the electric car throne, currently held by CEO Elon Musk. But potential threats to a juggernaut need to be really strong if you want to dethrone a king like Elon Musk.
So, do other automakers have what it takes to threaten Tesla’s electric car dominance? Admittedly, my bias is in favor of “Team Musk,” but that doesn’t mean I’d drive around in a Model S with blinders on. That’s why it behooves us to look at the possible threats facing TSLA — even if it’s only so we can step on the accelerator and leave the doubters in dust.