June 22, 2016
Environmental concerns and technology are bringing major changes to the auto industry. In this area, Tesla has been a leader. The company leapt into the fuel-efficient automobile arena by introducing electric cars that outperform those made by other auto companies. Because of this, a new dimension has arrived to the auto industry. The new dynamic is causing carmakers to focus their development efforts on innovation and search for ways to bring electric technology to the market faster than the competition. During the last few years, Tesla has shown the world the potential of electric vehicles. It’s done this by demonstrating that electric vehicles are a solid replacement for gasoline-powered cars. Tesla’s highway capable automobiles and extended driving range are tempting major carmakers to the electric market. Several mainstream automakers did attempt to bring vehicles featuring this technology to car buyers in the past. These companies failed to be successful due to a lack of commitment and little interest from car buyers. A few automakers added electric cars to their lineup in an attempt to keep traditionally fueled vehicles a part of key markets. Toyota falls into this category. In 1992, the car company established an electric vehicle development division. It did this to meet California’s zero emissions regulation that was passed in 1990. With this rule in place, zero exhaust emission vehicles must make up 2 percent of a car company’s total units sold in the state. California gave automakers until 1998 to follow through with the requirement. Honda made an attempt at an electric vehicle in 1997. The car was called the Honda EV Plus. However, the car company limited the production of the vehicle. In fact, only several hundred cars came off the line. Ford and General Motors also attempted to enter the electric automobile sector early on. Car companies referred to these vehicles as future methods of transportation. The cars also gave the automakers good publicity, but no one made the vehicles mainstream until Tesla entered the picture. The automobile industry has always been driven by capital. From 2008 to 2009, the entire industry suffered a financial crisis with established automakers like Chrysler and General Motors spending time in bankruptcy court. This was when Tesla entered the market by launching its first electric car, which was called the Roadster. This vehicle wasn’t a big financial success, but its power and potential turned enough heads for Tesla to continue its efforts in the industry. When Tesla launched the Model S in 2012, the vehicle brought considerable change to the industry. Other automakers took notice while car buyers appreciated having access to an alternately fueled vehicle. Investor confidence has also increased in the company. With these factors in play, it certainly seems that Tesla has changed the auto industry’s dynamic.