Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Model 3: Tesla's Final Push to Force the Hand of Automakers Everywhere

Elon Musk is a man of change, not of profit. He doesn't exceed expectations: he defies all doubts. Telling him "it can't be done" proves futile. He continues to do more and more with what he has, and today, March 31, 2016, might be the day he irreversibly changes the auto industry.

by S. Alex Martin

*Update: As of April 6, Tesla had 325,000 pre-orders, more than three-times what they expected to have by production time in late-2017. Elon was so surprised, he tweeted, "Definitely going to need to rethink production planning." Prior to this, Tesla didn't expect to produce 500,000 cars/year until 2020. Clearly, that will need to change--and quickly.

Keeping the status quo has never been a strong point for Elon Musk. In fact, he's actively taking steps to destroy it. At first his impression was small, a name people would laugh at. Looking at him, you wouldn't think he'd be the man who would one day fundamentally change the world.

Now he has a name you know will go down in the history books. His two biggest companies, SpaceX and Tesla, have demanded attention not just from the scientific community, but from the general public, too. It's no longer possible to ignore the impact Musk is having on the world, especially in today's politics and economies. Everyone knows Tesla's self-driving cars. Everyone knows about the rocket that landed itself after going to space (and the now-infamous attempts to land rockets at sea). All our lives are being affected by the unstoppable willpower of Elon Musk.

Tesla's Model S debuted in 2012. It spent two years as Consumer Reports' #1-rated vehicle, to the point of literally breaking their scale and being hailed as the "best performing car ever tested." Of course, costing nearly $100k, only the wealthiest people could afford it, but that was all part of Musk's so-called master plan. In his own words:

"Build sports car. Use that money to build an affordable car. Use that money to build an even more affordable car. While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options.

Don't tell anyone." (Source)

The car that broke the rating's back

The Model X debuted (finally) in 2015, costing $130k, even more elite and pricey than the Model S. Some critics have said the Model X was a grandiose dream but, ultimately, a mistake. Even though it's the car of the future we've all been waiting for, even fewer people can afford it. Still, Tesla pushes forward, and now they've reached the moment that will determine the future of the world as we know it.


Early on, nobody was worried about Tesla. Other automakers laughed them off. Electric vehicles have come and gone, and the closest we've come to seeing on the roads are upper-end hybrids like the Toyota Prius. Going fully electric is something that has never stuck around--until now--and it's no laughing matter.

With Tesla's grand announcements and the release of its patents to promote competition, suddenly giant companies like BMW, GM, and Chevrolet decided they needed to act fast. They seem to think Tesla might actually be a threat.

But there's one inherent problem with that line of thinking: Tesla isn't a threat, nor does it want to be. The goal of Tesla is to end our dependency on fossil fuels, and meet our energy needs with one simple source of unlimited power: sunlight. One hour of sunshine on the Earth is equal to the total amount of energy the entire world uses--IN ONE YEAR (Source: page 10).

With tonight's reveal of the Model 3, and the thousands of pre-orders already being made, Tesla is at the center of attention all around the world. The Model 3, before incentives, will cost $35,000, an affordable price for most consumers (sadly, you can only reserve two per customer). So GM, BMW, and Chevrolet all went and made their own electric cars. Chevy, however, got cocky, and describes its Bolt as the "Tesla Killer," despite not yet having a reputation for quality electric vehicles.

The Tesla Killer itself. Only takes 9 hours to charge...compared to Tesla's 20 minutes.

Although these companies are making their campaigns about the "Tesla threat," really, it's just an illusion. Musk wants them to develop EVs. He wants them to compete with Tesla. Musk is trying to show the world that it's not about making money--Tesla has yet to earn a profit--but rather, it's about fundamentally changing the way the world operates, starting with our energy needs.

So we have to wonder, if Musk hadn't done this...
...who would?

So if you haven't pre-ordered your Model 3, it's only $1,000 and fully-refundable before production begins in 2017. The world is changing. Will you be a part of it?


Watch this Tesla commercial:

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