The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Just Plain Wrong

It's interesting that many conservatives' reaction to electric vehicle manufacturer, Tesla Motors, is negative. Part of it, I think, is that environmentalists generally support electric vehicles, and because of their attempts to coerce our entire economy to see the world as they see it, any product that is green is suspect in the eyes of some conservatives. Another element is that Tesla Motors received government backing and continues to receive tax credits—something that conservatives object to. And part of it is the reactionary view that old ways (the internal combustion engine, car dealerships) are under attack and Tesla Motors is an prima facie example of that.

In a post at Glen Reynold's Instapundit (a right of center blog), commenters railed against Tesla Motors. As an EV owner myself, I felt compelled to respond. Here's what I wrote:
So let me see if I've got this straight. A significant percentage of the "conservatives" commenting here are against an innovative American company, employing 3,500 people at its factory in the USA and another 5,000 at its other U.S. facilities, getting rave reviews from every major auto mag, and getting an unprecedented five star safety rating across the board, because ... oh heavens, it got a government loan (which it paid back in full) ... and the horror, Tesla gets tax credits just like dozens and dozens of other companies including all of the major car companies.

And then there are the "populists" who are aghast that the car costs about $100K. Hmmm, it's a friggin' premium car, it's supposed to cost a lot of money, just like BMWs, Mercedes, and Audis. Oh wait, most of those premium vehicles are built overseas by workers outside the USA. The interesting thing is that good ole Tesla is eating their lunch in some market segments ... that's why the foreign companies are moving fast to build their own lines of EVs.

Finally, there are the "techies" who argue that it's all about range. For crying out loud, the average American drives considerably less than 50 miles a day (The Model S has a range of 265 miles). Tesla took the initiative and built a supercharger network that allows a Model S owner to drive from Miami to New York or New York to LA. That's investment and innovation and a lot more customer care that I've ever seen from a 20th century car company.

When I watch a Tesla P90D blow the doors off a 700 HP Dodge Hellcat at the drag strip, I have to smile at the "conservatives," "populists" and "techies" who argue that there's no place in the market for EVs. Sure, EVs may not be for everyone, but that doesn't mean the company can't capture significant market share over time.

And when Tesla introduces their $35,000 Model 3 in March, 2016 (for delivery in 2017), I suspect that Bob Lutz's GM [the focus of the post] just might be the company that is doomed.

I'm not sure that Glen Reynolds is "against" Tesla Motors and the Model S/X, but if he is, on this subject, he's short-sighted and just plain wrong.
'Nuff said.