The Tesla Model S originally went on sale to the general public 10 years ago this week. We had no idea at the time how this revolutionary EV would change the car industry.
Ten years ago, a small startup from California made waves in the car industry with the introduction of the Model S. A firm unlike any other had created an automobile unlike any other thanks to its fast-paced, never-ending innovation and unwavering dedication to vehicle electrification. Tesla would be the first brand-new mainstream automaker to join the American market since the 1980s if it were to be successful.
Ten years later, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, is the richest man in the world and the company is among the most valued on the planet. While the more cheap Model 3 and Model Y sell in much bigger quantities, competition from legacy automakers are finally coming up to the Model S in terms of driving range and performance.
2012 Tesla Model S
The addition of other amenities, such a steering wheel with a yoke design, has also detracted from the premium sedan's core brilliance, as has Musk's public persona.
But Tesla's pursuit of autonomous driving has had the most impact on the Model S's reputation. The business has also kept working to create its "full self-driving" (FSD) package. It is a developing set of tools that can help a driver with parking, lane changes on a highway, turning, and completely stopping at stop signs and traffic lights.
Setting the EV benchmarks
One of the most important cars of our century is still the Model S. The Tesla Model S significantly altered the automobile industry, altering what consumers expected from their vehicles, the car-buying process, and what an EV was capable of.
New way of buying a car
The initial Tesla Model S was exclusively available for purchase online. Automobile manufacturers are now leaning towards an online sales approach. However, Tesla's early days were an experiment for an automaker without an established dealer network and very low volume sales. As a result, Tesla had to start from scratch, which provided the chance to try to develop something novel. They seized those chances and made the most of them.
The Model S was something else totally with its 200-mile range and looks of a premium sedan. For the first time, an electric vehicle has competed against other vehicles and occasionally outperformed them. Drivers had to use a patchwork of charging stations scattered around the United States or charge their cars at home when the Model S first came out. Then Tesla developed a network of fast-charging charging stations, which made owning an EV much simpler and feasible, even on lengthy road journeys.
Additionally, the Model S pioneered the idea of vehicle over-the-air (OTA) software updates. Many modern automobiles may now be updated with software remotely over the airwaves, changing how they operate. However, software upgrades were only available for computers in 2012, and unless you physically altered the car, the one you bought was the one you got.
By adding features or altering controls, these OTA updates improved the Model S. They also resolved issues that arose after the vehicles had been delivered. Tesla consistently improved the Model S over time as if it were a tech product, making improvements independent of traditional manufacturers' model year cycles, which no major carmaker had ever done before.
As much as consumers and critics were drawn to Tesla's strategy, the Model S's success prompted other automakers to rethink how they design and promote their vehicles, particularly when it comes to EVs.
Elon Musk is another factor. He has a much larger Twitter following than any other CEO of an automaker, and he has the potential to make news. And it's obvious that Musk has assisted Tesla in reaching out to a particular American demographic. Elon Musk, the CEO of the EV manufacturer, is a figure that many people can identify with.
However, despite the positive public perception of the committed green-tech entrepreneur who worked on the Model S, Musk is not exempt from criticism.
It's difficult to forecast what will happen to the Model S as the market share for EVs increases, especially as automakers like BMW and Mercedes-Benz introduce new electric flagships.