The Changing Landscape of the EV Industry

by Gill D on September 21, 2020

If you were living in the United States five years ago and you wanted to buy an electric car, you had 3 options: the Tesla Model X crossover SUV, the Tesla Model S luxury sedan, and the Nissan Leaf compact hatchback. That was it. And they all came with hefty price tags keeping the EV out of reach for most people.

Fast forward five years and we have 13 electric vehicle models and 25 plug-in hybrids, excluding model variants. And there are still new models going into production. It’s not just the normal car but now its sportscars, pickup trucks, and electric semi-trucks that we can expect to come to market.

That’s quite a change in five years, which indicates we will have a plethora of options available by 2025. While the EV industry is expanding, it’s no guarantee that all new EV models will be a flying success. Every major player in the car manufacturing business is either offering or working on producing at least one EV model. New players coming to the EV game with the likes of Nikola, Volkswagen, and Lucid are sure to heat up the competition. However, EV pioneer, Tesla currently holds several patents in electric vehicle technology, which has given the company an edge with a head start.

But there are some bigger questions about the different technologies that will be utilized. What type of batteries will be used? Who will have the longest range? Will charging stations become universally standardized?

Some of the car makers, including Nikola and Lordstown Motors, have not even manufactured a vehicle before. There’s a lot to catch up on to work out design flaws, manufacturing and technological challenges – most of which Tesla has spent years ironing out. One thing we can say for certain is that the electric vehicle landscape is rapidly changing and although it shows a lot of promise, we’ll have to wait and see which models become a true success or spectacular failure.  

However, new developments could take the entire industry to an unexpected place. And one particular event scheduled for tomorrow, 22 September could be a game changer for those who’ve barely made it off the starting block.

Tesla’s Battery Day has investors, consumers, and the EV industry expecting big things from the established electric car company. Morgan Stanley’s auto analyst, Adam Jonas says, “We expect the event to be potentially narrative changing for Tesla and the battery market.”

Rumors of Tesla’s battery manufacturing and production efficiency have everyone waiting with bated breath to see just how big of a leap forward Tesla will be making. Battery costs are a big deal for EV manufacturers. Historically, electric vehicles were (and still are) more expensive up front than gasoline-powered models simply because high-tech batteries cost more than a gas tank.

Tesla has been working on Project Roadrunner, the ‘secret’ project to improve on all aspects of a battery design. There’s even talk about Musk throwing in a wild card at Battery Day to proclaim that Tesla will become the number one supplier of batteries to the EV industry. Producing and selling batteries and battery systems to other auto makers will definitely give the car maker a forward boost.

It could cement Elon Musk’s company in the lead for several more years leaving other EV manufacturers lagging far behind. The Tesla boss has kept us waiting and the industry is full of buzz with comments from Musk that Battery Day is going to “blow our minds”. While it’s all a bit vague on what to expect, Musk sure knows how to build up hype.

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