Recently venture capitalist and Tesla investor Tim Draper declared that Detroit “…[has] lost the electric car battle.” Draper was a speaker at the Detroit Techonomy Conference which “…believes in the potential of technology to make the world a happier, healthier, wealthier, and more peaceful place.”
Tesla Motors recently began delivering its well-reviewed Model S which has the potential to shake-up the automotive industry with its innovative design and manufacturing processes, but to call the race over is premature. The electric car battle wasn’t over when GM launched the ill-fated EV1, and certainly isn’t over with the launch of Tesla’s Model S.
This in no way denies the bright future for electric vehicles (EVs) – someday. As battery technology improves and the number of public charging stations increase, EVs sales will definitely grow. But if hybrid sales are any indicator that growth will be slow, after a decade in the marketplace and acceptance by consumers, hybrids only represent 3% of vehicle sales in the United States. With most vehicles still powered by conventional engines, rather than question if the electric car battle is over, it might be smarter to wonder if it has even yet begun.
Full story at Detroit Free Press