And Tesla Just Did Something Really Big

20-Jul-2015

Tesla has rocked the world of high-performance automobiles with the introduction of its new “Ludicrous mode” rapid acceleration feature. The internal-combustion engine business may never be the same. 

Regular readers of mine usually know at least two things about me: First, I believe that all predictions are silly, more about marketing than actually trying to figure out what comes next. Second, I am a fan of sleek, go-fast machines, preferably beautiful ones from Italy, Germany or the U.K. 

Thus, I am going to break with both of these traditions to make a forecast about the future of the automotive industry. Gasoline-powered cars are toast. They are over, finito, kaput, the walking dead who have not yet realized they are goners. It is highly likely that in your lifetime, you will no longer see the mass manufacturing of gasoline-powered automobiles. My guess is that by 2035, if not sooner, the majority of automobiles sold in the U.S. and Europe will no longer be gasoline-powered. 

Tesla and Toyota have been the two companies driving much of the technology changes for clean alternatives to gas-powered drivetrains. What Tesla has done with its “Ludicrous mode” upgrade for the Model S is figure out how to put almost all of the power in its system to all four wheels at once without melting its engine-management components. 

The Tesla P85D with the complete 90kWh “ludicrous” upgrade costs about $100,000. The upgrade gives it a 0 to 60 mph time of 2.8 seconds. To put that into context, to get that sort of acceleration from a car previously required a Porsche 918 Spyder (0 to 60 in 2.3 seconds) or a Bugatti Veyron (2.6 seconds) or a Koenigsegg One (2.5 seconds). They each cost $1.1 million, $2.9 million and $3.8 million, respectively. (by Barry Ritholtz, Bloomberg Business)


Read More...