Anyone who has followed the Tesla story over the last few years would know that one of the primary talking points against the electric car manufacturer is the impending competition coming from more experienced, more competent car manufacturers. Critics argued that when older automakers become serious about their electric car efforts, a company as inexperienced as Tesla would be easily overwhelmed. This scenario has not happened at all – and if Tesla’s recent range updates to its S3XY series are anything to go by, it’s becoming clear that hereditary machines have fallen ridiculously behind in the electric car race.
Tesla’s recent series updates, which were rolled out along with the “update”
It should be noted that Tesla was able to make these improvements without any of the major updates that it announced during Battery Day. During the highly anticipated event, Tesla unveiled its batteries’ new 4680 form factor, which has 5 times the volume of Model 3 and Model Y’s 2170 cells. Tesla also announced a new vehicle production system that prioritizes single-piece molding and a structural battery pack. Other innovations, such as the use of high nickel cathodes and silicon anodes, were also discussed.
None of these innovations are found in Tesla’s recently updated vehicles.
Finally, Tesla’s recent updates highlight how far the company has gone ahead of the package in the electric car sector. The fact that the electric car manufacturer was able to achieve a range of 371 kilometers for the Model X Long Range Dual Motor AWD with the same 100 kWh battery pack and the same 18650 cells as its predecessor Model X 100D is almost ridiculous. This is especially noteworthy considering that the Audi e-tron, which has a battery pack that is almost the same size as the Model X, has a range of 222 miles, and that is the variant with improved range already.
Tesla’s lead within range becomes even more marked when considering the Model 3 and Model Y, both of which use a battery pack that basically fills up to 75 kWh. A comparison of the two vehicles against the competition shows a stark contrast to the Polestar 2, a car that is largely considered a legitimate rival to the Model 3, which has an EPA-estimated range of 233 miles from a 78 kWh battery pack. The Jaguar I-PACE, a crossover that is quite close to size Y to Model Y, follows the same pattern and has an EPA-estimated range of 246 miles per second. Charging from a 90 kWh battery.
There are probably many reasons for Tesla’s insane leadership in the electric car sector today, but much of it probably has a lot to do with the company’s intense focus on battery technology and development. Tesla has been focused on improving and optimizing its batteries since day 1, and as could be seen in the latest series updates of the S3XY series, this obsessive pursuit of optimization means a lot. These efforts are not at all imitated by most older automakers, as veterans typically appear to be content to use non-shelf batteries from vendors for their EV programs.
Still, perhaps the most unpleasant reason for the older car’s distance from Tesla’s vehicles today is something far simpler: hubris. While older automakers have stated for years that they are serious about their future switch to electric cars, their actions have largely been far less tangible than their words. Today, it’s almost as if Tesla’s competitors in the EV sector were too comfortable just watching the electric car manufacturer improve over the years. And now that Tesla has become a force that is very difficult to ignore, they are encrypting to catch up.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to catch a moving target. By the time older carmakers can catch up with where Tesla is today, it is almost certain that the electric carmaker will be even further ahead. This distance is also likely to be even longer, as Tesla’s next-generation battery technology has not yet entered the picture. When Tesla’s 4680 cells are in production and its vehicles are built with structural battery packs, the gap between the electric car manufacturer and its competitors will certainly be even greater. And that, at least for older cars, is a scenario worthy of the final act of a tragedy.