Why you might own at Tesla or and Electric car in the Next Five years!

By CityFella

A few years ago the State of California approved  rules requiring 15 percent of cars sold in California to be all-electric, plug-in hybrid electric or hydrogen vehicles.   This means in your an automaker 15%  of your fleet must be one of above. Compliance begins with model year 2018. Full compliance is expected by 2025.

A few years ago these cars began appearing on dealers lots buried in the back.  With the exception of Nissan , few marketing dollars has been spent for all electrics and plug-in vehicles.  To make matters worse, prospective buyers often encounter uninformed salespeople.

High Anxiety

For many the downside of owning an all electric car is range.   Most electric vehicles have a very short driving range including the best selling Nissan Leaf has a range under 80 miles.  In Sacramento, that means a shopping tour of the Rocklin area with a stop at an “In and Out’ drive through” could be a little nerve wrecking.

The vehicle with the longest range is the Tesla, the Model S with its basic battery has a range of 208 miles* and 265 miles with the larger battery.    This makes the Tesla the car of choice for commuters.

According to Car Stations.com. there are nearly 130 charging stations in the Sacramento region.   However, it isn’t a one size fits all.  Manufacturers offers an app to direct you to the nearest charging station.   Unlike, gas stations most charging stations are free.  If they are located in parking garages, you pay for parking only.

Electric cars were popular in the early 1900’s  

Electric cars aren’t new, they were popular in the big cities because they were quiet, easy to drive and didn’t pollute.    hey were perfect for short trips around the city, and poor road conditions outside cities meant few cars of any type could venture farther. As more people gained access to electricity in the 1910s, it became easier to charge electric cars, adding to their popularity with all walks of life.

From the History of Electric cars

Many innovators at the time took note of the electric vehicle’s high demand, exploring ways to improve the technology. For example, Ferdinand Porsche, founder of the sports car company by the same name, developed an electric car called the P1 in 1898. Around the same time, he created the world’s first hybrid electric car — a vehicle that is powered by electricity and a gas engine. Thomas Edison, one of the world’s most prolific inventors, thought electric vehicles were the superior technology and worked to build a better electric vehicle battery. Even Henry Ford, who was friends with Edison, partnered with Edison to explore options for a low-cost electric car in 1914, according to Wired.  

Many believed the Model-T killed the electric car.  The massed produced car at $650 was one third the cost of an electric car.  Cheap gas and better roads buried it.   By 1935, nearly all electric cars disappeared.

In the 90’s, General Motors developed an electric car from the ground up.  Because of high production cost GM didn’t believe the EV1 was commercially viable and despite its cult following. GM discontinued the car in 2001 and  repossessed the leased cars and destroyed them.  The remaining vehicles can be found in museums.

Tesla A Player?

With the California mandate, automobile manufactures simply converted combustion engines to electric.  Most manufacturers sell those vehicles at a loss.

Tesla has been around for twelve years now.  Its first car, the Roadster was introduced in 2008.

According the Wikipedia it sold 25oo units.  This car was designed from the ground up to be an electric vehicle. The Roadster cost $102,000, the car was discontinued in 2012.  It had a range of 200 miles.

In 2012, Model S was introduced at a price of $59,000 and depending of the size of the battery offered a range from 160, to 265 miles.   The first year Tesla sold over 22,000 cars.  Last year nearly 32,000 cars sold globally. Tesla builds cars in Fremont, California and in The Netherlands.  This year the Model S is available in Shanghai, China.

Model S has made an impact on the large manufacturers as the Model S has taken sales from the like of Mercedes Benz, BMW, and other luxury brands.



Last June, CEO  Elon Musk  wrote a blog stating. that the company would not initiate lawsuits against anyone who wishes to use their technology in good faith.   To build an all electric car would cost the industry billions.

In the blog post, Elon Musk stated that he was disappointed with the rate at which other car companies were adopting the electric vehicle technology. As the global production of vehicles approaches 100 million per year, electric vehicles only form less than 1% of that number.  Tesla moved into the supplier business in order to nudge other companies into adopting the technology but the company?s efforts so far have not paid off. By granting access to its technology, the company is hoping that more vehicle manufacturers will adopt the technology, thereby growing the market for EV?s. If the move is successful, it could lead to advantageous network effects for the company.

Why you might buy a Tesla or Electric Car in 5 years

In 2000, the Toyota Prius went on sale in the United States at a cost of 22,000.  From 2000 t0 2014 over 1.5 million cars were sold.  Today, Toyota has over 67% of  world the hybrid sales.   With Ford being a distant second.

In 2017, Tesla Gigafactory opens in Reno,Nevada.

In the last quarter of 2017, Tesla plans to build Model 3.

At a projected price of $35,000 and a range of 200 miles this will be the game changer.  The Model 3 will be affordable to more consumers.

In 2013, Edmonds.com measured the cost of owning an Model S vs BMW 7 Series

Average cost of electricity in California: 16 cents per kilowatthour (kWh).

Average cost of premium gas in California in 2013: $4.09

Miles driven: 23,000

Fuel efficiency of the BMW 7 Series: 19 mpg

Fuel efficiency for Tesla: 3 miles/kilowatthour

Cost of electricity to drive the Tesla 23,000 miles: $1,226

Cost of premium gas to drive BMW 7 Series 23,000 miles: $4,951

Money saved on fuel by driving Tesla: $3,724

Obviously, there are many factors that could change the result of these calculations. But most of the variables play in favor of the Tesla. For example, there are many free public charging stations where there is no cost for electricity. The electricity from Tesla’s superchargers is also free. And many people who get a Tesla become enraptured with solar power and have panels installed on their houses. This drops the cost of electricity well below the 16-cent average. Additionally, some utilities reduce rates for charging EVs at night. Southern California Edison, for example, charges only 11 cents kWh for charging after midnight.

Also keep in mind that these figures are just for 23,000 miles. Over 100,000 miles the savings in fuel costs is $16,192.

Tesla has Charging stations all over the country. Today your can drive from San Diego to Vancouver Canada. and from San Diego to New York City using Tesla’s free charging stations along the way.

BMW is building its network of stations.  Of course it would make sense for the industry to adopt Tesla’s charging system, but today its Tesla vs the world.

Map of Tesla charging stations in 2015.

Is this an endorsement of Tesla?

No, its an endorsement of alternative energy. We need alternative to the combustion engine. Despite the improvements it is still largely responsible for air pollution. (Its the number one source in Sacramento) Its an endorsement of cleaner cars.    Before the success of Toyota’s Hybrid System if you wanted an fuel efficient car, you were limited to a small, under powered subcompact car.

Today, you can find hybrid systems of Lincoln’s, BMW and Mercedes Benz.   Today there are 8 passenger Suv’s achieving 27 mpg in the city.  Today the EPA rates the  Lincoln MKZ Hybrid  city mileage at 41 miles per gallon.  A figure unimaginable 20 years ago.

Later this year Toyota will sell the world first hydrogen car the Mirai.

Today, we need Tesla to succeed..