We have in Tesla the Apple of electric cars, but we are still waiting for a Samsung or a Xiaomi
I am one of those people who has been on the iPhone bandwagon for more than a decade. And as their satellites have emerged (Apple Watch, AirPods) I have been expanding the collection, and therefore, the dependency. It is something within the reach of almost anyone. As much as Apple bears the justifiable “expensive brand” label, Almost anyone can go the extra mile if they want to and buy an iPhone from previous years or turn to the second-hand market. A brand new high-end iPhone may be prohibitive, but there are alternatives for those who want to get on that car without having to pawn grandma’s jewelry.
In the market of cars We have a manufacturer, Tesla, who has certain parallels with Apple: high priority to design, minimalist and sober lines, an obsession to kill the buttons and prices that freeze the blood of the average Spaniard. Not even his most economical model not even the second-hand market (which slowly depreciates previous models) is enough for Tesla to be an Apple in terms of prices: not “almost anyone” can afford a Tesla sacrificing some social plan and cutting in superfluous expenses. Not even second-hand, where only a very high amount of kilometers per year could make the accounts of future fuel savings come out.
Even though Tesla makes headlines, it actually the bulk of us need a Samsung or a Xiaomi electric car. Someone offering various alternatives at more popular prices for mortals. Surely that is the career of this five years, and that is the gap that remains to be filled by the manufacturers. Of course, it is not just due to lack of will.
The intersection that remains empty
This concept is not mine, but of Bloomberg, in whose opinion It is Volkswagen who is running as the possible Samsung of electric cars (time will tell if he succeeds). A few days ago he celebrated the ‘VW Power Day‘and most of the event did not feature future designs or models, but lithium batteries from the next generations and the factories that will develop them and be opened by the German manufacturer in the coming years.
One of my childhood books was called ‘Your key is Jonah’. It was one of those “choose your own adventure” and the author was kind enough to give us the key in the same title. It was a time when spoilers they didn’t matter too much, let’s remember the magazine that titled “Chanquete dies on Sunday” on the cover days before the episode is broadcast. On the future of the electric car reaching the masses we also know in advance what your key is: batteries, which still represent almost a third of the final price of the car. And knowing this, we face the next few years. Consumers and manufacturers.
The batteries they have become much cheaper in the last ten years and the prospect is that they will continue to do so. Precisely Tesla in his Battery Day de 2020 announced a redesign of its cells that would allow, according to them, to lower the forecast of the cost of batteries (even more) for the next few years.
The challenge is to get cars with at least 400 kilometers of autonomy for sale for between 12,000 and 28,000 euros approximately (a fork marked by the qualities and power of each model). No one is there yet. At that intersection marked by the following graph, the land is still empty.
To fill that gap it is difficult to wait for Tesla, at least in the medium term. His Model 3, which was going to arrive for $ 35,000, is still in Spain at 60,000 euros in its base model. The $ 35,000 arrived a couple of years ago, although not to all markets and with 354 kilometers (EPA cycle) of autonomy. Far from the required minimum of 400 kilometers for those looking for a first car, not a second, and far from prices for all. Will have to wait to compact.
Volkswagen, Kia, Skoda, Renault, Nissan … are approaching that gap that is still empty. That of the Xiaomi and the Samsung in an analogy with consumer electronics. At the moment we can settle for alternatives beyond 30,000 euros, or more affordable vehicles that provide little more than urban uses, but not to be a single car to rely on for all future situations. The other alternative is to finance ten years, interest through, and end up paying more for the collar than for the dog. Phew.