Model S

Tesla & DIgital Cameras & Disruption?

edited November -1 in Model S
In 2000 I bought a Nikon D1 digital camera for $6,500.

People marveled to see a photo instantly on the back screen that I could download on my computer.

Today, people marvel to ride in my Tesla that feels like a magic carpet ride.

The technology from my D1 trickled down so that everybody could own a digital camera.

Pretty soon, my Tesla will not stand out so much.

Everybody will have a hot EV as prices get cheaper.

And they won't buy these EV's for lower emissions or greenhouse gases.

They will buy because an EV far exceeds an ICE car in performance, maintenance and fun.

In 5-8 years digital cameras all but replaced film cameras.

Will a similar disruption take place with EV's?

When will this disruption start?

And how long will this disruption take?

How deep will this disruption be?


  • edited November -1
    The disruption is already starting: hybrid cars are commonplace, and BEVs are well-known, even if the price and range often keeps today's buyers away.

    Unfortunately, battery technology reportedly improves only 5-10% per year, instead of doubling every 18 or 24 months as semiconductor technology has. So, it will take substantially longer for combustion cars to be relegated to the niches in the same manner as 35mm film cameras.

    Personal speculation: In five years, most major manufacturers will offer electric cars with 200+ mile range, and they'll partner with utilities to make DCFC generally available. At that point, BEVs will be seen as special-purpose alternatives to ICEs and they'll be a noticeable percentage of the new car market, like convertibles or sports cars are today.

    In ten years, the FUD will have faded, and the general public will compare BEVs and ICEs as they compare ICE models today.

    In twenty years, half of the cars on the road will be BEVs and they'll far outsell ICEs.
  • edited November -1
    I think most people don't fully appreciate just how awesome it is to plug in your car and wake up every morning with the equivalent of full tank. They think charging an EV is like putting gas in a car but takes 10x longer, and that sounds terrible to them. Once it sinks in you can charge at home, for less money than they spend on gas, then EVs will really take off.
  • edited November -1
    Tesla isn't a disruptive innovator as used in the original definition of that term (,

    Disruption theory describes low-end products being offered in to a market that eventually over-runs established players by increasing quality to an acceptable level but at a lower price. I don't think Model X or S fit into that,

    What is interesting to me is Model 3 could be in the way that the Nikon D1 wasn't the disruptive product, rather it was the introduction of good enough digital camera on smartphones, that appealed to everyone. So if the Model 3 is a good enough electric car at a cheap enough price (to buy and run and maintain so free supercharge use would be significant) then I think you could call that car (rather than Tesla) disruptive. That's not a given though, and traditional players will offer significant competition.

    It might be more useful to look at the market in terms of "personal transportation" rather than just a car though, and then you get to the idea that subscribing to a car service that provides a good enough quality service (you use your app to call an autonomous car when you need one) at a much lower cost than buying and owning a car is the truly disruptive innovation.
  • edited November -1

    What do you think it costs you to fill your battery from zero range to maximum range? It's not as cheap as you might think. You may assume that there is a 20 percent loss in converting from AC to DC and DC to AC. Who is your utility provider and what do they charge per KWh during the time that you charge?
  • edited November -1
    a while
  • edited November -1
    @compchat : It costs me about $0.09 per kWh to charge overnight (PGE EV-A rate), or about $0.03 per mile. A gas car that gets 20MPG at $2/gallon costs about $0.10 per mile.
  • edited November -1
    +1 @Chunky. Perhaps that is partly why CA is the EV capital of the country.

    Here in CT, electricity costs more, gas costs less, and ICE get better mileage.
  • edited November -1
    @tes : I used 20MPG because that is about what my Acura TL got driving around town (closer to 18), and that is a majority of my driving. Gas is more than $2/gallon here. I don't pay much attention, but I think it is about $2.50 for regular unleaded, maybe a bit less.

    Even if the costs were the same, the convenience is worth it. It seems like every other time I have to go somewhere and need to take our other car (Acura MDX) I have to stop and get gas first. It used to just be a part of life, and now it seems like an incredible pain in the you know what. Once you get used to charging at home, you realize how inconvenient it is to have to get gas.

    I used to live in a condo right next to some train tracks. Lived there for 3 years and the trains didn't bother me at all. Then I bought a house somewhere quiet, and while waiting for escrow to close, the sound of the train started driving me nuts. I couldn't wait to get out of that place. That's the closest I can think of to the experience of gas stations vs charging at home.
  • edited November -1
    SoCal: Regular dino fluid $2.70/gal. EV off peak SCE rate ~$.12/kWh.

    EV is still far cheaper. As a rough benchmark, multiply your electric rate per kWh, multiply by 10. If that is less than the price of gasoline in your area, EV is cheaper.
  • edited November -1
    Sorry - forgot the smiley... Even with the more stringent CA emissions, I think mpg is pretty much the same everywhere.

    The efficiency/economics of ICE vs EV improves in cold weather, since the heat from the ICE normally wasted is used for heating the cabin while EV has to expend additional electricity to heat the cabin and battery.

    Agree about the convenience, and also add in the driving experience. EV driving is MUCH better than ICE driving - quiet, smooth, powerful.

    Using the "multiply by 10 rule" in CT is about the same. $.17/kWh and $1.70 gas.
  • edited November -1
    The disruption started in June 2012 when the MS came out.
  • edited November -1
    @compchat: What does it cost you?
  • edited October 2019
    I predict in 5-10 years the 2nd hand value of ICE cars will plummet.
    End of road travel CO2 emissions.
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