Tesla has shown several areas where they have a distinct and growing lead over legacy Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) competitors.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY by @GeorgeHawley
"A company succeeds by profitably pursuing their mission.... Tesla has jumped the automobile market and has locked in their lead with:"
• Great cars (S, X, and 3) including performance, features, looks, range, and safety
• Worldwide Supercharger and Destination networks
• Big battery factory
• Big, automated car factory
• Tesla fans, early adopters, and technology enthusiasts
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Clear Motivation
2. Energized Workforce
3. Safety First
4. Charging Networks
5. Battery Pack Helps
6. Style and Substance: Franz von Holzhausen and JB Straubel
7. The Gigafactory: Tesla's Not-so Secret Weapon
8. Controlling Costs and Customer Experience
9. A Much Better Driving Experience
10. High-tech Features
11. The Tesla Effect: Fans, Early Adopters, and Technology Enthusiasts
12. First-mover and Competitive Advantages
13. The Model 3 has Innovative Design Features
14. Demand, Supply and Profits
15. Strategic Engineering Choices
16. Why Not Join Supercharger Network?
17. Pride, Prejudice, and Perspective
• Some Other Posts
• References to Other Contributors
• About This Post
• Change Log
• Mollom work-around Endnotes
1. CLEAR MOTIVATION
• Tesla's mission statement[1.1] takes the clear unambiguous higher ground and does not pander to purely financial opportunities or technical sensibilities.
• Elon wrote the Secret Master Plan (Part 1)[1.2] to let everyone paying attention know that while Tesla was starting out in rarefied air of high-end sports cars, they were not going to stay there.
• Elon wrote the Master Plan, Part Deux[1.3] to show where autonomy, ride sharing, sustainable energy, and covering all major ground transport are the next phase.
• Because Tesla is motivated by more than dollars and cents and technical intellectual property, Elon was able to release all of their patents to those that would use them in good faith.[1.4]
2. ENERGIZED WORKFORCE
• "Tesla has Elon Musk and an energized and talented workforce. People love working there." — @Chunky Jr.
• Tesla is the only automaker with the express goal of being part of the solution to pollution.
• They refuse to make a profit on service... since that would be a conflict of interest. [@OP Note: saw a post recently quoting financials reported by Tesla stating 1% profit on service]
• They also are driven to make cars last a million miles[2.1] so that fewer cars need to be made per capita.
3. SAFETY FIRST [3.1]
• The Model S actually rated higher than 5 stars, but that is not possible so it has a 5-star safety rating[3.1]
• The Model X actually rated higher than 5 stars, but that is not possible so it has a 5-star safety rating
• "The Model 3 will be rated 5 stars in every category." — E. Musk during M3 Unveiling
• The Model S broke the machine that was meant to test its frame. It can handle many times its own body weight on its roof. In case it rolls over and...
• Both the Model S and Model X are very unlikely to roll over. The testing machine again had difficulty w/ this test.
• In addition to the passive safety measures that Tesla employs, they now include active safety features as part of Autopilot.
4. CHARGING NETWORKS
• The Supercharger network[4.1] will double (3608 => 7200) by the end of the 2017.
• The destination charger[4.2] network will quadruple (3689 => 15K) by the end of 2017.
• No other competitor has a comparable charging network, let alone two comparable charging networks.[4.3]
• The Supercharger especially has enabled long distance travel and quick fill ups in dense urban areas (like London and Hong Kong).