Electric Cars: Tesla Decides Bigger Batteries Are Awesome, Chevy Figures The Opposite

Posted by on March 11, 2011 at 1:22 pm

I’ve mentioned it before, but I have to say that if one of the electric car manufacturers wanted to drop one of their vehicles on my insurance policy, I can’t say I’d cry (that I am sans vehiculus at the moment is completely relevant). For many folks, there’s still a lot of trepidation around a purchase because of the range and price of these cars and while it doesn’t look like that’s changing any time soon, some recent announcements seem to highlight where some strategies are working and where they’re not.

Tesla announced recently that their new Model S sedan was coming in several large capacities, starting with a 160-mile car at a mere $57k. They’ll also be offering that same slick model with 230 mile (+$10k) and 300 mile (+$20k) models to start. Now bear in mind, these are all-electric vehicles, not gas/electric hybrids, and it seems that Tesla realizes that in creating these higher price points, they’re getting wealthy customers interested in their super-stylish cars first and working down from there.

On the flip side, General Motors is wondering why they didn’t just outright copy the Prius: rumors are circling that Chevy is bringing out a lower-mileage/smaller battery model of their Volt. Despite earning Motor Trend‘s Car Of The Year last year, the Volt is suffering from soft sales and mileage that doesn’t align with what you’d expect in a hybrid vehicle (the Volt’s batteries are only rated to go 30-50 miles on a charge before the gas engine kicks in full). The Volt’s hardly an ugly car, but its CO2-spewing form isn’t quite as pretty as Tesla’s cars and at $41k, the vehicle keeps itself well out of the league of most of its Middle America constituents, many of whom are already in the Prius fan club.

There’s plenty of drama to come in the new ELECTRIC CAR WARS! Stay tuned!

Source: Engadget (1) (2)

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  • I like the Tesla, I think it a cool idea, except most of the trunk space is filled with batteries. You don’t buy these cars because they are “green”. In some cases more CO2 is pumped out in the creation of the specially crafted battery manufacturing and transportation than most cars will put out in a life time.

    Tesla Motors was never founded to be a green company, although they do win quite a many green awards. They just wanted to make high performance electric sports cars.

    The Volt on the other hand was suppose to be a “green” car, that is why there are less and worse quality batteries and such.

    • Anonymous

      To be honest, I don’t care about the “green” factor of either, I just like the idea of having a silent, electric car that I don’t need to put foreign oil into.