Will the electric car maker Tesla succeed in bringing electric cars to the forefront of the automobile industry? Why or why not?

Cartwright-I love Tesla’s concept, and I love what Elon Musk is doing. They’re making beautiful cars, and I want them to succeed. I love the fact that electric cars don’t emit the greenhouse gases that gas guzzling cars do. It’s a plus for the environment. Do I think we’ll all be driving electric cars anytime soon? No. The average consumer isn’t in love with the idea of electric cars and doesn’t want to be restricted to only going three hundred miles before you have to stop and recharge for an hour or whatever. It’s much easier to hop in your gas guzzler, hit the road, and stop every so often for five or ten minutes to fill up with gas then be back on your way. That’s just the reality of it. If Tesla, or anyone else for that matter, wants to bring electric cars to the forefront, they are going to have to improve the batter capacity and the charging times. More importantly, they are going to have to vastly increase the charging stations. As it is, if you have a Tesla and you’re traveling north and south on I-95, you have to map out when and where you’re going to stop to recharge. If you get off the main roads, you’re definitely going to have to plan your trip very well. The majority of people don’t want to have to worry about that; they want to get in their cars and go. If Tesla or another electric car maker can overcome this, good for them. The world will probably be a better place.

But let’s also consider the impact of more people going to electric cars. They use electric, right? They have to be charged and pull electric from the power grid, right? As more and more people hook up their electric cars to the grid, the strain on the electric grid increases and the power companies must generate more electricity. We know the power grid has some serious weaknesses and needs significant attention and investment. If there’s a large increase in demand and the capacity isn’t there, we’re in trouble. Remember the brownouts in California in the late 1990s and early 2000s? How are the power companies going to generate more power for the increased demand stemming from electric cars? More nuclear power plants? More coal fired plants? More wind or solar? Hydroelectric? It will take substantial investment in more electric generating infrastructure and that can also have an impact on the environment. Something to think about.

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-I see an unlimited top end for Elon Musk’s wild child of a carmaker, Tesla. One of the reasons is that while other carmakers that have dabbled in battery-powered vehicles have largely used existing technology without really trying to improve upon what’s available, Tesla is putting significant funds into research into battery technology that have already dramatically increased the range of the company’s vehicles between charges.

Also, Tesla isn’t limiting its offerings to the sort of tidy sedans like the Chevy Volt that have been the sole home of all-electric vehicles in the past. Tesla’s yet-to-be-released Roadster promises to set a new standard for performance vehicles, and even the mid-priced Model 3 offers 250 miles of cruising range and an impressive suite of creature comforts. The Model X is the first fully electric SUV, making even soccer moms and weekend adventurers the target market for the company’s offerings. Soon, an all-electric tractor-trailer will be on the road, and orders for the quiet behemoth are already pouring in. Imagine a convoy of big rigs passing you on the road with no more diesel roar!

Musk has taken Tesla from a curiosity to a force to be reckoned with in the monolithic car and truck market, and he’s just getting started. Yes, the Big Three will eventually catch up to where he is now…but by then he’ll be miles down the road.

Myrtle Beach, SC Correspondent-Have you seen them? Tesla has broken the mold with their cars. Now, they have less expensive models so it opens the opportunity for more people to buy them. As they start to improve the technology (even though they already have…a lot) the costs will lower as well so even MORE people will be able to afford them. The performance alone of Tesla blows every other electric or hybrid car out of the water. They look good, unlike the ugly weird looking electric cars of the not-so-far-past. Tesla has succeeded where other electric cars have failed–they have made them affordable, efficient, good-looking, powerful, etc. All of that combined and yes, they will succeed in bringing electric cars to the forefront. I would argue that they already HAVE.

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Elon Musk, founder and CEO of Tesla, seems to be the Bill Gates of his generation—a ground-breaking visionary who may revolutionize the auto industry the way Gates (along with Steve Jobs) revolutionized the computer industry. Even though Tesla is something of a conglomerate, with interests in solar power and space travel, it seems like the company will succeed or fail based on whether it can produce an affordable electric car that will eliminate the need for gas-powered cars.

Tesla’s biggest challenge is overcoming an entrenched auto/oil industry that has actively suppressed the development of electric cars for decades. The technology for efficient, long-ranging electric cars has existed for a long time, but innovators have often been marginalized or ignored because electric vehicles threaten the profitability of the oil producers.

Government regulations and tax policies are also an obstacle. As long as EPA mileage standards don’t stress the automakers excessively, they’ll continue producing inexpensive gas-burning cars for consumers. The federal gasoline tax hasn’t been raised in decades, which keeps fuel costs artificially low and further tilts the cost advantage toward gas-powered vehicles.

The only way for Tesla to succeed with electric cars is to first, mass-produce an affordable, long-ranging car that needs little maintenance and is powerful enough for Americans who like big, fast gas-guzzlers. Then, a nationwide network of recharging stations will need to be built. Also, recharging times for batteries must be drastically reduced so drivers who travel long distances won’t be inconvenienced by needing hours to recharge. Then, laws, regulations, and tax policy must be changed to at least level the competitive playing field with gas-powered vehicles. Raising the federal gas tax is a start, but an equitable tax or fee must be implemented so drivers of electric cars pay their fair share and no more for road repair and maintenance.

The final step that will ensure Tesla’s success would be the implementation of strict pollution regulations that mandate no net addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. That would make gas-burning vehicles prohibitively expensive to own and would vault electric cars into the dominant position in the auto industry. Tesla seems to have the technology and deep pockets to survive in the auto business. The real question is, does the company have the patience and determination to prevail against formidable opposition.

Sheffield Jamaica Correspondent-Telsa is apparently making strides in the electric automobile industry. However, the field is white for harvesting, and competitors like General Motors have intensified their efforts.

They want their share of the pie. This was demonstrated when General Motors beat Telsa and released the “first true mass-market” electric vehicle. In fact, according to the company’s head of product, Mark Reuss, “we are far along in our plan to lead the way to that future world.”

If Telsa is to take the lead in bringing electric cars to the forefront, Elon Musk will need to up his game…and I think he will.

But, for Telsa to take the lead in electric automobiles, a strong foundation is needed. They need to have the infrastructure in place to welcome electric automobiles. It sounds simple but for electric cars, it isn’t.

The cars we use today run on gas and diesel. To acquire the power we need for our cars, we stop and get some gas (or diesel) before going about our affairs.

The same will need to apply for these electric vehicles. There will need to be a strong infrastructure in place to charge the batteries of these electric cars.

Telsa has outsmarted their competitors in this regard. Around the world, Telsa has installed about 1000 supercharger branded stations for their electric vehicles to be charged. Telsa is innovative and current. For this reason, I do believe they will lead electric cars to the forefront.

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