Last Updated on October 9, 2020 by Henry John
One of the major announcement on Tesla’s battery day 2020, was the announcement of the beta release of its full self-driving technology.
And so the transition begins.
The transition to becoming a fully autonomous vehicle company.
Telsa is more an ‘autonomous vehicle (AV) company’ as it is an ‘electric vehicle company’. And as such Tesla’s major competitors, the ones that can knock Telsa off its perch or at the very least slow down its growth significantly, have to be strongly involved in AV and EV market.
For me, this is turning into a rant: Tesla’s main competitors aren’t the typical electric vehicle companies like Nio. And I’ve been saying this over and over again like a National Anthem.
Tesla has grown from just an Electric Vehicle Startup, to the most valuable Automaker on this planet, well ahead of Toyota, Volkswagen, and Ford Motors + General Motors combined.
The EV maker’s current market valuation is a testament of the direction the Auto market is headed, or at the very least, where investors and consumers want it to be headed.
A world of electric vehicles that are fully autonomous is a dream world, the kind of world we see in Sci-Fi movies. The fact that Tesla, is making this dream a reality, is why it’s one of the most loved companies in the world, both from a consumer’s and investor’s viewpoint.
While Telsa has established, at least, a two years lead ahead of the nearest competitor in the EV market, it has no such lead in the AV market and that’s where competitors can knock it off its perch.
But which company/companies can knock Tesla off its perch?
It’s General Motors. General Motors has risen to become Tesla’s major competitor, having established a strong footing in the Electric Vehicle and Autonomous Vehicle market.
‘We still do believe in an all-electric future, and we are using this time to accelerate our work. And we believe, “let’s get to all-electric vehicles as quickly as possible”’ GM Chairman and CEO Barra Mary, speaking on CNBC’s Squawk Exclusive.
General Motors (GM) is going big on EVs. It has promised to have 20 electric vehicles ‘on sale’ by 2023 (far more than Tesla) and says it intends to sell a million EVs by 2025 in North America and China.
The company is not playing around the park. It mean business: the EV business. They don’t just talk ‘making the transition to an all-EV company’, they put their money where their mouth is.
A series of investments, both in research and acquisitions, over the years has seen GM rise as a major force in the EV market, especially from a technological standpoint.
“Long term, for sure. Our future’s electric. You’ll start to see some vehicles going away and frankly it’s already happening …” Ken Morris, GM vice president for electric and autonomous vehicles, said in an interview with Todd Lassa from Automobilemag.com.
The battery system for the electric vehicles GM are lining up for the next half a decade, are designed to provide up to 400-pluse miles range and quick recharging.
From a technological standpoint, that’s a superior battery tech.
Compare that with Porsche Taycan’s 201-miles-range EV that costs a whopping $152,250 or with Tesla’s Model S (Tesla’s highest range EV) that has a range per full charge of 373 mile, and you get the picture painted right in front of you: GM is technologically strong to take on Tesla.
Many positive things have been said about GM’s EV technology, especially its battery technology, the proprietary GM’s Ultium batteries. When it comes to EV tech, GM are right up there with Tesla.
However, GM’s EV drive is not the only reason why it has risen to become a major Tesla competitor for the short and long term.
General Motor’s majority owned company Cruise, an autonomous vehicle company, paints the full picture.
Cruise is one of the top three most advanced autonomous vehicle company along with Tesla and Waymo.
Technologically, Cruise’s autonomous driving tech matches that of Tesla, and according to some sections, Cruise’s AV tech is currently superior to Tesla’s.
Whatever the case maybe, GM’s Cruise is at the forefront of the self-driving race along with Tesla and Waymo.
So, when you combine GM’s EV and AV exploits, you have a like-to-like company that can take on Tesla in the nearest future.
If there’s one company that should scare Tesla ATM, it should be General Motors.
All the technological advances that makes Tesla look promising to consumers and investors alike, are inherent in GM. And GM are not a threat to Tesla for the next decade, it’s an imminent threat. A competitor with strong footings in the automobile market.