While Uber has dreams of redefining car ownership by shaking the industry up with ride sharing and investing in commercial vehicle rental, there is another key player on the market who is keen on keeping car ownership the way it has been – private and personal.
Tesla’s recently unveiled Model 3, a $35,000 electric car that’s designed to be “smaller, simpler, more affordable”, saw more than 325,000 preorders in just one week. Despite being the United States’ youngest automaker, Tesla Motors has managed to make a tremendous impact on the auto transport industry.
With a mission “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” Tesla’s philosophy abounds in ambition and innovation. The company’s technology, vision and everything it stands for has earned it a cult-like following — enough to make people line up days before the Model 3 release and plenty more to get Tesla’s stocks soaring even higher than General Motors and Ford.
Other automakers like Nissan, Volvo, Toyota and BMW may be unveiling new electric or hybrid cars too, but they have yet to generate the same amount of media attention and excitement as Tesla’s vehicles.
First, Tesla figured out how to manufacture 60 – 100 kWh battery packs at an affordable price point for the mass market. Some even say that automakers would not even be scrambling to produce electric vehicles if it weren’t for Tesla. Needless to say, Tesla’s commitment to sustainable technology has even inspired more established brands like Volvo to completely switch to hybrids and battery powered cars.
In the world of electric vehicles, the Tesla Supercharger has become the benchmark for home charger design and technology. Most fast chargers out there are level 2 and 3 chargers. The Tesla Supercharger, however, is on a league of its own since it is much faster than any other chargers out there. At the moment, only Tesla models can use Tesla Superchargers.
Additionally, Tesla’s autopilot technology that was released in October 2015 — called Autosteer — makes Tesla’s Model S and X the first mass market cars to have a semi-autonomous driving system. This feature “keeps the car in its current lane… and manages speed and distance from the car ahead of it”. Since then, other automakers have announced plans for similar systems.
While most automakers sell their cars through dealerships after the warehousing process, Tesla calls them “stores”. This approach gives Tesla a more direct relationship with customers, which allows them to create an unparalleled customer experience. New customers get a My Tesla account, which allows them to track the progress of the car ordered over the time it takes to manufacture it. Tesla car owners can also preheat or cool the car and close its sunroof remotely through the app.
The Financial Post reports that Tesla also takes “suggestions from the company’s official community forum to incorporate into ideas for updating the car.” The automaker continues improving the user experience based on this, even launching “a software update that allowed for several seat and steering wheel configurations to be saved on the car based on feedback from its customers.” When additional maintenance is needed, it can be done wirelessly with an update downloaded directly to the car, or a team of Tesla Rangers will be deployed to do the repairs.