Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) co-founder Ian Wright never believes in the potential of an electric car in the mass market. In an interview with the San Francisco Business Times, Wright expressed surprise at the electric carmaker’s performance. Noting the Model S’ sales success, he said he didn’t expect that Tesla would perform better that he initially thought, saying that the company “worked out extremely well.”
Wright, an engineer by profession and a former car racing hobbyist from New Zealand, co-founded Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) way back in 2003, but left the company a year later and established Wrightspeed, an East Bay firm involved with manufacturing parts for the conversion of commercial trucks into hybrid vehicles. Although he made the fastest street-legal electric car, he said he was never “on-board” with the idea “that pure electric cars are the way to go.”
This pessimism in the mass market potentials of electric cars notwithstanding, Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is not the only carmaker that have expressed confidence in the future of a pure electric vehicle. Other manufacturers include General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), which unveiled its own version of an EV at the 2015 Detroit Auto Show. GM’s Chevrolet Bolt is a four-door hatchback that is expected to be in the market by 2017. It can travel 200 miles between charges and will cost about $30,000 after government incentives. Also revealed at the Detroit Auto Show was another Tesla contender, this time from China’s GAC Motors. Called the WitStar, the Chinese bet at electric vehicle manufacturing is a crossover SUV on a sedan platform built with hybrid powertrain set-up that can run 62 miles on a 13 kWh lithium-ion battery, and afterwards continue on a 1.0 liter four-cylinder gasoline power generator that extends the vehicle’s range to 370 miles after the battery runs dry.
The latest bet for Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s ambitions at mass producing electric vehicles also comes from an energy firm. NRG Energy Inc (NYSE:NRG), a utility company with interest in fossil, solar, nuclear, and wind energy generating infrastructures, is building up a network of charging stations and plans to extend to 25 national markets in the next 2 years in addition to its current infrastructures in 10 national markets. NRG currently has 150 stations offering easy electricity access in municipal markets, and offers electric car owners with various charging plans. It also has inked agreements with several manufacturers including Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), Porsche, Nissan, and BMW.
This article has been written by Nonito Guntan.