What is the one thing most EV manufacturers are missing?

By | April 24, 2015

They think they are just making cars.

That sounds like an odd thing to say, so let me explain.

The Nissan Leaf is one of the best EVs on the market today in its price category. It has pretty good range, its a great price, easy to get and the majority of its dealers at least don’t mind selling it.

Same goes for the BMW with the i3 or the VW Golf-E etc etc

But every one of them is completely reliant on a charging infrastructure they have little to no control of.

Sure, Nissan encourages its dealers to install L2 or sometimes L3 chargers, the others to a greater or lesser extent do the same.

BMW and VW have partnered with others to try to get Combo chargers installed in the US, where CCS chargers are rarer than snowballs in Texan summers.

If you have ever tried make a trip of greater than the range of your EV, you already know that attempting that on L2 charging is an exercise in frustration – and a significantly extended journey time and equally significant route planning.

What has happened with Nissan, Kia, Ford, BMW, VW and all the others is that they just design cars and blame everyone else for the lack of charging opportunities.

EV’s are only useful within a radius of 50% of their useful range. Beyond that they are completely reliant on charging.

Except one.

The single exception is Tesla.

The have built a car that is beyond the means of most people. But they have not built it alone.

The Tesla Model S is not a car – it’s a system. It is designed in concert with the Tesla Supercharger network.

To paraphrase a dictionary – Tesla Superchargers are designed to operate as a collection of connected chargers and that network is designed around the capabilities of current and future Tesla cars.

Future Tesla cars are being designed around the charger network and the network is expanding based on the capabilities of the cars.

Because the car knows about the network of chargers and has access the network information, it can route you from charger to charger and give you time to destination based on information about charger usage or charger occupancy.

Tesla have taken responsibility for making their cars be useful beyond the implied range of their batteries.

Not one competing car maker has done that.