Some truth bombs about Tesla’s massive lead in the automotive industry were dropped by Tesla investor Steven Mark Ryan recently.
Ryan made some valid and well-thought-out arguments about Tesla’s current state and potential threats in the future on a video, which he posted on his YouTube channel Solving The Money Problem. In it, he discussed the advantages and strengths the EV automaker has against ICE manufacturers. He also talked about future threats and risks for the company.
Throughout his video, though, one point was proven again and again. Ryan himself sums it up when he says, “Tesla [is] so absurdly far ahead of everyone on everything that matters, it’s scary.”
According to the Tesla enthusiast-investor, when it comes to making next-gen vehicles, the EV maker excels in the following:
- Infotainment, Software, OTA
- Range and Supercharging Network
- Batteries and Efficiency
- Maintenance Costs, Owner Satisfactions
- EV Margin - GF3
- Safe vehicles, Full Self-Driving Chip, FSD Data Lead
Infotainment, Software, and OTA
Tesla’s Infotainment system, software, and Over-the-Air updates reveal much about the company’s lead in automotive tech.
The next-gen automaker’s infotainment system is equal to none in the global car industry right now. No other car manufacturers offer similar services and sources of entertainment in their vehicles like Tesla.
For instance, Tesla Arcade and Tesla Theater recently received a few fun upgrades. Multiplayer games were made available for Tesla China owners by connecting through their QQ and WeChat accounts. Meanwhile, in the United States, Twitch was added to Tesla Theater.
Then there is Tesla’s lead in software and OTA updates. So far, Tesla is the only car company that can update their vehicles Over-The-Air, allowing it to offer unique software updates to its customer base. For example, the EV automaker released an Acceleration Boost Update for Model 3 owners recently for the price of US$2,000—plus state taxes.
Tesla also released its 2019.40.50 update recently, which gave Model 3 owners a preview into the company Full Self-Driving suite. The update was available OTA, revealing how relatively easy Tesla can upgrade its fleet.
Range and Tesla’s Supercharging Network
When it comes to EVs, range anxiety is a real problem, and Tesla continues to work hard to solve it. So far, Tesla is the only EV maker in the automotive industry to build such an extensive network of charging stations.
According to the official website of the car company, there are 1,636 Supercharger Stations around the world with 14,497 Superchargers. As Ryan points out in his video, those numbers keep growing. Tesla China unveiled the first Supercharge V3 station a couple of days ago.
Batteries and Efficiency
The range of Tesla cars is industry-leading, and it’s all thanks to the company’s energy-efficient batteries. As Ryan points out, EVs in the current market still doesn’t hold a candle to Tesla’s 2012 Model S developed seven years ago. This is evident by the Porsche Taycan’s range of 201 miles per charge.
Tesla batteries are one of the most—if not the most—well-made in the industry, and its cell chemistry is a well-kept secret. Other automakers trying to enter the EV market often underestimate or overlook the battery component of their electric vehicles for unknown reasons.
As a result, most ICE turned EV makers usually decide to install over-the-shelf battery packs, which often hike up the price of said vehicles. These generic batteries leave to ranges that are less-than-preferable, like the Audi E-Tron, which can only run 204 miles per charge.
Maintenance Costs and Owner Satisfaction
There are very few maintenance costs with electric vehicles in general. On its official website, Tesla explained that its vehicles need less upkeep because some regular maintenance checkups in gasoline cars are simply not needed with EVs, like oil changes, spark plug replacements, or emission checks.
Tesla recommends the following Maintenance Services:
- Cabin Air Filter - Every 2 years.
- High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filter - Every 3 years
- Tire Rotation, Balance, and Wheel Alignment - Every 10,000-12,000 miles or lower if the car is driving aggressively.
- Brake Fluid Test - Every 2 years
- Air Conditioning Service - Every 2 years for the Model S, every 4 years for the Model X, and every 6 years for the Model 3.
- Winter Care - Clean and lubricate all brake calipers every 12 months or 12,500 miles for cars in cold-weather regions.
Part of the reason Tesla can keep maintenance costs down is because it doesn’t associate with dealerships, which coincidentally also helps the EV maker keep owner satisfaction up. Dealerships can increase the price of maintenance for the cars it sells, and most owners can’t do anything about it. Tesla sidesteps this system by creating and operating its own Service Centers.
Of course, the other reason for high customer satisfaction is Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla. Based on a thorough survey, 99 percent of Model 3 owners would recommend their vehicles to others for three main reasons. Musk’s passion and personality were among the top reasons.
According to Morgan Stanely, Tesla could reach 30 percent gross margins after Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai is fully functional. In a report, titled, “Shanghai Giga = Porsche-Like Margin?” analyst Adam Jonas predicted that Tesla would report gross margins in the low-to-mid 30s from GF3. Jonas’ prediction was based on the idea that cars were cheaper to produce in China.
Safe Vehicles and Tesla’s Full Self-Driving Chip/Data
Tesla’s Full Self-Driving technology is probably the one factor, amongst all the ones listed above, that the company has the most lead in compared to other automakers in the industry—both ICE and EV makers alike. Tesla has developed an innovative way to train its FSD chip and a relatively organic system for it, too.
Tesla’s Hardware 3.0 uses hardware that acts much like the human eyes and brain, as discussed in previous Tesmanian articles. Elon Musk’s company seems to be the one of the only companies using this approach to autonomous driving.
Due to its organic approach and its growing fleet all over the world, Tesla was able to gather billions of real-world date for its Neural Net and Full Self-Driving suite. ARK Invest CEO Cathie Wood believes that Tesla’s real-world data could be one of the factors that could raise the company’s stock to US$6,000 per share.
The same FSD chip makes Telsa's vehicles one of the safest cars to own. Navigate on Autopilot alone has prevented some potential accidents in the past, despite it being misunderstood by the general public at times.
The truth bombs discussed above are only a snippet of the ones Ryan dropped in his video. Watch his video below to learn more about Tesla’s lead in the automotive industry and risks that the EV company could encounter in the future.
About the Author
Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.