Will the electric car stick?|
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Is the electric car sticky? In the New York Times bestseller “Made to Stick” Chip and Dan Heath explain why some ideas survive and others die. In today’s constantly changing marketplace along with rapidly evolving technological innovations, how do we create ideas and products that will stand the test of time and possibly benefit humanity and our future as a whole? According to the Heath brothers there are six principles we can use as guidelines for making our ideas stick. These six principles: simple, unexpected, concrete, credible, emotional, and stories, when used together, spell success (minus the last s in success). Now back to my first question is the electric car going to stick? According to Tesla Motors Inc. Chief Executive Elon Musk the answer is not only yes but Musk was quoted earlier this year saying “In 20 years more than half of new cars manufactured will be fully electric. I feel actually quite safe in that bet. That’s a bet I will put money on.” So who is this Elon Musk, what is Tesla Motors, and why is he so confident his idea will stick? To answer this question, I’ll use the six principles the Heath brothers laid out for us in “Made to Stick” and let you be the judge. First, let me tell you a little about the history of Tesla Motors.
In 1988, after graduating from high school in Pretoria, South Africa, 17 year old Elon Musk left his home land to come to America telling his family and friends “It is where great things are possible”. Musk was inspired by great innovators like Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla and after a few years at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada he continued on to the University of Pennsylvania with a full scholarship. After receiving a degree in economics and a second degree in physics Musk decided there were three areas he wanted to be involved in that he believed would” affect the future of humanity” they were the internet, clean energy and space. He spent two days at Stanford’s graduate program in 1995 and dropped out only to go on and help create the global internet payment system known as PayPal. By 2003 Musk and just a handful of others founded Tesla Motors in the Silicon Valley area of Northern California which is home to some of the world’s largest technology corporations. Musk’s vision of eventually being an independent automaker that could mass produce fully electric cars at an affordable price was becoming reality.
Today Tesla Motors, Inc. has 31 stores and service locations worldwide, employs over 2,000 people and is on the road in 37 different countries. Not only does Tesla Motors design, develop, manufacture and sell its electric vehicles, it also manufactures electric vehicle powertrain components which it sells to other companies. To show the world that an electric car could not only be efficient but extremely powerful, the companies first vehicle was the Tesla Roadster, a high end sports car that can accelerate from zero to sixty in under four seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph. Once the lithium-ion battery is charged, the car has a range of roughly 245 miles per charge. With the price of the Roadster being out of reach for most people, Tesla knew the next step would be to produce a sedan style vehicle that would be more affordable but still maintain the high level of quality. In 2012 Tesla introduced the much more affordable and practical Tesla Model S sedan. There is also the new Model X suv that will be available sometime in 2014. To give you an idea of Tesla Motors growth rate, the annual revenue for 2010 was $117 million, the annual revenue for 2012 so far is $543 million.
So now let’s look at how the six principles of...