Bloomberg: Big Auto Execs Must Work Magic To Compete With Tesla

DEC 21 2018 BY EVANNEX 69

BLOOMBERG: BIG AUTO NEEDS A ‘TRICKY FINANCIAL STUNT’ TO CATCH UP TO TESLA

As the Tesla Model 3 continues to gain market share, legacy automakers face some daunting decisions. Bloomberg warns, “The future of the auto industry is going to look like the history of the cell phone… some of today’s dominant car companies will share the fate of a few former titans of the smartphone. Remember BlackBerry, Nokia and Palm?”

*This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs.

Above: A look at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California (Image: True)

“Who will be the winners in the electric car race? Who knows?” said Mike Ramsey, senior director of research at Gartner Inc. “The incumbents could be, or they could be cut out entirely.”

Unlike Tesla, legacy automakers are still dragging their feet when it comes to electric vehicles. Karl Brauer, executive publisher for Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book notes that automakers who ignore electric cars altogether could be “completely left behind. If you ignore it and act like the market is never going to be ready, then you’re setting yourself up for real trouble.”

Making the commitment to an all-electric future, Bloomberg notes, “Tesla Inc. appears to have that advantage… [meanwhile] non-Tesla options in electric vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt and BMW i3 aren’t selling particularly well.” Furthermore, Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Colin McKerracher forecasts, “There will be a very long tail of EV models that don’t sell especially well.”

Above: BMW’s i3 and Nissan’s Leaf (Image: BMW Blog)

There are other challenges too. According to Bloomberg, “for the next decade or so, old-school car executives will try to pull off a tricky financial stunt: driving returns with gasoline engines until their electric models have enough momentum to start keeping pace. They are essentially using an old technology to fund the transition to the next, and the timing is fraught. Jump to the electric drive train too soon and the whole works will grind to a halt; jump too late and lose the EV race.”

In contrast, more recent “startups such as Tesla, critically, don’t have to make this awkward jump… they don’t have to worry about feeding a legacy business as it slowly winds down.”

The Silicon Valley automaker has other key advantages too. “At Tesla, the sexy sedan is just the start. The company has thrived, in part, because it deals directly with consumers and allows everyone to build the exact car that they’d like to own. Tesla’s cars are also undergoing constant improvement with over-the-air software updates, essentially scrapping the whole concept of a model year,” reports Bloomberg.

Above: Tesla sells direct-to-consumer at company-owned stores instead of third-party franchise dealerships (Source: Teslarati via Alex Guberman at E for Electric)

“They literally do everything differently,” Ramsey says. Meanwhile, he contrasts that with incumbent manufacturers who “seem to be thinking of electric vehicles as just changing the powertrain. If there’s a big switch over to EVs, these companies may need to…change the entire way that they think about the market.”

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Source: Bloomberg

*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here.

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69 Comments on "Bloomberg: Big Auto Execs Must Work Magic To Compete With Tesla"

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What a mealy mouthed article. It could be this it could be that it could be the other thing. Take a stand. If you cover all possibilities and give them equal weight then in the future you can say see I was right.
Tesla appears to be in the lead. What? Tesla is clearly far ahead. This article written by: Caveats ‘R Us.
Who’s been dropping sedan lines like there’s no tomorrow for them? Legacy auto, not Tesla.
It may be that Ii am wrong but probably, maybe, since no one knows for sure, maybe I’m not. Sheesh.
Put on your big-boy pants and have a POV.

I don’t see anything wrong with this. We know the future is EVs. Who the leaders are in that future isn’t known. Tesla certainly appears to be in the lead from what is publicly known. But companies can work in secrecy.

We know Apple is poaching a lot of auto-people. We know Apple has an insane pile of cash that they could use to catapult themselves straight from building 0 cars per year to 20M cars per year in a matter of 2 years. Google or Amazon could probably do something similar.

Maybe that won’t work, though. Maybe there’s too much brand loyalty, and Ford or Toyota will arrive late to this party, but they’ll retain the market that they already have. (I find this very unlikely – particularly with Toyota… I think the F-150 is the only vehicle with a strange fan-base that’ll be difficult to peel away, and I don’t think that’s going to be enough to prop Ford up.)

Apple doesn’t have the leadership. iTunes is getting buggier every release, for example.
Steve Jobs could have built a car.
That’s over now.

considering that Apple is rehiring a number of car ppl, I am going to guess that apple is headed that way.

There is a lack of vision at Apple. They are just riding the coat tails of Jobs.

apple is rehiring car ppl, so, it appears that you will get your wish.

Let us know when they acquire their own Lithium supply.

Yeah F150 – Today 900K recalls for faulty engine heating system – nice – ICE sucks. The legacy automakers are toast because they refuse to change. You are dreaming if you think Apple or Google can catch up to Tesla in 2 years. Tesla has 10 year head start and those guys are just thinking about it.

I wonder what an engine heating system is, considering how much waste heat they create…

I think it is a heater in the radiator for winter when the car is parked so it doesn’t freeze up in the northern states – I will research the recall more.

AC Plug In Block Heater’s are commonly used in colder climates, to pre warm the engine in temps below freezing, even more so in areas that see -20 and colder temps. It is also used to simply “Keep It Warm”, in climates that see -40 temps, both cases, for easier starting!

In some extremes, a Battery Blanket Heating System is also used, to warm the 12V battery to get the best cranking power, since Batteries, like People, are best at about 20-25 Degrees Celcius!

Legacy automakers have changed for the past 100 years. While trying to change fast enough, most of them have gone bankrupt, including GM and Chrysler. They will now have to change in the face of car sharing, electrification and mobility as a service. I think i see a pattern here. Elon Musk has stated that if you are relying on patents (forms of hoarded IP), or moats (captured ICE and transmission technology and production IP) you are moving too slow.

If Apple could simply wave their money wand and create 20 million EV’s per year and continue printing money, then they would do so. It ain’t that easy. BIG difference between a cell phone and a full-sized vehicle. Just ask Tesla.

Tesla never made a phone. How would they know the difference? 😉

Good point. I’m gonna go out on a limb on this one, though…

True, but with all the articles and comments about connectivity and about “transportation as a service”, and even some absurdly claiming “Tesla is an energy company, not a car company”, it appears some people think Tesla is making particularly expensive cell phones!

And Apple isn’t going to make cars. It may make systems designed to go into cars — sound systems and/or “connectivity” systems and perhaps even hardware and software for controlling self-driving cars. Maybe someday we’ll see “Apple inside” stickers on cars, as we see “Intel inside” stickers on computers.

But making the cars themselves is waaaaaaay outside Apple’s business. Ain’t gonna happen.

Similar challenge going from First Tesla Roadster (a mostly Hand Built EV Conversion), to Tesla Model S!

And again, from Going from Model S (a Low Volume, Semi Robotic Assembled Car, with their own Stamping, Welding, Bonding, Riveting, and Bolting Assembly Processes), to building a Medium-High Volume Model 3 (currently at 5x to 7x the Model S Build Rate, with a goal of 10x the Model S Rate), and so on!

However, since Tesla started up based around the 18650 LiIon Cell, comparing to “Laptops”, might be better a reference, since Cell Phones were pretty much using Flat Polymer Cell types already by the start of Tesla, it seems to me!

yes Tesla could be ahead in some things, but you have to objectively look at others as well, it is Hyundai who offered big range and affordable price first…

Kona is now at 36 450$ with 258 miles of range
Model 3 with 220 miles will be 35 000$

So for just 1 450$ you get 38 miles more range, I think that is pretty sweet and it is today, who knows when will Tesla introduce Model 3 low range version

“Model 3 with 220 miles will be 35 000$ … who knows when…”

Agree $35K 3 is who knows if. But if Tesla 3 is made, it’s to be 1.5 seconds quicker than Kona as well as supercharger network and more efficient. EV (cars in general) are more than just about range.

Well, that’s exactly the point: GM, Ford and Chrysler are slow crawling this and won’t get it done. Expect significantly more stock price erosion.

I predict Ford goes to $1 a share, and GM to follow 2 years later.

Hyundia is doing well, the question is can they produce in volume. I hope so!

Yeah – I just wonder when we actually see a Kona up here in WA state – it seems like they are really limiting production. I can count the Ioniqs I have seen on one hand

Actually, it’s GM that introduced range and price first. I find it laughable that this discussion is framed as Tesla against ‘legacy’ auto makers but that’s the ideology publications like this push that seek approval (payola?), especially from fanboys who live and die by ideology rather than facts. The idea that being ‘committed’ is the magic sauce for success and making ICE autos drag a company down is just plain silly. For instance, Musk was ‘commited’ to automation for the M3 and engineers who already had experience in assembly said ‘fine, but that last 5-10% of complete automation will drag you down as we’ve already tried it.’ Fanboys said ‘just you wait cuz Musk is a genius’ and though I sort of buy the genius part Musk found out the legacy engineers were exactly right. Musk had to throw away a lot of automation because he couldn’t keep line speed. Musk admitted this, and that he almost ran the whole enterprise into a concrete wall, but the fanboys can’t. That’s why a lot of this discussion is dumb. So called legacy engineers are supposed to be dumb and work against productivity and Tesla filled with those who are bright and… Read more »

Well the legacy engineers are clearly not the problem. But in Musk’s defense, he has stated that time and time again he has been told that something couldn’t be done and yet Tesla’s employee’s made it happen.

He does that at SpaceX too. Much of the time the answer is “no way” and then a few months later a creative solution comes up. Some times, the solution doesn’t come up. However he’s more disciplined with rockets as he knows the changes need to be validated in the lab before thrown into production, because there are a million ways to boom. A research production line for advancing technology before mass deployment is the way to go for cars.

I think many of his tweets and extreme schedule pressures are directed internally.

It matters WHO says something can’t be done for one thing but, sometimes I say some things can’t be done. But on forums like this the uninformed fanboys will say somebody said that – and sometimes it’s Musk himself. It’s often just feelgood stuff cuz identifying with a god like Musk. Musk hasn’t hit a forecast production # for more than a week -if at all. I say the 35k M3 won’t appear in 2019 except maybe in a token amount. Musk has backed away from it. Doesn’t make an M3 a lousy car, it’s just fact. Maybe it isn’t economically feasible. The Bolt came out before the M3. It isn’t an M3 but it isn’t bad. Rivian has come out with a PU that is a contender! It has a superior battery pack that’s more dense than any Tesla. Is Musk inspirational? Yes. But engineering is engineering. I don’t know about Space X but Tesla hasn’t invented anything fundamentally new though it put together packages like the Model S that is successful even if elite by any economic standard. But don’t think other companies can’t beat Tesla at their own game – especially if they don’t have to bet… Read more »

“Tesla hasn’t invented anything fundamentally new…”

Every time I read this absurd claim from serial Tesla bashers — and we’ve been seeing it since 2012, at least — I’m reminded of the climactic scene in (the original) “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”:

Every Who down in Who-ville,
the tall and the small…
…was singing without any presents at all.
He hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming,
it came.
Somehow or other, it came just the same.
And the Grinch,
with his Grinch feet ice-cold in the snow…
…stood puzzling and puzzling.
How could it be so?
It came without ribbons.
It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes or bags.
He puzzled and puzzled
till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something
he hadn’t before.
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought,
“doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps,
means a little bit more.”

But unlike the Grinch, you haven’t figured out that a Tesla car has that “little bit more”.

(continued…)

Tesla is on its 4th electric motor design.
Tesla is well ahead of the market.

(…continued)

You can make a long list of things that Tesla cars don’t have, just as the Grinch had a list of things the Whos down in Whoville didn’t have for Christmas. But just like those Whos, Tesla customers keep buying more and more Tesla cars every year, despite what you claim is a lack of anything better.

Maybe, just maybe, Tesla cars have something that you can’t see, because you’ve blinded yourself to what Christmas — I mean, Tesla — really means. And sadly, that will continue to be the case, so long as serial Tesla bashers have hearts two sizes too small.

Pushmi, you’re a great orator and lover of great literary pieces such as the Grinch, but light on facts …. but try to make it up with big proclamations, and that’s about it. First, I’ll grant Musks inspiration that an electric car could be a serious contender in the market but others are serious too. Musk HAD to go premium in the beginning and exposed the Tesla S to a narrow market. The Model 3 had to be a volume car and Musk had to go for broke – and he damned near did that! But, he still isn’t close to an average selling price for an auto. That limits Tesla’s growth in the long run – and there are clear signs of that. GM took a different path. I think it’s clear that it was inspired by Tesla but it doesn’t compete with Tesla in the market by segment. Yet. But the basic GM motor and controls were ready in 2008, waiting for a different kind of battery system. Can’t question GM’S commitment OR engineering. Referencing Bill above, GM has designed at least 5 different motors. All good, all efficient. Watch Weber State’s teardown of the Bolt motor. They… Read more »

“…publications like this push that seek approval (payola?)”

Hmmm, looks to me like you are the paid shill here, with your laundry list of worn-out Tesla bashing memes. Are you short-selling TSLA stock, or are you getting paid by Big Oil, or are you working for a Russian troll farm?

Doesn’t really matter, now that Tesla is solidly profitable. Tesla won. You Tesla bashers lost. Get over it!

I don’t see GM selling 100,000 Bolts.
I see a plastic interior, cheap seats and a cheap suspension.
That car isn’t designed to take on the Leaf, much less a Tesla.

It’s a pure compliance car, not built to have significant sales.
It’s got the sales GM wants it to have and nothing more.
DOA.

Yes, and no, this is not GM engineering’s problem.
The is the Blunder of Top Management.

Seems logical. I think fanboys (myself included) just really want to see Musk/Tesla succeed because without them all the legacy automakers will drag their feet even more with EV programs. It’s basically propaganda but it’s for a good cause, so in some people’s minds that justifies defying logic.

the price difference will be negative in Kona’s advantage due to $7500 tax credit. Kona will be cheaper with longer range.

Let them sell their 200,000 into the market.
That’s still a drop in the bucket of EV demand.

I saw a comment just yesterday or today that Hyundai plans to sell the Kona only in 10 CARB States in the U.S. If that’s so, then it’s just a compliance car. Auto makers may sell compliance cars at no profit or even below cost, so the price of the Kona is rather meaningless. It’s not a competitive price, and no auto maker selling an EV model in high volumes is going to aim at competing with the price of a mere compliance car.

the mealy mouth is coming from Gartner, not inside EVs. Gartner is will known for kowtowing to legacy ( guessing similar to why Trump supports Russia) companies.

ICE OEMs all should have created a new brand for EVs(compact, midsize, large (car/cuv) where outside of the powertrain, are easier and faster to design and build, along with investing in a shared EV charging network to support their EV brands. While at the same time, slowly transition their current ICE models to EVs so their legacy brands can live on.

But instead they all had to be forced, like VW, while others plan for a very slow, timid introduction of EVs. But since VW is responsible for creating the infrastructure, they also have an incentive to quickly ramp up their new brand of EVs.

i find it interesting how Tesla offered Supercharger access to the OEMS but none have taken them up on it with investments. But certainly they are all using the Tesla patents offered early on but none will admit it.

Either way Tesla will be far ahead for many years to come.

Is that why Tesla is going CCS? That system is catching up in both charging power and deployment. I don’t have much problem going where I like with CCS. I a believe Musk made a very good decision to build his own system initially but insisting it be proprietary may not be in the long run. He’s smart enough to see this and react, so watch what he does in the future.

I think CCS is mandated in EU by regulation.

“I a believe Musk made a very good decision to build his own system initially but insisting it be proprietary…”

It’s weird how we keep seeing this revisionist history, this bad meme. Tesla did pretty much everything it could to keep from its Supercharger charging system from being proprietary! Tesla participated in the original consortium designing the CCS charging protocol, and only withdrew after it became clear that would be inadequate for the faster-charging Model S. When Tesla started building its Supercharger network, they invited any and all other auto makers to join in — so long as they helped build the system. Sadly, none of the other auto makers chose to do so.

Tesla’s Supercharger system has wound up being proprietary — but only by accident, not by plan.

CCS seems to be emerging as the true universal charging standard… at least outside China, which has its own protocol. Tesla has had to make the European version of its cars CCS-compatible due to EU regulations, not because Tesla wanted to.

I hope to eventually see all new Tesla cars be CCS-compatable.

Pushmi, the CCS unable to charge fast enough? The highest capacity chargers deployed are CCS! 350 kw.

It is not Elon or Tesla that insists the Supercharger Network be proprietary, it is the other OEM’s that have made it so!

If Henry built the first Gas Stations, for his Fords, we could have a similar argument, regarding all thise Diesel Fueled Vehicles that can’t run on Gasoline!

Yeah BMW did that in 2010 or so with the ‘i’ division. They rethought everything, successfully. But never had the chance to followup: It was kanned by the DieselKopfs. now they’re making a shared platform which which means ICE-optimized first. And their remote app still sucks. There was an ‘iRemote’ which was clearly developed by a skilled software team and is fast and pretty, and hasn’t been updated in years. The replacement is the corporate IT “BMW Connected”, for all BMWs, and is buggy and fails to update. No significant functionality improvements and similar problems for 18 months that I’ve had my i3. My guess is that the good one was developed by the tight team for the ‘i’ division, and they were canned.

Wut? It’s like your comment was about an entirely different article. I see nothing whatsoever here which is “mealy-mouthed”. The writer seems to have a pretty clear understanding of what happens during a disruptive tech revolution, and I think he has the timeline correct, too: The transition will happen mainly over the next 10 years. That’s a much more realistic timeframe than is seen in most articles on this subject.

If your objection is that the writer isn’t trying to predict who will emerge as the new market leaders at the end of the EV revolution… that, too, is wise, and indicates he is taking a clear-eyed view of the coming years.

If you don’t agree, well then, you stick your neck out and predict the winners that will emerge after a decade of turmoil in the market. And a decade from now, we can look back and laugh at how wrong you were!

If you look at the trend, you’ll see more people in the U.S. opting for pickup trucks, SUV’s, and crossovers these days. The trend away from sedans is happening overseas as well. I’ll bet it won’t be long before the Model 3 peaks and starts to decline due to dozens of EV’s of all types that will be available within 5 years.

BMW has a winner in the i3, now Consumer Reports: Recommended for 2019.
However, BMW dealership parts pricing is scary, and that may slow new customers from crossing over from a Prius and Honda to the i3. You can charger a premium say 20% on parts, but 200% and 300% means customers walk away.

BMW Financial is trying to grow BMW marketshare in the USA, but the dealers have to have competitive pricing too. In other words, people are comfortable crossing from a Honda to a Tesla. BMW dealerships have to ask why they don’t want the new business?

$50K (or even $40K) for i3 is not a winner.

BMW, especially when they have heavily subvented lease rates to move the metal. Lots of red ink.

A winner? agh.. they sold 490 last month and Tesla sold 18650 model 3s – that would be a loser by that metric.

Just click the “Plug-In Sales Scorecard” in the upper right to see how much the i3 is Not a winner. Dealer lock-in is just one of many reasons why.

Tesla parts are very expensive and not available.

The word is that BMW is killing the i3.

First off, the reason why Nissan Leaf, Chevy Bolt and BMW i3 are not selling well, is because they are POS. Seriously, the car makers PURPOSELY built them to be less than their ICE models, so that they would not overtake them. The only ppl that buy a leaf are EV fanatics. And the only ppl buying I3 (a gas car), are BMW fanatics combined with EV fans. Bolt has one redeeming value, which is its MPC. OTOH, its charging is a joke. Still, the majority buying bolt are GM fanatics. Secondly, this report is from Gartner which is a joke company . BUT, with that said, his paragraph about legacy makers having to do a balancing act is spot on. The fact that so many are so late to the game, shows that many are likely going to bankrupt OR well be bailed out by their gov. Hopefully, this time, if GM, Ford, or Chrysler are bailed out, we will break them apart. Far better to have 10 small companies that can grow or bankrupt, then to have 1 or 2 companies that will certainly bankrupt (due to short-sighted MBA execs), but then have to be bailed out again… Read more »

I picked up a 3 year old LEAF for $11000. I highly recommend it for any two car family and has short daily commute under 50 miles. It is an amazing value. It is a great car.

Interesting observation in the Bloomberg article about how Toyota managed to completely dominate the hybrid market so: “The automaker that can capture this kind of icon status in the electric-vehicle space will be in a different gear for years”. It’s going to be interesting to see if the Tesla models will show that “Prius effect” for years to come.

They don’t have to perform Magic. They just have to beat Tesla at their own game. 1. Deal directly with the customer. 2. Have over the air updates. 3. Pay Tesla to use their supercharging network. 4. Get rid of all the knobs and buttons, put everything on a touchscreen in the center of the dashboard. 5. Build an electric four-door sedan that can go from 0 to 60 in 3.5 seconds. 6. Build it with a 5-star safety rating and some sex-appeal. Now, Tesla will have some serious competition.

Missing the /sarcasm tag

7. Build their EVs with the highly integrated, user-friendly approach Tesla uses, integrating functionality, controls, and user interface in an intuitive and easy-to-use manner.

And that’s directly contrary to how legacy auto makers design and build their cars, so don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen.

Forget magic. Substitute a clear long term vision, commitment (to customer and product), building an infrastructure (gigafactory for batteries, worldwide supercharging network, sales, service…), and most of all designing compelling new products that customers want to buy at the full MSRP. Sure Tesla has a habit of being late at launching their new vehicles, have occasional production or delivery delays – but they ultimately keep their promises.

All things considered, it is amazing that Tesla could achieve all that they have, while being so limited on finances and having no cash cow to ease the burden. How many owners can say their six year old vehicle is better today than day it was delivered? I can? Thank you Elon Musk, team Tesla.

Nissan LEAF is selling Ok. Nissan are a dumb company that hasn’t listened to their owners. Three generations of batteries and the fourth generation sounds like it still doesn’t have active thermal management. If that is true then you have to think Nissan either is incredibly arrogant, or doesn’t want the LEAF to succeed, or incompetent. While most LEAF are doing pretty well, the perception is battery degradation is a real problem with the LEAF. Yet Nissan have not implemented the fix (active thermal management) and they haven’t released any statements that indicate degradation isn’t as bad as what is reported.
I like my LEAF, but I doubt I’ll buy another one, so Nissan should be asking why is that the case? What can they do so that people like me want to buy another one? Most importantly, why are they happy to lose a customer to competition they should easily be able to compete against (Tesla with their startup funding vs $bil’s of recurrent annual profits)?

Maybe the decision making people at Nissan got paid off by Tesla. They could not have made the dumb decisions in the right minds.

Ramsey sounds as if he’s been lurking here and reading my posts. Big difference is: HE GETS PAID FOR HIS STUFF! He never mentions Volkswagen by name, but VW seems closest to getting it right. Heres the rub: When their BEVs open the eyes of the mainstream consumer as to how superior they are to their very own ICE models. What then? Close a half dozen factories at once while they retool? Suddenly, demand for gas burners will decline drastically, the hoped-for tipping point. ICE OEMs hope that realization and transformation happens slowly over time. Thus the moves at Audi and Mercedes to electrify existing ICE platforms so to easily insert BEV production on the same assembly lines as their common products. Heres the problem with that : Skateboard platforms where the battery pack forms the structure or foundation of the vehicle are far superior to their ICE platforms with power electronics stuffed where an engine would live. Battery packs forcing high floored models, namely high station wagons posing as SUVs. Also trunk areas half filled with an awkward battery box. Not only are BEV proprietary skateboards easier to diversify with varied body styles, but they are easier to service,… Read more »

There’s bound to be a few casualties… it happens in all markets when the status quo is disrupted.
But it will be much easier to find suppliers for electric motors and battery cells/modules than it has been for ICE or hybrid powerplants.
Doesn’t mean anyone can integrate these into a compelling product but one thing the EV market has shown us is that the barriers to entry are lower.

That doesn’t make it better for car makers. If cars makers end up just being body stampers and everything else is off the shelf battery and drivetrains provided by parts suppliers, the traditional car makes just become brand engineering with no real difference under the skin

This is what former FCA boss called “disintermediation”. loss of corse competencies to suppliers. I think it’s unavoidable that carmakers become coach builders with third paries supplying the powertrain bits. The GM/LG Bolt is an early example of this process at work.

Why can’t GM and Toyota build electric motors?

There’s no need to catch up to Tesla. Tesla doesn’t have ICE vehicles as a backup and doesn’t have a pile of cash. Tesla will be lucky to keep its head above water as dozens of worthy EV’s come to market within 5 years.

What the big boys need to do is make electric SUV’s, crossovers, pickups, hatchbacks, and inexpensive, small vehicles that would be ideal as a second family car. Ford and VW are in the process of forming a partnership that involves VW’s EV platform, so don’t think the big boys are idle. Major manufacturers are also partnering on EV’s and batteries, which will save them money. That includes investing in the development of solid-state batteries.