As pointed out here multiple times, Tesla does not primarily sell “fuel” economy, ROI formulae, greenness or any such cerebral fare. First and foremost, it sells dirty ol’ excitement. This new chart at IBT (scroll down) reminds us of something that even a vocal Tesla “cheerleader,” Adam Jonas from Morgan Stanley, sometimes forgets: Tesla is Teflon to the price of crude.
Responding to commenters:
Does Tesla have an unfair advantage in this comparison? Is the Model S somehow fresher while the others are lame-duck designs that are winding down production in preparation for new and improved replacements? Well, let’s compare ages:
Model S debut: June 2012
Chevy Volt debut: December 2010
Nissan Leaf debut: December 2010
Ford Fusion Energi debut: January 2013
Plug-in Prius debut: January 2012
No real advantage here. The Model S is about the same age as the others. But Tesla does indeed have an unfair advantage in product freshness. It has something called brains. Tesla has improved the Model S’ physical and mental abilities multiple times “on the fly” instead of subjecting itself, and its customers, to the obsolescence cycle. While interest in other EVs ebbs and flows, Tesla has cunningly exempted itself from that tidal cycle just as it’s exempt from every other dumb habit of the auto industry.
The Model S is like an organism that keeps getting stronger and smarter with time. Like, say, a child. It’s an unprecedented relationship between human and car. It’s all part of the excitement, and all part of the unfairly long product cycle.