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, and that won’t change with the III.
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 shelf time:
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
The Model S is about the same age as the others. But Tesla does indeed have an advantage in product freshness. Tesla has improved the Model S’ physical and mental abilities multiple times on the fly — even over the air — instead of subjecting itself, and its customers, to the obsolescence cycle. Is that unfair? No. Same playing field. One winner.
Here’s hoping all of the players make progress in their next iterations.