Remember when Tesla was just a small startup company with a big dream? Very few people saw the potential for electric cars. GM had killed its original electric project, the EV1, and batteries were seen as an inefficient alternative to plentiful gasoline.
The Tesla Roadster was built for a very small niche of people who wanted the novelty of an electric sports car.
Compare the Tesla of 2009 with the Tesla of 2016, and it’s astonishing to see the growth of the company and the widespread acceptance of its automobiles.
Not only has Tesla represented the evolution toward electricity, it has spurred a revolution in automotive engineering.
The success of Tesla Motors has forced other mainstream automakers to get on board the electrification train and build their own versions of Tesla’s cars. Audi is building a competitor to the Model S, General Motors has a solid fleet of electrics, Mercedes-Benz is hopping on the bandwagon, and now Jaguar will build a competitor to the Model X SUV.
Let’s take a moment to stop and realize what a big deal that is.
Jaguar was on the verge of collapse when Tesla first began. Electric cars were nowhere on its radar, and the company’s very survival was in question. Now the company has been turned around and is building some the most revered cars in the world. Its next car, an all-electric SUV, would never have happened if Tesla had never existed.
Revealed during the Los Angeles Auto Show, Jaguar’s 400-horsepower electric I-Pace is a preview of a production model that will be available in 2018. It will be the British brand’s first all-electric vehicle.
The I-Pace will feature all-wheel drive and an EPA-estimated driving range of 220 miles. While its beautiful styling is miles away from traditional Jaguar design, it does boast several quintessential Jaguar cues. It also differs from the sleek new F-Pace gas-powered SUV by offering a “cab-forward” design, which means it has a shorter hood, larger interior space, and overall shape that improves aerodynamics.
Jag’s press release said,
The I-PACE Concept is the smartest five-seater sports car and the start of a new era for Jaguar. It’s as daringly designed and innovative as the cars that put Jaguar on the map, with technology that enhances our customers’ lives. It sets a template for others to follow, just as we have always done.
Transportation will change more in the next decade than it has in the past 50 years and we’re prepared for that change.
It’s a change that Tesla can take credit for inspiring, and a change that will eventually benefit the entire planet.