How Elon Musk & Tesla Made Electric Cars Cool

Hi, and welcome to The Bottom Line! In this video, we’re going to take a closer
look at the fits and starts electric vehicles have experienced over the past few decades,
why some automakers are choosing to make hybrids vs. electric cars, and why
all-electric vehicles are likely the future. The very first electric cars debuted in the
early 1800s and began growing in popularity by the end of the century. But Henry Ford’s mass-produced Model T debuted
in 1908, and that, along with the invention of the electric starter for automobiles, quickly helped
put an end to the early growth of electric vehicles. But in the early 1990s, the electric
car began experiencing a resurgence. A 1990 California laws said that by 1998,
2% of vehicles that large manufacturers produced for sale in California had to be zero emissions
vehicles, and that percentage would increase to 10% by 2003. The problem was that the electric cars that
automakers created in the wake of this new law were expensive to produce, and even the
most popular ones like GM’s EV1, only had a range of about 100 miles, which was far
below the average range of gas-powered vehicles. To make matters worse for electric cars,
gas prices were very low in the mid-1990s. The average price for a gallon of regular
unleaded gas in California at the end of 1996 was less than $1.20 per gallon. Those low gas prices, combined with a strong
U.S. economy, meant that American drivers were looking to buy larger vehicles
without much concern for gas mileage. Additionally, many of the strict requirements
first introduced by California were challenged in court and eventually watered down. But the electric car came back with a vengeance
in 2006 when Tesla did something that all other automakers had failed to do —
it made the electric car cool. The company’s first vehicle, the all-electric
Roadster, had a range of 245 miles, which matched the lower-end
range for gas powered engines. Oh, and it also went 0 to
60 in just 3.7 seconds. In 2018, 10 years after launching its original
Roadster, Tesla produced 350,000 vehicles — far more than the 2,400 Roadsters
it sold between 2008 and 2012. While Tesla has had its share of problems,
there’s no denying that the company has helped electric vehicles
become more mainstream. Now, nearly every automaker is
seeing the value of selling electric vehicles. But it’s not just consumer
demand that’s driving this shift. Both China and Europe are putting pressure
on automakers to reduce vehicle emissions. China, which is the world’s largest auto market,
penalizes automakers if they don’t sell a minimum amount of
zero emissions vehicles. This is causing some automakers to move away
not just from internal combustion engines, but also from hybrid vehicles as well. GM and Volkswagen recently said that they’re
abandoning development of hybrid vehicles and focusing their attention
on all-electric vehicles. GM says that it’ll bring 20 electric
vehicles to market by 2023. Volkswagen is bringing a new plug-in electric
SUV to the U.S. in 2020, and launching an electric minibus by 2022. Of course, not all automakers are betting
on electric vehicles in the same way. Ford is working on both electric and hybrid
versions of its popular F-150 pickup truck. Toyota is working to put its hybrid
technology into more of its vehicles. While automakers disagree whether hybrids
or electrics are the better long-term solution for creating low emissions vehicles, it’s
clear that both have become serious alternatives to the internal combustion engine. Some experts predict that electric vehicles
will make up 7% of the U.S. automotive market in 2030, with hybrids taking 23%. The bottom line is, with Volkswagen, GM,
and others focusing more of their resources towards electric vehicles, and Tesla’s vehicles already
leading the way, it’s likely that electric vehicles are finally here to stay.
Thanks for watching this video! Do you think that electric vehicles are
the future of automotive transportation? Let us know in the comments. If you liked this video, give us a thumbs
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About the Author: Michael Flood

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