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Electric cars are closer to a breakthrough than you might think

It’s late 2020 and the auto world is still divided over what will turn most consumers into an electric car. Offer? Charging infrastructure? Costs? Driving feeling? We know consumers like clarity, not debate. What now?

Tesla is approaching the long-awaited Battery Day, which may have an important announcement about increased battery energy density that can store much more energy in a given size or weight of battery pack. It would be important because it could power Tesla on both ends of the market.

“You can get more coverage at the high end of the market,”

; says Sam Abuelsamid, principal research analyst at Guidehouse Research, of an EV metric that consumers are obsessed with. “On the other hand, one of the biggest challenges is price for mainstream consumers.” Higher energy density can result in EVs with long range but a much smaller battery that could cost thousands of dollars less. Tesla should be particularly interested in this since that was it first major EV manufacturer to fail from federal grants for his cars.

Tesla Model 3 battery

There’s plenty of room under a Tesla Model 3 for a huge battery pack, but a breakthrough in energy density would mean it doesn’t need one. Less weight, lower cost: both are holy grails.


Beyond the price, a large number of consumers still view EVs as glorified golf carts that get stranded and take forever to charge. “There’s definitely a consumer perception issue,” says Abuelsamid, based on Guidehouse’s annual consumer research. “Most Americans have never had an EV before. It’s amazing how much better [their] Perceptions are present once. “Ample torque and noiseless power are two pleasing factors that consumers don’t seem to notice until they get behind the wheel. The automakers haven’t helped most of the advertisements with their laser focus on range, charge time, and price.

Porsche and Tesla were, of course, exceptions to this rule. “Whatever else you think of Elon Musk, Tesla has shown better than anyone that electric vehicles can be more than just a glorified golf cart,” says Abuelsamid. “They are great vehicles in themselves.”

Abuelsamid explored many other aspects of future EV success with CNET’s Brian Cooley. Hear them all in the video above.


What now is a video interview series with industry leaders, celebrities and influencers covering trends that affect businesses and consumers amid the “new normal”. There will always be changes in our world and we will be here to discuss how to navigate everything.

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