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Tesla co-founder tells electric vehicle companies not to be like Tesla

Tesla co-founder tells electric vehicle companies not to be like Tesla

Martin Eberhard's advice for EV startups is to avoid trying to copy Tesla.

Listen up electric vehicle companies – the key to success is to stop trying to be Tesla, according to the company's co-founder Martin Eberhard.

The inventor, engineer and entrepreneur believes too many car companies are trying to beat Tesla’s success by copying its recipe.

This, however, could lead to failure and nobody wants that do they?

The Tesla Model S launched in 2012.
Clarence Holmes Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

“My advice to anybody who wants to get into the EV space now is don’t try to compete head-on with Tesla,” he warned in a new interview with Insider. “Don’t make the exact same model.”

It should come as no surprise why car companies want to replicate Tesla’s roadmap to success. The car brand is the top-selling electric vehicle in the US with a market share that stood at 65 percent through the third quarter of 2022, per a report by S&P Global Mobility.

Since the Tesla brand was founded in 2003, established car companies like Volkswagen, Nissan and Polestar have launched their own electric vehicles while other brands have emerged to tempt car buyers into purchasing a non-Musk electric motor.

Eberhard said car company Lucid is trying to compete directly against the Model S, Tesla’s flagship model which went on sale in 2012, with its own electric sedan called the Lucid Air.

Martin Eberhard.

The company’s first prototype for the Lucid Air was unveiled in 2016 and customers received their delivers from 2021.

With a price range of $87,400 to $179,000 it can ran up to 520 miles on a full charge.

Eberhard worked at Lucid in 2015 when the company operated under its old name Atieva, but he has since left.

The Tesla co-founder said he knows lots of former Tesla engineers now work for the rival company Lucid.

According to Eberhard, the way forward for automotive companies is to stop seeing the market as a ‘winner-take-all industry’.

He said: “There’s different kinds of cars for different market segments.

“From the beginning, everybody at Tesla knew that, eventually, the auto industry would catch up with them and they would be competing against a bunch of other companies.

Rivian R1T electric sports utility truck.
Uwe Deffner / Alamy Stock Photo

Eberhard added: “The world has supported more than a dozen successful large car companies for generations. I don’t see that changing.”

Meanwhile, Eberhard said he’s way more excited about the company Rivian which has ditched the sedan body style and instead opted to make an electric pickup truck called the R1T. The first model rolled off the assembly line and was delivered to a customer in September 2021 and the official EPA range is 314 miles (505 km).

“Rivian has looked out there and said, 'You know, the No. 1-selling vehicle in North America is the F-150 truck.' So if we want to find a new market, that's a lucrative place to work,” he said.

Featured Image Credit: Tony Farrugia /Jeanette Teare / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Business, Tesla, Electric Cars, Cars, Elon Musk