Opinion

“Tesla is now the hunted instead of the hunter”

Chief reviewer Sean Carson thinks Tesla can’t afford to rest on its laurels at the top of the electric car tree with the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes all ready to launch new bespoke EVs

It already seems as if Tesla has been around for ages, but in motor industry terms the brand has pretty much emerged overnight. Perhaps more quickly than anyone before it, the US company has moved from a curio-outsider to cutting edge.

You can read whether or not its Model 3 stays right at the top of its class when we tested it against Polestar 2 here. This showdown has prompted an interesting point: where will Tesla’s challenge come from in the future?

Polestar is one of the most credible brands to take Tesla on at its own game. But with the bigger, now-updated Model S, the likes of Audi and Mercedes have been left scrambling in Tesla’s wake.

Of course, these ‘legacy’ manufacturers are successful for a reason, and we know Audi, Mercedes and BMW all have bespoke EVs, underpinned by sophisticated engineering, waiting in the wings to launch. But initial details show that this crop of cars will only match what Tesla is doing, rather than pushing beyond it.

Tesla’s V3 Supercharging tech can charge at up to 250kW, adding a claimed 75 miles of range in just five minutes. Porsche offers similar with its Taycan, but at a price point way above cars like the Model 3.

As a new brand, then, Polestar has the right cards in its hand; it just needs to play them in the right order. It has the chance to innovate and carve itself out as a leader, but with close links to Volvo, it can also lean on a company that gets traditional ‘car things’ right. There’s certainly potential for it to be a key rival for Tesla as the industry evolves yet another step in the years ahead.

No doubt just as others are working furtively to develop the best zero-emission cars, Tesla won’t be resting on its laurels. But its time as the disruptor is over. Now it needs to continue to innovate, improve and scale up to see off fresh rivals – including, almost certainly, tech companies who are just as green to the car industry as Tesla itself was a few years ago.

Click here to read our Polestar 2 vs Tesla Model 3 twin test...

Recommended

Safest cars for sale in the UK
Safest cars - header image
Best cars & vans

Safest cars for sale in the UK

We look at the cars Euro NCAP has named as the safest cars on sale
13 Jan 2022
New Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV electric SUV teased
Skoda Enyaq Coupe
Electric cars

New Skoda Enyaq Coupe iV electric SUV teased

Skoda’s upcoming Enyaq Coupe iV offers improved efficiency, while latest sketch reveals sportier looks to take on the Volkswagen ID.5
11 Jan 2022
Best new cars coming in 2022
Best new cars coming in 2022 - header image
Best cars & vans

Best new cars coming in 2022

The world may be changing all the time but that doesn't stop manufacturers planning ahead. From electric crossovers to hatchbacks, these are the new m…
10 Jan 2022
Best electric cars to buy 2022
Best electric cars
Electric cars

Best electric cars to buy 2022

There are more electric cars than ever to choose from, so we've picked some of the best you can buy in the UK now
10 Jan 2022

Most Popular

Next-generation Mercedes E-Class to stick with combustion engines
Mercedes E-Class render
Mercedes E-Class

Next-generation Mercedes E-Class to stick with combustion engines

Mercedes is planning on launching a new E-Class in 2023 and it'll come with petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains
21 Jan 2022
New 2022 Land Rover Defender 130 revealed in patent images
Land Rover Defender 130
Land Rover Defender

New 2022 Land Rover Defender 130 revealed in patent images

Stretched Land Rover Defender 130 eight-seater leaked in patent images, showcasing design in full
21 Jan 2022
New Jeep Renegade and Compass e-Hybrids revealed
Jeep Renegade and Compass e-Hybrids
News

New Jeep Renegade and Compass e-Hybrids revealed

Jeep adds conventional hybrid power to Renegade and Compass line-ups, on sale in UK now
20 Jan 2022