Skip advert
Advertisement
Opinion

'Tesla will have to work harder to stay at the top'

Steve Fowler points out how quickly the electric car industry is changing and what Tesla is doing to keep up

Tesla opinion

It doesn't seem that long ago that if you wanted an electric car in the UK, you could choose either a Nissan Leaf or a Tesla. The speed of acceleration (sorry!) in the EV market, particularly over the past 12 to 18 months, has been nothing short of incredible. 

Advertisement - Article continues below

Now, the current Nissan Leaf is no longer a standout model, although the forthcoming Ariya could reverse the brand’s EV fortunes. But Tesla is still at the top of its game, as recent sales figures show, with the Model 3 often one of the UK’s biggest-selling cars.

This week we've put Tesla to the test, as the Model Y faces the brilliant Audi Q4 e-tron. This coincides with Tesla opening the order books for the Model Y in the UK, although in true Tesla fashion, there’s still no confirmation on when the first cars will actually be with British customers. What is certain is that our twin test is a close one.

Tesla has always done things differently, which is one of the reasons we rate the brand and its cars so highly. And Elon Musk has always said that he welcomes competition; the more EVs the merrier, he reckons.

But that’s going to make things tough for Tesla in the future. Never have a car company and its models been so closely scrutinised by rivals (or so polarised the opinions of car fans). Rival car companies are pivoting their businesses to become software-first organisations, just like Tesla, while start-ups such as Fisker have been taking Musk’s clean-sheet-of-paper approach.

So can Tesla stay ahead? It seems the firm’s tech story just keeps on rolling on, with news of a new platform that integrates the batteries into the structure of the car, meaning fewer parts, less weight and greater range. So when Model Ys roll out of the new German factory, they may look like they do now, but the tech could be very different. And that’s how Tesla’s rivals are starting to think, too.

Find out the latest on Tesla's Cybertruck here...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

‘BYD is rubbing salt into Tesla’s wounds’
Opinion - BYD
Opinion

‘BYD is rubbing salt into Tesla’s wounds’

Mike Rutherford thinks BYD’s superb start to 2024 is part of the reason Tesla’s market valuation has plummeted
28 Jan 2024
New Tesla Model 2: project ‘Redwood’ will be firm’s entry-level electric car in 2025
Tesla 'Model 2' teaser image
News

New Tesla Model 2: project ‘Redwood’ will be firm’s entry-level electric car in 2025

The baby Tesla will borrow styling and technology from its larger siblings and could be here sooner than you think
25 Jan 2024
Tesla Autopilot safety recall affects two million cars
2016 Tesla Model S - cornering
News

Tesla Autopilot safety recall affects two million cars

Two million US market Teslas will receive a software upgrade to improve the safety of their Autopilot self-driving tech
13 Dec 2023
Munich Motor Show 2023: news round-up and all the new cars
Auto Express Munich Motor Show 2023 guide header image
News

Munich Motor Show 2023: news round-up and all the new cars

This year's Munich Motor Show saw big reveals from BMW, Cupra, Mercedes, MINI, Renault, Tesla and Volkswagen
6 Sep 2023

Most Popular

'The cure for slow electric car sales is simple - lower prices'
Mike Rutherford opinion - Skoda Enyaq tracking shot
Opinion

'The cure for slow electric car sales is simple - lower prices'

Mike Rutherford thinks the prices of electric cars is the number one thing deterring consumers from making the switch
14 Apr 2024
Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio 2024 twin test: hybrid supermini battle
Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio E-Tech - front tracking
Car group tests

Toyota Yaris vs Renault Clio 2024 twin test: hybrid supermini battle

With more and more electrified rivals arriving, Toyota has given its hybrid-only Yaris a facelift. We put it up against Renault’s class-leading Clio.
13 Apr 2024
New Volkswagen Golf 2024: facelifted hatchback icon on sale from 11 April
Facelifted Volkswagen Golf - front static
News

New Volkswagen Golf 2024: facelifted hatchback icon on sale from 11 April

The eighth-generation Golf has been given a mid-life refresh - just in time for the model’s 50th birthday
9 Apr 2024