Last week on a flight to Los Angeles, I read an article in The Atlantic about Chevy's efforts to build a mass-market electric car that runs on a powerful, long-lasting battery. And as I drove around LA, I noticed more currents of change in the auto industry: a Tesla dealership on Santa Monica Blvd.
As it happens, Tesla opened the store a month ago and they plan to open a second store "at Stanford" later this month. Notably, the store showcases the mechanic shop, an intelligent appeal to early Tesla adopters--the wealthy and mechanically curious, that is. In their words: "Electric cars are cleaner around the shop. Less oil, no fumes. We knew our service area would be a showpiece, so we figured: why not put it out front where everyone can see?"
Building an electric car from scratch, Chevy's goal with the Volt, is impressive. But building an electric car and car company from scratch, Tesla's ambition, is remarkable on a whole other order of magnitude. It will be fascinating to see if they can pull it off.
Photo credit: Tesla.