Disclaimer: This article was written in the week of Tesla's introduction of the autopilot feature. It assumed that Tesla implemented 2-part pricing for that feature; $2,500 for the hardware and another $3,000 for software activation. This has been assumed by other Tesla customers too due to misleading information on Tesla's homepage. It turns out that Tesla did not take advantage of 2-part pricing this time. Thus, the article can be considered food for thought: what advantages 2-part pricing could have had and how the future of automotive pricing might still look like.
Recently Tesla introduced a beta version of an autopilot. I could spend hours watching YouTube videos of proud Tesla owners showing off their self-driving ModelS. While, Tesla is known for adding new features to their car, the autopilot is much more than a simple product innovation. It introduces a new pricing scheme to the automotive world and changes Tesla’s business model.
Today, more than 160k gas stations are distributed around the US. But besides heavy subsidies, the EV charging infrastructure lacks behind with ~11k public charging stations. Many global experts still blame the low EV adaptation on, at least partially, missing charging infrastructure.
While buyers of today’s cars rely on a broad infrastructure of gas stations, the usage patterns of EV drivers are different. ~96% EV drivers charge at home and at work. Only 4% of charging thus happens outside of home/work. Also, most of these remaining charges were not necessary in order to reach home or work to charge.
Sini Ninkovic analyzes the EV market and its customers since 2012. He helped bringing BMW's i3 and i8 to market and currently works as Product Planner for Lucid Motors.