Tesla's Model S has long been the standard by which all other electric vehicles (EVs) are measured, but it may finally have a worthy competitor in the Porsche Taycan. At least, that's the assertion made by Car and Driver, which tested the two head-to-head.
It's actually not a completely unreasonable assessment of the two vehicles. After all, despite some very real differences, the Taycan is clearly Porsche's response to the Model S. Those differences are most clearly highlighted by the price. The Taycan starts at $189,000, which is nearly double the $101,000 you'll pay for the high-end version of the Model S.
Price aside, the two are quite similar. The range, for example, appears to give Tesla a substantial advantage, except in Car and Driver's test, the actual difference was only about 10 miles. As far as power, the two are well-matched, with the Tesla coming out ahead with just a bit more horsepower (778 to 750) and the Porsche a 10th of a second faster to 60 mph (2.4 seconds).
That makes it hard to decide which is the better car, though the price makes it clear which is a better value--the Tesla. However, there's actually a more important point here, and it's one to which entrepreneurs should pay attention.
Tesla is an electric vehicle-maker in the way that Apple is an iPhone-maker. Sure, it's a huge part of what they do, but the reason the iPhone is so popular is because of how it fits into the larger ecosystem of Apple products. Mac users don't go out and buy Samsung Galaxy phones, no matter how cool they might be.
The same is true of Tesla, which has created not just an entire ecosystem around its cars, but also an entire self-sustaining electric power utopia. In addition to really good cars, it makes battery storage units and home solar systems. Both of those create stickiness and loyalty among the customers.
When I wrote, last year, about how planned power shut-offs in northern California would affect Tesla drivers, readers were quick to point out that it's not really a problem because Tesla owners can generate and store their own power. That's true, and it shows that Tesla has fostered incredible loyalty that goes beyond an appreciation for its vehicles.
Which is a big deal, because that Porsche is no slouch. It's actually a worthy competitor, and that's a good thing for electric vehicles in general. But, Tesla isn't just building great cars--it's building a following.
And that's something every business--including yours--should consider.