Electrifying the Race: How Tesla Outpaces Legacy Car Makers in the EV Revolution

In an industry that is rapidly developing into something potentially otherworldly, the shift to electric vehicles (EVs) has brought forth a whole new future. Tesla, a symbol of innovation and sustainability, stands as a leading company transforming today’s automotive business into one that is ready for tomorrow. With an estimated market share of 18.7 per cent of the total electric vehicle sales and a groundbreaking market capitalisation exceeding that of any major global car maker, Tesla is leading the pack. Every other competitor struggles to catch up. This article will explain why this is the case.

A New Era of Automotive Engineering

TESLA'S BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS: Building from the Ground Up

Tesla’s commitment to fully customer-centred design, where a vehicle is developed around a human interface, not a gasoline engine, also sets it apart. As an all-electric vehicle (EV) startup rather than a legacy automaker with a century-long history of designing vehicles around gasoline engines, Tesla has been able to concentrate on these design principles from the beginning, thereby integrating advanced technology into its products from the outset. Tesla is not merely an electric vehicle (EV). It’s a vehicle designed around a human interface – an experienced, empowered, increasing digitally immersed user.


If Tesla’s decision to heavily invest in creating a national and now global Supercharger network is one of the underlying factors that has put Tesla in a strong second place in the EV market, then it is still even more important to successfully drive long distances with the new EVs. Tesla’s ownership of the Supercharger network, once accessible to only Tesla owners but now shared with almost all other automakers, is the single greatest factor in overcoming the single biggest impediment to EV adoption.

Beyond the Wheel: The Tesla Ecosystem


Tesla is far less about cars than it is about ecosystems. It’s not just about manufacturing electric vehicles (an impressive start). Tesla wants to build the entire automotive framework around them: sales and service, charging and software, everything. This is not only a major plus in keeping customers within Tesla’s ecosystem, but also in continuing to improve the products with software updates and forging customer loyalty. The ability to offer customers a single solution for all their automotive needs is a huge value add, and Tesla’s technology is now raising the bar for what people expect from an automotive OEM.


Legacy automakers are still making progress in the EV space, but their production is sometimes held back by the limitations of legacy car-making processes. Take a platform that was designed for internal combustion engines, and try to fit electric technology into its ‘skin’. It can be done, but there is only so much you can do to adapt an ICE performance, the way it rides, the sound, etc., before something needs to give or be abandoned entirely. Tesla’s nimbleness and lack of legacy prejudices mean that it can just start fresh. The same can be said for infrastructure. No one can cover the entire country with Superchargers overnight, least of all those who need to take legacy petrol station infrastructure into account. These hurdles mean that Tesla’s from-the-ground-up play has some advantages.

Legacy Automakers in the EV Race


The story of legacy automakers trying to take on Tesla is one of technological catch-up and strategic realignment. A carmaker like Ford entering the EV market with a car like its Mach-E or an automaker such as GM with Cadillac Lyriq are examples of traditional carmakers trying to play in Tesla’s space. Yet compare that to Tesla’s performance, and the yawning gap in sales becomes apparent. Indeed, the future of the automaking industry lies in innovation, adaptable technology, and unshackling itself from old, gasoline-based confines to create a quintessentially electric automotive experience.


The challenge for legacy automakers to compete with Tesla is not just about electrifying fleet lines but in reimagining how to build cars, sell cars and integrate tech in ways that create EV experiences that are complementary to Tesla’s ecosystem. We’re talking about a total reinvention of how vehicles are built and sold. The road to sustainability in mobility will require courage, creativity and a willingness to embrace change.

LEGACY: Carving a Path to the Future

For a legacy automaker such as VW, ‘legacy’ represents decades of legacy that come with their history. That’s a legacy to leverage. However, legacy automakers, big and small, can succumb to the pressures and threats of the status quo. ExxonMobil is a legacy company in the oil and gas industry known for pioneering discoveries such as oil in the Middle East and sizing up the role that gas would play in the world. But as Elon Musk and others started uncovering the climate crisis, ExxonMobil buried its head in the sand as it tried to protect its legacy as a full-service petrochemical giant, disregarding a changing world. The love for legacy is seductive, certainly. A history that comes with so much hard-earned knowledge and expertise is too valuable to let go. Yet legacy also poses risks. It’s a corporate comfort zone that can be tempting to stay in. And it’s this love for legacy, for shaping a company’s identity, that can distract big automakers from the real threat at hand. But as legacy automakers begin building electric vehicles for the new millennium, they can upend these fears. It’s not so much about legacy brands as surviving the EV revolution; it’s about thriving by being known for what they were designed and built for: mobility. If legacy automakers focus on that, everything else will fall into place.

In conclusion, Tesla’s rapid rise in the EV market demonstrates the force of innovation powered by customer-centred design and strategic foresight. Although legacy automakers are grappling with this generational change, the game is not only about catching up with the New Kid on the Block. While its success story inspires, the fact remains that the looming EV revolution is accelerating rapidly and tomorrow’s legacy is still being written.

Jun 17, 2024
<< Go Back