Tesla’s rival CEOs: Their lead is widening

Peter Rawlinson, CEO of Lucid Motors, an American electric car start-up, said Tesla was still a leader in electric vehicle technology. Moreover, the gap with competitors is widening, not narrowing. In the tumultuous past few years, Tesla has given optimistic analysts a reason to believe and provided evidence of doubt among the rappers.

There’s no denying that Elon Musk is doing what traditional carmakers are doing but not being able to do, to make electric cars cool. But at the same time, Tesla is an inexperienced company, and over time conservatives (traditional auto makers) will catch up.

Tesla's rival CEOs: Their lead is widening

As Tesla watchers try to understand how and why the company’s share price has tripled in more than three months, some analysts and Musk’s rivals are speculating afterwards that traditional carmakers may soon catch up.

But Mr. Rawlinson, CEO of Lucid Motors, a U.S. electric-car start-up, said in an interview Monday that Tesla is widely seen as still leading the way in terms of electric vehicle technology. Moreover, the gap between them and their competitors is widening, not narrowing.

The praise is in line with recent comments by Herbert Diess, the chief executive of Volkswagen, the world’s largest carmaker. On January 22nd Tesla surpassed Volkswagen by market capitalisation. Less than two weeks later, at Monday’s close, Tesla had a market capitalisation of $140.6 billion, about $50 billion more than Volkswagen.

Last month, Volkswagen CEO David Des told company executives at an internal meeting that “cars will be the most important mobile device.” If we see this, we can understand why Tesla is so valuable in the eyes of analysts. In addition, Des added, Volkswagen is not considered a technology company.

In fact, Rawlinson was the chief engineer of Model S before joining Lucid Motors in 2013. But he hasn’t always been optimistic about Tesla, and has even downplayed the products of his former employer.

But soon after, Musk built an overwhelming lead in the fledgling U.S. electric car market. In Europe, the Model 3 has also become one of the best-selling cars in Europe. In China, Tesla built its first overseas plant in just over a year and began delivering locally produced cars last month.

“We think they’re pretty much ahead of the curve in battery and electric vehicle technology,” Adam Jonas, an analyst at Morgan Stanley, said in an interview. Tesla has gone from a former ‘automotive stock’ to a ‘tech unit’. “That’s the same as Amazon, Apple and Google.”