I decided to replace my ICE car with a Tesla back in January, and I’m often asked by people, “Do you have range anxiety?” Said another way, are you afraid of being stuck at the side of the road with no juice? No. Embedded in this question is a really important business lesson I learned –
I live in Madison, Wisconsin, and three major cities are less than half a day’s drive away – Milwaukee, Chicago, and Minneapolis. If I were to take just any electric car (and not a Tesla), I would think to myself, “Where am I going to plug in?” What Tesla has done so, so well is understand two things:
1.) Their drivers will pay to save time. The Tesla network of Superchargers (which you see in the map here) are located in areas just off the interstate, and will give you 180 miles of range in 15 minutes. These are much, much faster than standard EV chargers, and only work with Teslas.
2.) Their drivers don’t want to feel stupid. Within the navigation system of the Tesla, the map will calculate when a driver should stop at Superchargers and for how long. It will also tell you how many charging stalls are open.
What’s the business lesson? Tesla both considered and executed on service to their customers, and not just the product. The product is incredible – it’s basically a piece of software that happens to be a car – but the ongoing support from their growing network of Superchargers is a major differentiator their competitors haven’t considered.
Do you agree? Is Tesla that much different than the other car companies?