Elon and the Missing Tesla Taxi
Tesla is determined to avoid the market for taxis worldwide and I’m stumped for a reason.
A quick look at the market
In dollars, the worldwide market in 2019 amounted to $70 billion and is estimated to rise quickly to $120 billion by 2027. Tesla sold about $31 billion across all models in 2020, so the cab market ought to be a no-brainer because it’s a single-platform, single-bodied car.
Adjusted by cities, Mexico City holds the record with 100,000 taxis. London comes second, with 68,000. Beijing comes third with 66,000 and New York City follows with a surprisingly weak 13,587.
But again, worldwide the numbers are enormous.
And who’s currently serving that market?
With the exception of London and New York’s proprietary cabs, name your off-the-street sedan and it’s serving as a cab somewhere.
The London Cab, as with so many bespoke products in England, has been designed to suit—which is what bespoke means—and serves admirably as the world’s iconic brand.
It is designed to walk into and out of, rather than lurching into the rear seat like a load of wet wash, leaving your pride and privacy at the curb.
It boasts ‘chair-high’ seats, both elegant and comfortable.
It has a turning radius of twenty-five feet, allowing great maneuverability.
Its shape is highly visible to patrons waving down a cab.
Electric versions of various sedans are beginning to bleed into the urban markets, for reasons of both noise and air-pollution. But they are horrors to enter and exit, just ask any woman headed to the office or theater. That includes Teslas, so a new design is required to suit the market. To no current reader’s surprise, I have a rather elegant solution for that.
New Tesla market, new Tesla design
Like many who have some expertise in design issues, I believe in adapting from the very best, rather than breaking new ground. I do not plagiarize, I creatively adapt. But what better model in this case than the London Cab?
Forget wind-tunnel sleekness in this case, Elon. This is a city-vehicle, slow and maneuverable, with a top speed of 60mph to get to the airport and back, along with great battery-range for city driving. It should be a bespoke color—perhaps apple-green, for instant worldwide identification as a Tesla. Millions of cab passengers will have their first taste of riding in a Tesla by stepping into your taxi. That ain’t all bad. We can chat about details, but you get my drift.
I remember your reasons when you first got into the electric car business. You wanted to change the world environmentally and bring the cities out of their gloom and smog. Yet you abandoned the inner-city in order to sell expensive cars to the very rich and left the city-bus business to BYD. A pickup truck for the next introduction? Really, Elon? What happened to those dreams, as our cities become increasingly unlivable? I can all but guarantee the pickup truck market will not amount to $120 billion five years from now. By that time, some EV maker with an eye for the market will have covered that need.
You’re hard to get hold of, Elon
You might do well to stop messing with the stock market on Twitter and make a more friendly route for contact by those who care about your product. Just sayin…