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GOOGLE SAVES THE ELECTRIC CAR

Google acquires Tesla to produce electric robocars

Looking to expand into seriously big markets and build on its experience with robots and driverless cars, Google has announced that it is acquiring Tesla. Combining Google Technology with Tesla makes so much sense, and will see Google poised to seize top spot in the emerging electric auto market.

What’s not so apparent, is that Google is actually saving Tesla, the leading electric car maker, from an early demise. Tesla grew from a Silicon Valley startup on a shoestring to US$ 50 billion market value by 2015. That’s because Tesla wasn’t competing with 100-year-old auto companies. They were reinventing mobility, and creating the iPod of automobiles, cars that never need fuel or an oil change.

But with only two popular models, and the high-range sedan selling for US$75,000 it’s no good being the leading electric car brand – you’re still a niche market play. The only way to slash prices is to go seriously big, and make a million cars every year, rather than 50,000 units.

Google can also help Tesla fight disruptive technology. Hydrogen fuel cells are making a big push, because they offer better range and quick refueling; and the big companies behind them like Toyota and GM can afford attractive leasing packages. Google can provide the financial muscle to ramp up production, as well as licensing Google Car technology. That’s an advantage the other auto companies will struggle to match.

And there’s one other reason that Google wants Tesla; every Tesla comes with its own Gmail address, and is mapping the cityscape for Google Maps. The truly connected car is finally here. Perhaps they’ll call it the iCar? More likely the Autodroid.

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