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How different is Tesla’s business model?

I have a friend who is a big fan of Tesla. And judging by what’s going on with the company’s stock these days, he is not alone. This morning he sent me this article talking about how Tesla has introduced an entirely new business model for the automotive industry. The two key takeaways are as follows. One, Tesla is in many ways a software company. The hardware and software onboard each vehicle are continually getting better and oftentimes these improvements are delivered to their customers for free via over-the-air updates. This is not how the incumbent car companies work. And two, fully electric vehicles are going to crush after-sales revenue by virtue of the fact that electric vehicles simply don’t require the same amount of service. So now you’re in a position where the cars last longer (and apparently depreciate a lot less). This might seem bad for business, but if you can build an ecosystem of energy products and services around said car, then maybe you’ve got a big ass Tesla moat. Maybe. I have no idea what the company should be valued at today, but all of this is interesting to me and I’m fairly certain that the car I have right now will be the last combustion engine vehicle I ever own. Depending on when autonomy arrives, it may also be the last car I ever own.

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