A Tesla GT Race Car with heavy custom modifications. Does it showcase what could be available in a future aftermarket for EV’s?
The Plaid power-train for Tesla is expected to be available later this year on the Model S and possibly the Model X. Back in June of 2018 however, the Lovecars YouTube channel posted this video of this heavily modified P100DL Model S.
It was heavily modified and built as a GT race car. Complete with wide body kit, serious suspension and brake upgrades, among several other race performance upgrades.
The stock aluminum body was replaced with a “flat fiber” material, a material I never heard of before. They mention it has the same strength as carbon composites, but with a slight a translucent property to it where light can shine through it. He states they’ve removed half a ton of weight from the original vehicle!
Slowly Evolving EV Aftermarket
This car is certainly on the extreme side of things with what I’m sure were many custom built parts, but the aftermarket for electrical vehicles seems to slowly be coming around. A couple of things that have kept it slow (in my opinion):
General Price of EV’s
There’s certainly different price points for EV’s, but for a comparable Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicle there is a premium on the price. At least when talking about the up front price of a brand new vehicle. That is, until you start calculating in some other cost savings. Depending on where you live can vary quite a bit in terms of gasoline and electric costs. A higher initial cost for an EV could detract people from wanting to spend any money on customizing them.
Commuter Car EV’s
When you look at certain electrical vehicles such as the Chevy Bolt and Nissan LEAF, they’re essentially styled to be nothing more than fairly typical commuter vehicles. At least for the most part. The style of these vehicles typically don’t lend themselves to the custom automotive scene. These cars are not considered performance vehicles by any means. There may never be a performance aftermarket for them.
High Performance Electric Vehicles
Tesla certainly dominates this category. It will be interesting if some of the aftermarket companies that have produced parts for ICE vehicles will start looking at accessories for Tesla’s. The Model S and X aren’t anywhere near the volume of production as the Model 3, so those vehicles may never see an expansive aftermarket. I do believe the Model 3 aftermarket will increase sooner, rather than later.
Go Fast Accessories
This is the market that does not seem to exist whatsoever. Again, this is my opinion, but it doesn’t seem as though any aftermarket companies are comfortable diving into some of these components. With ICE engines you have shops that will stroke engines. There are quite a few manufacturers of aftermarket parts. Anything from headers and superchargers to air intake manifolds and high performance carburetors for the non-fuel injected vehicles.
I think this Tesla GT Race Car clearly shows what is possible with EV’s, but at the same time exposes some short comings. Long recharge times and having to make sure the battery doesn’t overheat are obvious pitfalls. On the other hand, it clearly demonstrates these vehicles can be heavily modified. Obviously not everyone is going to have the budget for custom made parts, at some point this gap needs to be bridged by the aftermarket.
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