The concept of intelligent Electric vehicles (IEVs) is quickly becoming the future of the automotive industry. Just five years ago, it was estimated that it cost over a billion dollars to develop a new IEV. Thanks to the advancements made by companies like Tesla, the cost of developing an IEV is now estimated to be as low as $200 million. In the early days of the industry, IEV original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) had to do almost everything in-house, but Tesla’s move to own its whole supply chain has opened up opportunities for other OEMs to follow suit.
Tesla has invested billions of dollars into battery systems, E/E architectures, autonomous driving capabilities, and intelligent cockpits. The company initially relied on external supply chains before shifting toward R&D on intelligence in its vehicles, especially its Autopilot and Full Self-Driving beta technologies. Tesla is now shifting toward a focus on its multi-device ecosystem, as its computing platforms become more standardized.
Tesla’s move to own its whole supply chain has enabled other OEMs to invest in their own supply chains more cost-effectively. For example, BYD recently invested into Indonesia for essential EV minerals. Additionally, instead of relying on third-party computing system manufacturers, Tesla developed its own proprietary computing system.
IEVs offer many advantages over traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, such as a centralized Electrical/electronic architecture (E/E architecture), easily updatable platforms, an emphasis on vehicle data, and enough computing power to enable semi-automated driving. These capabilities can be updated with a simple software update, allowing vehicles to become intelligent devices.
As the industry continues to shift toward IEVs, it is important to remember that we are still at the dawn of this era. IEV startups have a golden opportunity to define their products clearly and spend their financial resources effectively. Additionally, the evolution of the IEV supply chain has enabled IEV newcomers to develop their products cost- and time-efficiently.
Tesla is leading the way to a future of intelligent Electric vehicles and is setting the standard for the industry. Thanks to Tesla’s advancements, the cost of developing an IEV has come down significantly, allowing other OEMs to follow suit. As the IEV industry continues to evolve, the advantages of intelligent vehicles will become more and more apparent.
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