Electric swaps could be the next big thing.
Tesla has rewritten the book for electric cars with the Model S. Before the automaker came out with the Model S, electric cars were complete failures with limited range, expensive price tags and terrible driving capabilities. Now, the Model S is seen as the future thanks to its ability to embarrass supercars and its usable range, which is a good thing. Yes, enthusiasts still prefer to have V8 engines, but the ability to get to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds is too good to pass up, which is why Tesla should offer its chassis to enthusiasts.
While the Model S is an impressive car, the secret to the brand's profit is down to what’s underneath the car’s shell: the "skateboard" chassis. Unlike the majority of automakers, Tesla builds a bespoke chassis, which is called the skateboard, and is comprised of the motors, battery packs, suspension and wiring. Tesla simply places the body on top of the chassis, which remains the same for the Model S, Model X and upcoming Model 3. You know what would make electric cars really cool? If enthusiasts had the ability to place a car’s body on top of Tesla’s skateboard chassis. The majority of enthusiasts aren’t sold on electric cars and having the ability to use electric technology to create their own car would help in the adjustment period.
Tesla’s Model S has not only changed how electric cars should perform, but also how the vehicles are sold. The way the automaker sells its vehicles is similar to Apple, which gives Tesla freedom to do anything, including selling the skateboard chassis on its own. Every enthusiast enjoys a good V8 swap, but picture for a second if Tesla were to allow enthusiasts to complete their own electric swap. Take a ratty, old Mazda Miata, remove the body and place the chassis underneath for the ultimate sleeper. Taking the exquisite powertrain out of a Ferrari would be a terrible idea, but giving enthusiasts the ability to create their own ultimate sleeper with an electric powertrain isn’t.
Forget V8 swaps that only give cars marginal performance gains. Any car, regardless of its weight or size, would have similar performance to the Tesla that it’s based off of. Any body style, any year, any car you could ever imagine could benefit from Tesla’s skateboard chassis. The possibilities are truly endless. Enthusiasts could keep their beloved car’s look, while cutting gas bills, maintenance costs and repair expenses. There are, however, some downsides. While companies out there already turn gasoline-powered cars in to electric cars, it costs a lot of money. And, at the end of the day, Tesla is still a company that wants to make money.
Getting a skateboard chassis from the automaker wouldn’t be cheap and since Tesla makes it, the automaker would surely want to be in charge of the swap. But if ever there was ever a way to make electric cars cool, it would be this. Giving enthusiasts the ability to use electric technology to make their own cars faster would draw people in. This would probably never happen, but if it did, many enthusiasts would back electric cars as the future. Not to mention, having a Miata that could do zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds sounds like an awesome thing.