A story written by Thomas Bartman who studies disruptive innovation at a Harvard Business School think tank concludes that Tesla is not disruptive but rather a classic sustaining innovation. Tesla product offers a better performance than the previously released product by the same company at a higher price which is logical if you take a closer look at it. The story appeared two weeks ago in August Harvard Business Review.
According to Bartman, the actual disruptive innovation for electric drivetrains is actually the low-speed electric vehicles and electric utility vehicles. These vehicles are most probably popular in the future as they are free emission and they are convenient to use in the increasingly crowded streets of major cities. They are currently sold by companies such as GEM and often not seen on public roads. The downside of these vehicles is that there is no safety requirements therefore although the maximum speed limit in New York City is 25 miles per hour, if you are moving slowly while others are moving in a higher speed than you then the possibility of you getting hit in the intersection is higher.
Therefore to say Tesla is disruptive is not entirely correct as without Tesla then there is no competitive edge in the automobile industry and thus other companies such as General Motors would not launched 2011 Chevy Volt or announced 200-mile Chevy Bold EV battery-electric car and the automobile industry will not grow as of now.