Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Virgin Mobile to Go Virgin Automobile?

AT&T and Verizon have claimed their stake in the automotive industry in the way of the “connected car.” They want to be able to connected their technology to homes and other products. This seems very logical since Android Auto and Apple’s CarPlay have made their debuts into the market, but one mobile company wants a bigger stake in the market. Virgin mobile has announced interest in the Electric Vehicle segment of the market to compete with Tesla Motors.

It does make a bit more sense for Virgin to enter the market since they are diversified in the Airline Business. They also have Virgin Racing, in which they have raced electric vehicles. Richard Branson believes that they have shown the world that electric cars can be “sexy.” He believes that this is a starting point, and then you enter the market with a $25,000 or $30,000 electric vehicle that is available for everyone.

There are smaller electric vehicles available in the market today that are under the $30,000 price tag, but it would be far fetched to call them “sexy.” Virgin says they may one day enter the electric car market, but that it would have to be a very unique vehicle. Although Virgin has had a lot of success developing an electric racing car, it is a different story when it comes to an electric vehicle that can occupy passengers as well as travel distances.

Virgin’s Branson has still not made a definitive decision on whether or not they will “for sure” enter the electric vehicle segment of the industry. There is much to consider. They will have to set up a factory to produce the vehicles, meeting safety and emissions from country to country, and fine tuning the technology. It would not surprise anyone if Virgin did indeed get into the electric car segment, as he certainly has the means to do so, but time will certainly tell.

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