Tesla: The Company Electrifying The Road

Last Updated: 8th Jun 2017
Tesla: The Company Electrifying The Road

6th June 2017

The Nobel Prize winning economist, Milton Friedman said: “That responsi­bility is to conduct the business in accordance with their desires, which generally will be to make as much money as possible.” In other words, profit is all that matters.

In 2016, Tesla made a loss of $780 million[1]. There were no profits for this company and yet that isn’t the point of Tesla. The founder, owner and CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk’s mission goes far beyond making a profit. He wants to make a difference, a substantial difference to how we, as a society, run our vehicles. Tesla wants to electrify our roads.

Tesla’s mission statement states: “Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy by designing and manufacturing the best electric vehicles and energy storage systems.”

They have no other aim. They want us all to move to electric cars, with the aim of protecting the environment and creating a sustainable future. They are one of the only companies that are solely focused on the development of electric car technology.

Tesla is the future, which is why they are the most valuable company in America. Not the most profitable, but the most valuable because they have that vision for the future that could change everything.  

Adam Jones, a Morgan Stanley analyst had this to say about Tesla: “A far larger portion of investors we speak with now understand that Tesla is ‘more than a car company’ but at the nexus of shared, autonomous and electric transportation.”

The final aim of the company is to produce affordable electric cars on mass for everyone to own.

The Tesla car that started it all

Back in the days of 2008, Tesla launched the World’s very first all-electric sports car. There Tesla Roadster was a two-seater sports car powered by an electric motor with 6821 lithium ion batteries. It was built by licensing drivetrain technology from the startup AC Propulsion and putting it into a chassis developed by Lotus[2].

 There were two models of Tesla Roadster offering different performances. The standard Roaster produced 248 bhp, with a sprinting speed from 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The Sports model came in with 288 bhp and a sprinting speed from 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds.

Tesla Roadster

This car received mix reviews with a ferociously negative review on the BBC’s Top Gear. Presenter Jeremy Clarkson at the time presented the Roadster as not being able to last a day on the Top Gear track with a full charge.

Regardless of how it performed, Tesla made history with the Roadster. Whilst other car manufacturers had surrendered to the idea of ever developing an all-electric car, Tesla had done it. Not only that, Tesla has developed a sports car that could deliver on speed far quicker than many of its fuel-powered rivals. It may not have been a thumping success, it was a progression that no one can dare call a failure.

The Roadster was on sale from 2008-2012. In that time, 46 Roadsters[3] were sold in the UK. Also Tesla made major changes in how the Roadster was manufactured. They brought the production of the batteries in-house as well as making major changes with their component suppliers and internal technologies. Tesla proved they were serious about moving their mission forward.

With regards to a future replacement for the Roadster, Elon Musk said on Twitter in December 2016, that there will be a new Roadster, but that it is some years away.

The Tesla Cars for now

The aim to make affordable all-electric Tesla cars is edging ever closer. With the Roadster gone, Tesla has two models currently available for purchase with another model on the way. The Tesla Model S and Model X are both available for purchase now and widen the all-electric market to luxury saloons and SUVs.

Tesla is pleased with the uptake in purchases in Europe and Britain. Georg Ell, Director at Tesla Europe said: “Amazing to see the EV explosion happening, they are everywhere on our nation's streets, magnificent!"

Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S is Tesla’s move into the luxury saloon, but like all things Tesla, this is no normal luxury saloon. The Model S was launched in 2012, with an additional upgrade in March 2017 and is an all-electric, Bio-Weapon defended, autopiloted car that looks outstanding and incredibly comfortable. There is no other mass production car with that description.

Bio-weapon Defence

In the very unlikely event of a bio-weapon attack, a Tesla will be one of the safest places to be. This is down to the HEPA air filtration system that removes close to 99.7% of all particulate pollution, and all allergens, bacteria and contaminants in the cabin.

Driving itself

Also, if you want a safer journey, the Model S can remove the human aspect from driving with its autopilot system. The system works through eight surround cameras providing 360 degrees of visibility for 250 meters of range surrounding the car. These cameras team up with twelve ultrasonic sensors to detect both hard and soft objects to ensure the car avoids any potential issues or risks. Pedestrians, animals and bins will be safe as will you.

Thanks to this enhanced autopilot, your Tesla Model S will do everything for you. It will match its speed to current traffic conditions, automatically change lanes when required and will keep in those lanes, (which let's be honest, most human drivers struggle to do at one time or another). It can also self-park both in a parking space and in and out of your garage at home. The Model S has full self-driving capabilities and this same system is available on the Model X as well.

Inside that safe cabin

Tesla has focused on developing an interior for the Model S that rivals many of its fuel-powered rivals like Audi, BMW and Mercedes. This car deserves to be considered up there with the best of its German rivals.

Thanks to the decision to arrange the battery packs on a large, flat slab underneath the car, there is generous amounts of space inside. It is also positive that the seats inside the Tesla are some of the comfiest available in any vehicle. It will feel like you are sat in your grandad’s armchair with how comfortable and supportive they are, although obviously, the Model S does offer a more modern, stylish design.

To add to the futuristic feel of the Model S, Tesla has fitted a 17-inch touchscreen display centred in the middle of the dashboard. This screen controls almost every one of the Model S’s functions, thereby removing the button-clutter that ruins so many other dashboards.

There is one major bonus of these cars being run by motors instead of an engine. The Tesla Model S has two luggage areas. One under the bonnet and one in the boot. That delivers a storage capacity of 1,795-litres, which wipes out most of this car’s rivals.

The Tesla Model S was the car that truly put Tesla on the map and for good reason. There are reportedly 2,135 Model S in the UK. It is a superb car and it gave them to confidence to move forward. And they did.

Next, they delivered the Model X

After delivering a truly excellent saloon, Tesla set their sights on conquering the next big market: SUVs. In 2012, Tesla unveiled their Model X prototype and first deliveries began in September 2015. The Model X was developed from the Model S platform giving you an idea of how good this car is.

This is an all-electric four-wheel drive SUV powered by the 60,75 or 90kWh lithium-ion battery. Because it is powered by a motor, the power arrives immediately, the Model X dashes from 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds, making it one of the quickest SUVs on the planet. It also has a 250-mile range, proving that Tesla is moving in the right direction in delivering excellent mile range per each full charge.

Tesla Model X

In terms of designing a car that truly stands out, Tesla has gone even further with the Model X as they did with the Model S. It comes with gullwing doors in the rear to give you excellent access that you don’t get with many of its rivals. It also has the similar space age design and 17-inch touchscreen as in the Model S. Also, because the battery packs, like in the Model S are housed on the floor, you get a true seven-seater SUV.

Tesla is sparing no effort in aiming to be the best in each market. With that in mind, Tesla is moving closer to the affordable car range with their announcement in 2016 of the Model 3.

The Tesla for us all?

On March 31st, 2016, in Tesla’s sparsely lit design studio in Hawthorne, California, Elon Musk stood on stage in front of a car, covered in a ghost-white sheet. It was on this day, in front of screens that read HIGH VOLUME AFFORDABLE PRICE Musk revealed the Tesla Model 3.

From what is known of this car, that will see its final design revealed next month, it will have a range of 215 miles on a single charge and the base car will accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than 6 seconds, which is far quicker than the majority of base cars on fuel-powered cars.

It will have five seats and likely have generous amounts of space if the battery packs are underneath the car like on the other models. It will also be equipped with the autopilot hardware that comes in the other models too. The touchscreen inside will be different to the 17-inch portrait touchscreen currently used. Instead, you will find a 15-inch landscape touchscreen inside that will provide the same functions, but will also likely change the dynamic design inside.

The Model 3 is a culmination of Elon Musk’s ten-year master plan for Tesla[4] that he laid out in August 2016 concerning cars.

  1. Build sports car
  2. Use that money to build an affordable car
  3. Use that money to build an even more affordable car
  4. While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options

Currently, there are no UK prices for the Model 3, but when eventually launched in America, it will start at $35,000, making it the most affordable Tesla yet. They can be reserved now in the UK for £1,000, so if you are tempted to join the electric revolution, here is your chance.

Zero emission electric power generation options

Tesla is not just a car manufacturer as was said at the top of the article. They also develop and sell at-home batteries called the Tesla Powerwall. These were announced in 2015 and is Tesla’s attempt to help us power our homes and businesses through the use of sustainable energy. Tesla hopes the use of technology like the Powerwall will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and lead to self-powered homes on and off-grid.

The Powerwall functions by collecting electricity from the solar panels on the roof or from the utility grid and storing it away for use in the evening or if there is ever a power cut. These can be used at home or commercially.

Each Powerwall in the UK comes with a 14kWh battery, which costs £5,400 each and supporting hardware is an additional £500, all including VAT.

Tesla want to change the future

Tesla is a car manufacturer who isn’t thinking in the now. They are thinking in the then. The aim is to transform our future into one of sustainable energy, which includes electric car over fuel-powered cars for a greener, cleaner drive. This also includes homes that are powered by the sun rather than by fossil fuels that pollute our air.

Steve Jobs, the founder and CEO of Apple once decreed: “Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

You can say and think many things about Elon Musk and Tesla, but the truth is that they are the crazy ones. They are pushing the human race forward and changing the world.

 

[1] https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/04/tesla-future-of-driving/523224/

[2] http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/news/a29378/elon-musk-admits-to-shareholders-that-the-tesla-roadster-was-a-disaster/

[3]https://www.carkeys.co.uk/news/how-many-teslas-are-in-the-uk

[4] https://www.tesla.com/en_GB/blog/secret-tesla-motors-master-plan-just-between-you-and-me?redirect=no

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