Since its inception, Tesla Inc. has been changing the face of the car industry. The electric car company that once floundered to even get to market is now one of the most respected car companies in the world. American car companies traditionally have been lacking when it comes to producing eco-friendly cars. Foreign car companies have always led the way when it comes to advancement in electric cars. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla was one of the original architects of the Tesla Model S and has been the driving force behind the success that the company has experienced in the last few years. What started as a dream amongst people who are passionate about saving the environment has blossomed into a full-fledged, American born electric car company that is focused on continuing its meteoric rise to the top.
Even though the Tesla Roadster was the first Tesla car to be put to market, Tesla is best known for its Model S. The Model S is a full sized, all electric, five-door luxury sedan that was introduced in 2012. Since its introduction, the Model S has scored high on consumer surveys and tests. It scored a perfect 5.0 on the NHTSA automobile safety-rating test and in March of 2017 the Model S P100D holds the record for the fastest acceleration of any production vehicle from zero to 60 miles per hour. The EPA rated its energy consumption at 237.5 watt-hours per kilometer (38 kWh/100 mi or 24 kWh/100 km). The Model S also became the first electric car to top monthly new car sale rankings in both domestic and foreign markets. The Model S has won many awards since 2012. In 2013 it won the World Green Car of the Year and the Motor Trend Car of the Year. In 2015, the Model S won Car and Driver magazine’s distinct honor of Car of the Century. With the success of the Model S, car enthusiasts and industry experts have been waiting to see what Tesla unveils next.
So what is next for Elon Musk inventions and Tesla? With the continued success of the Model S, Tesla definitely was looking to expand their offerings to gain a great market share. Tesla currently caters to a niche market and Musk has always wanted to expand. Tesla announced it’s upcoming lineup for the next 5 years and it is ambitious. The first step for Musk and the Tesla Team is to build the Gigafactory. The Gigafactory is a giant battery factory that will be located in Sparks, Nevada and is in the process of being built. The proposed factory is on track to be the second largest building in the world. The factory, according to Musk, will help cut the costs of producing Tesla car batteries hence lowering the price tag of the car. The factory will be able to create more lithium-ion batteries than all other battery makers. The most impressive aspect of this factory is that it will be completely powered by renewable energy with a focus on recycling. The factory will include recycling capability for old battery packs and will be outfitted with solar panels.
The reasoning behind the Gigafactory is the ability to be able to help produce a less expensive battery for the Tesla cars. The Model S starts at $68,000, which is out of the price range for a majority of families. With the ability to be able to lower the price of making the battery, Tesla has plans to create an affordable model for a wider demographic. The Model 3 was unveiled on March 31st 2016 and Tesla began taking reservations for the car that day. The starting price of Model 3 is $35,000. On the morning of March 31st, thousands of people lined up outside of Tesla dealerships to put down a refundable deposit on a car that they had not even seen yet. Reservations for the car began before the unveiling and it was reported that over 115,000 people had reserved the Model 3 in less than 24 hours. One week after the unveiling Tesla reported 325,000 reservations had been made, which was one of the largest single one-week launch of any product ever. Musk stated that the amount of reservations that were made during that week amounted to about $14 billion in potential sales. Currently, the Model 3 is on track to be delivered during the second half of 2017.
Tesla also is rumored to have another car in development. This car is still shrouded in some mystery. Not much is know about the Model Y. Rumors have been circulating that this car will be the crossover version of the Model 3. Currently, Tesla has yet to delve into the SUV demographic and the Model Y is supposed to reach the SUV market. Reports state that the Model Y is in the later stages of development. Currently what is known about the Model Y is that it will include the semi-autonomous autopilot feature that is found on the current Tesla models. The Model Y will also incorporate Tesla’s solar roof technology. When Tesla and Solar City merged, Musk announced that as a by-product, the Tesla cars will feature a special windshield or roof that will be able to melt snow or defrost ice. There is still a question about how much the Model Y will cost consumers but since the Model 3 will start around $35,000, speculation is that the Model Y will start around the same price.
Outside of the Model 3, the Model Y and the Gigafactory Tesla has also announced plans to boost the range of how far their cars can travel on a single charge. Right now, the record for the Model S is about 497 miles per charge. The official range is 265 miles per charge. The plan is to up the mileage range to 621 miles. Another promise made my Musk is that Tesla will make their cars autonomous by 2018. Currently, Tesla offers a semi-autonomous Autopilot system but they are aiming to create “level 4” autonomy in Tesla’s cars by 2018. Musk and Tesla have very ambitious future plans for the company and their cars. The World is looking forward to seeing where Tesla takes the car industry next.
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