From time to time in the automotive industry, we see new cars, sometimes we see new models, and occasionally, we see new companies. It's only once in a generation that a gamechanger shifts car culture entirely. Although not without it's downfalls, Tesla Motors is up to big things in the auto industry.
Henry Ford's 1908 Model T made cars widely available and affordable for the general public. Before then, automobiles were luxury items of which the common man could only dream. Since then, many have made improvements on the car. But none have had quite the impact of the Model T until Elon Musk's Tesla started producing its fully electric cars.
Tesla is not the first company to produce electric cars, just as Ford wasn't the first to produce gas-engine cars, though what Tesla is doing may very well make a similar global impact to that of the Model T.
They were the first to roll out an all-electric sports car when they released the Tesla Roadster in 2008. Part of what makes Tesla so unique is their ability to compete with sports car performance without a gas-powered engine. With the newly enhanced "ludicrous" button, the electric super car can go from 0-60 in just 2.8 seconds. As a comparison, the fastest Corvette ever built has a 0-60 time of 2.95 seconds. Tesla owner Ryan Brookes raves about its "performance-minded equipment, sleek features and eco-friendly design have quickly made Tesla a company of the future."
With this kind of rare breakthrough success, you'd think Tesla would be secretive about their technology. However, Tesla's patents are open source. This is in an effort to increase the overall number of electric cars that exist on the road. According to Ryan, "this vision for a world not dependent on oil makes Tesla stand apart." Henry Ford's vision was to bring cars to the masses. Tesla's vision is to move the automobile industry off of oil and gas, which it leaps closer to with the rollout of its next car, the Model 3.
Thus far, Tesla has offered the Roadster, the Model S (a luxury sedan) and the Model X (an electric SUV). The price tags on these cars range from $50,000 for the basics, to upwards of $110,000 for the Roadster with add-ons. The Model 3 will be offered in 2016 at a modest starting price of $35,000. Suddenly, the future seems much more attainable for John Everyman.
Though commutes are necessary for the common man, Tesla has gone above and beyond to ensure that the Tesla can travel cross-country with ease.
A network of "supercharge" stations across the continental U.S. have been created that charge the Tesla's battery more than 10 times faster than a traditional outlet. The stations have been strategically placed so that you can drive across the USA in a number of different ways, using only the supercharge stations to quicken your stop times. This makes nearly every city in America accessible, and soon the supercharge stations will be all you need to travel.
Does Tesla have all the answers? They did take some public scrutiny for two car fires in 2014. However, both drivers were warned by the car's systems to evacuate before any injuries occurred. After the incidents, a Titanium Underbody Shield and Aluminum Deflector Plates were added in order to prevent future problems. Elon Musk, part owner of Tesla, continually claims that, "there is no safer car on the road than a Tesla."
Tesla is now expanding into the home energy market with the release of the Powerwall home battery. The company's goals are to ease the burden on power grids during peak hours and allow people to store their own energy in case of blackouts or other emergencies. The system works from solar panels, channeling the energy from the sun and storing it depending on the home's energy needs.
"Tesla is changing the way we travel," says Ryan, "Eco-friendly? With all of the new technologies being created and shared in the name of progress, humanity-friendly may be more appropriate."