Tesla Motors – electric cars that can change the world


Now it is difficult to find someone who is interested in cars, the environment, or IT, who has never heard of Tesla Motors. Some people even name the company “Apple from the world of cars.” Whatever it was, the success of the manufacturer of California did not come immediately. The first time in its ten-year history of Tesla Motors made a profit only in the first quarter of 2013. Let’s go through the main landmarks of the history of electric cars manufacturer in Silicon Valley and see how its rosy future.


How it all began

At the root of Tesla Motors, named in honor of the inventor Nikola Tesla, are Martin Eberhard (Martin Eberhard), Marc Tarpenning (Marc Tarpenning), Jeffrey Straubel (Jeffrey B. Straubel) and Ian Wright (Ian Wright), founded the company in 2003. Successful businessman Elon Musk, which is now inextricably linked to the name of the company, joined them in February 2004, on the stage of the first major sale of preferred shares as the Chairman of the Board of Directors.


Left to right: Elon Musk, Mikhail Gorbachev and Martin Eberhard on the Global Green Award Ceremony 2006

Make an electric mass, a dream that has nurtured with Elon University bench. According to the words of the mask, he never considered Tesla Motors as the best facility for investing money or the company with which you can have profit. Her example he wanted to prove that beautiful electric vehicles with large reserve of one charge is no longer a fantasy.

In an interview, the current CEO Tesla Motors said that none of the existing car manufacturers do not need it, and gave the example of the situation with electric trolley General Motors EV1. Recall, GM withdrew its creation and has taken all of the issued serial models under the press, in spite of the people who accompanied them with all the honors, and even candles. According to the mask, if people are holding lighted candles, you should not cancel the product. This is what prompted the mask to Tesla Motors, and its main objective at the time was the electric car that can travel long distances and would be desirable for consumers.

Hard times and output Tesla Roadster

Since the early days of mass production of electric vehicles in Tesla Motors considered only in the long term and have decided to focus on the sports twin electric car Tesla Roadster, which was supposed to cover the initial costs. It is worth noting that Elon Musk has been involved in the development of each part of the first production electric car company, from the design of the power control module and ending with the design of the headlights. However, Mack did not penetrate into the daily routine operations. Over the next few years in the number of investors Tesla Motors are Valor Equity Partners, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, former eBay president Jeffrey Skoll and others. By 2007, the company Tesla in total was invested over $ 105 million


Electric Tesla Roadster

Serial production Tesla Roadster was originally scheduled for September 2007, but in the way of gaining momentum startups are having serious financial problems. It turned out that the cost of Tesla Roadster is much higher than its planned market value. After that followed a series of layoffs. Together with one-third of employees were fired and one of the founders of Martin Eberhard, and the output of the first electric vehicle Tesla Motors postponed due to difficulties in the assembly. Money in the account of the company came to an end and the mask had to raise the price of cars already on order.Had paid in advance clients started to get nervous, the first negative comments in the press. It is worth noting that the media began to bury the Tesla Roadster since the early days of its announcement.

Ilona The mask had a new team, to determine the list of tasks, which prevent the emergence Tesla Roadster, and to appoint the person responsible for the performance of each of them. Joint efforts at the beginning of 2008 the market is the first Tesla Roadster. In one of his blogs Musk said that after Eberhard had to find new suppliers and partially or fully processed almost every major component of an electric vehicle. As a result, in order to bring the Tesla Roadster to the market, instead of the planned $ 25 million it took $ 140 million


Electric Tesla Roadster is based on a Lotus Elise, which was not the best solution, as Tesla Motors is not allowed to significantly modify the design elements, developed by the British manufacturer. The cost of basic modification Tesla Roadster eventually was reduced to $ 109,000, while the sports version of the electric car manufacturer has been estimated at $ 128,500.

Tesla Roadster became the world’s first electric trolley with lithium-ion battery, which is the size of a few thousand times that of a conventional battery installed in the laptop. He also became the first production car on electricity, which managed to pass on one charge of more than 320 km (record result – 501 km at an average speed of 40 km / h).

On the verge of bankruptcy

After the start of deliveries Tesla Roadster Elon Musk immediately announced plans to hold an IPO, to penetrate the European market, the construction of the plant in California, and announced the sedan Model S (codenamed Whitestar). To implement these goals, the company needed an additional $ 100 million, but was not willing to invest, and he turned to existing investors. To save the company, Musk put into it their last savings. For Tesla Motors came the most difficult times: the closure of the office, the reduction of staff quarters, senior care, and transfer the output Model S. The company was on the verge of bankruptcy, and has taken over the reins of Elon Musk – on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Second wind and sale of Tesla Motors on Wall Street

In March 2009 was shown a prototype sedan premium Model S, which immediately struck a lot of negative comments skeptics. However, in May the first light in the gloomy darkness hanging over Tesla Motors, Daimler AG were investments of $ 50 million, and in June the company was able to get a loan from the U.S. Department of Energy in the amount of $ 465 million as part of a “green” Advanced Technology Vehicles Program Manufacturing Loan Program.


In June 2010, Tesla Motors has also conducted an initial public offering on the NASDAQ under the ticker TSLA. Contrary to all disappointing forecasts and estimates, in the first day share price has risen more than 41%, and the company was able to raise $ 226 million worth noting that Tesla Motors is the first automotive manufacturer in the U.S., released on the secondary market securities since Ford (the latter shares began trading in 1956.)

Tesla Model S and the first profit

Supplies of electric Tesla Model S in the U.S. began in June 2012, in Europe, a little later – in August of 2013. Limited batch of 1,000 electric cars Tesla Model S Signature and Signature Performance, manned battery capacity 85 kWh and cost $ 95,400 and $ 105,400, respectively, sold like hot cakes.


Electric Tesla Model S Signature

Later, Tesla Model S was offered in two versions: with a battery capacity of 60 kWh and 85 kWh of power reserve of more than 300 km and 400 km on one charge.

On account of Tesla Model S is quite a lot of achievements. First, at the moment it is electric with the largest reserve of one charge. Second, he has excellent speed performance. From 0 to 100 km / h Performance modification to the battery capacity of 85 kWh accelerates in just 4.2 seconds, while top speed is 210 km / h Earlier this year, Tesla Model S even managed to race (drag racing) around double gasoline sporty Dodge Viper SRT10 and get the title of the fastest production electric vehicle in the world. And thirdly, if all the above merits Model S is still the safest (NHTSA rating system) .

The second serial electric Tesla Motors has surpassed all expectations. The company managed to increase output models Model S, to repay the government loan of $ 465 million and for the first time in 10 years of history to make a profit (first quarter 2013).

Problems and solutions

Embody one of his dreams – transplanted residents of the U.S. for cars with zero emissions, Ilona mask impeded by two major problems: poor infrastructure charging stations and long battery charging. Unlike most manufacturers, Tesla Motors managed to cope with these tasks. Designed for electric Tesla battery can pass on one charge of more than 300 km, and that is enough for traveling at close range.


The charging station Supercharger

To solve the problem long charging, company Tesla Motors has built a network of charging stations Supercharger. With a power of 120 kW, they allow for 20 minutes to charge the battery electric vehicle by 50%. It should be noted that the stations are set on the roof of solar cells, which provide part of the energy, reducing the load on the network. For the most impatient Tesla Motors offers the possibility of complete replacement of the battery pack in the Model S on special exchange stations. The entire process takes about 90 seconds.

By the way, the owners of Tesla Model S battery with a capacity of 85 kWh can “refuel” at Tesla Motors branded stations for free. Supercharger option can also be enabled when you make a pre-order on the Tesla Model S, its cost – $ 2000. At this point in the U.S., there are only 23 fast-charging stations, there are 6 more in Europe, but by 2015 the company “fueling» Tesla Motors occupy the United States and parts of Europe. More clearly the company plans to demonstrate the images below.

So Supercharger station will capture the U.S. and Europe:


The future of Tesla Motors

The following year the company Tesla Motors is going to start mass production presented to the public in February 2012 Crossover Model X. A distinctive feature of this model are the rear doors, hinges fixed to the roof and were called “wing hawk.” Electric car will also be equipped with battery capacity of 60 kWh or 85 kWh Despite the fact that the interior is designed for 7 seats, electric trolley itself differs impressive performance: acceleration from 0 to 100 km / h in less than 5 seconds. According to preliminary data, the Model X in the United States will vary in the range of $ 50-100 million, depending on the configuration.


Electric Tesla Model X

Undoubtedly, the electric Model S and Model X are not available to everyone, but for the past 3-5 years, Tesla Motors will release a model available for $ 30,000, which will further undermine the dominant position in the market of vehicles with internal combustion engines.

In the near future Tesla Motors also reducing battery charging stations for Model S Supercharger 5-10 minutes , the construction of plants for the production of electric vehicles in Europe and Asia, as well as the development of its own autopilot system .

If the company is really targeting the European market, then Ilona Mask and his team should take into account the climatic conditions peculiar to the continent. Winters are quite harsh and at temperatures ranging from -20 ° C to -30 ° C Battery charge any electric vehicle is significantly reduced. With such low winter temperatures electric car in any case can not be left at night on the street or in a parking lot near work without first connecting it to a power source that is not very convenient. Hopefully, the CEO Tesla Motors will be the task in force, and electric vehicles on our roads will appear more and more frequently.

To perform the first task – to prove to the world that electric cars can be profitable – at Tesla Motors took ten years. On turn more global mission – transplanted to electric cars the U.S. and Europe, getting rid of oil dependence. Will the “David” in the face mask Ilona in an unequal battle to defeat “Goliath”, embodies the oil companies, the government and automakers negative mood?

Read another very interesting article about alternative energy of the Sun, water and air.

Look a video from russian roads:

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