Tuesday, May 10, 2016

TESLA MOTORS, leader in sustainable transport ..

Elon Musk with a model X
It all started with the TESLA Roadster, high costs..

Then came TESLA Model S, high costs still ..
Elon Musk 's TESLA is a great automobile company that is striving to provide leadership and change the automobile industry from the Internal combustion (IC) engine days to more modern, less polluting electric driven vehicles.

Click here for the TESLA youtube video on release of Model 3 

Click on this link for a Sept '15 Forbes magazine write up on TESLA's innovative strategy and work standards ..

I am reminded of a project by Gururaj Deshpande, whose a123systems, (www.a123systems.com) is coming out with a AA battery powered car, which is a clear demo of how fuel cells can revolutionise the auto industry.

TESLA Model X with better battery battery capacity
The latest one, MODEL 3, taking the world by storm
costing about $35,000, it is high-tech and
moderately priced ...
Let us also not forget that to make batteries for 500,000 cars by 2020, TESLA also needs to have an equally large Lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility. A good example of backward integration, as presently TESLA is leading the innovation and does not expect any entrepreneur to come up with plans to manufacture such large numbers of batteries. It is a huge gamble TESLA is taking in the Nevada desert building such a huge factory with a capacity to produce 50 GWh by 2020, (click on the link) but given the need to preserve the environment, the world will back him for sure.

Elon Musk's radical innovation of bringing the world's first electric car with a range of almost 265 miles, (which motivated other auto majors to follow suit) and then building the world's largest Lithium-ion battery factory in the Nevada desert (powered on solar energy) to power it up speaks of his commitment to the cause of sustainable transport. and reducing carbon footprint. Now it makes sense for other electric car manufacturers to standardise on the battery design with Tesla's high capacity, efficient batteries than depend on third parties for their less than perfect and expensive batteries.

Second largest factory floor in the world in Nevada desert.
In a report that came in the MIT Technology Review in 2013, it was reported that even if we factor in the pollution to produce the electricity that drives TESLA's cars, the total carbon footprint would still be 40% less than conventional cars using conventional fuel.

How is it that despite many electric cars in the market by big names like Toyota, GM, Ford, Mitsubishi, Renault, Honda and the like, Tesla is able to carve a niche market for itself and dominate sales ? From the Roadster to the Model S, Tesla has been able to cut costs per KWh of storage by almost 50%. Partnering with Panasonic of Japan has helped it take the lead in the automobiles battery industry, improving the energy density of the batteries. But making them in sizes and shapes that makes them less susceptible to fire, leaks and physical damage, while ensuring ease in manufacturing are the long term challenges TESLA is facing these days.

Normal recharging overnight and recharging with superchargers in less than 1 hr for a 265 mile journey (just less than 20 supercharging stations across the US) has been a constraint on the public acceptability of the car. But given that TESLA is driving the innovation in this area and collaborating with research organisations that is helping improve energy density per kg of battery weight and is thus able to dictate standards and formats over time, may turn out better for the electrical automobile industry as a whole.

While studying TESLA, it is observed that

1. in the rush to be the first reliable and cost efficient electric car in the world, Tesla is forced to backward integrate, ie. control the number, quality, capacity and costs of the battery packs which are integral to manufacturing efficient, reliable, cost efficient electric car models in future

2. in the urge to be the market leader, Tesla is also increasing the number of simple charging and super-charging stations across the US and around the world in important countries in Europe and Asia.

3. it is a partner to companies that are trying to make the planet a more liveable place for future generations

4. it wants to be seen as impacting life not only on the planet but also outside it through the company SpaceX

Let us hope that Tesla is able to maintain its cutting edge research, applications and innovation to be a leader in whatever area it enters, under a dynamic, hard working leader Elon Musk..

Click for a college project study on TESLA here ..

george


1 comment:

  1. Womderful article om Tesla Motors Sir. It was indeed a good read. Tesla belives in investing in the future and they seem to be not worried about the current profitability margins. They seem to have a grand vision and is way ahead of the present generation businesses. Lets hope that Tesla will be able to come up with an affordable model for our Indian markets too. If so, it will take the automobile market by storm.

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