Tesla Motors is garnering national attention and notoriety as a game changer in the auto industry.
The company is named after renowned electrical engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla and based off of his original ideas from 1882! Tesla’s competitive advantage is their lithium-ion battery cells, of which they are the first in the world to bring into reality. In 2009, GM Vice-Chairmain Robert Lutz said in the New Yorker, “All the geniuses here at General Motors kept saying lithium-ion technology is 10 years away, and Toyota agreed with us — and boom, along comes Tesla.”
These batteries dispel the notion that a purely electric car cannot be built on performance. Tesla’s first ever model, the Roadster, was able to go from 0 to 60 in a stunning 3.9 seconds (with the sport model doing the same task in 3.7)! Richard Meaden, Editor of EVO Magazine said, “Away from traffic lights you’d murder anything, be it a 911 Turbo, GT-R or 599, simply because while they have to mess about with balancing revs and clutch, or fiddle with launch controls and invalid warranties, all you have to do is floor the throttle and wave goodbye.”
Moving into the new decade, Tesla motors has now shifted it’s focus to a family sedan and crossover SUV that are rewriting the way we look at ‘miles per gallon,’ and luxury in a green vehicle with zero tail pipe emissions.
The mid-sized Model S has maxed out its reservations and is due to hit the pavement later this year. The vehicle will feature a new $7,500 Federal Tax credit, easing the burden of a $57,400 base price. Routine maintenance is minimal compared to a gasoline vehicle, and the potential is there to save thousands of dollars on fuel each and every year. The Model S is estimated to cost you $.02 per mile in electricity, vs. $.08-.10 per mile on gasoline in similar competitor vehicles.
The vehicle is expected to be one of the safest on the road with eight airbags, and is built to perform in both hot and cold climates. Unlike many current hybrid batteries, this one won’t lose it’s charge when unused for a prolonged period of time; It’s also designed to regenerate it’s charge when decelerating or driving downhill! To top it all off, you can plug it right into any normal socket.
The edition that particularly excites me, however, is the Model X. CEO Elon Musk described it best, claiming it has “more room than a minivan, more style than an SUV and more performance than a sports car.” You can literally step in to the Crossover SUV with the eye-catching fold-up ‘Falcon Wings’.
This self-proclaimed family vehicle also comes with what some would call a ‘little pep in it’s step’. The Model X has the lowest center of gravity ever in a CUV or SUV, due to an innovative flat battery pack. Not only does this slick ride handle like an absolute dream, you can blast off like a rocket, going from a dead stop to 60 mph in an other-worldly 4.4 seconds (and that’s not even the performance model)!
The Model X is also rewriting the book on how an AWD vehicle should perform. Model X is offered with optional Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive, which has skiers and snowboarders salivating. The second motor not only provides unparalleled all-weather and all-road capabilities: it increases torque by 50%! And if that isn’t enough, the flat design of the battery opens up the front of the vehicle, creating enough space to provide the Model X with both a front and back trunk space!
Aside from their successful IPO in 2010, Tesla is able to keep capital flowing during their first decade as an auto company by taking their patented lithium-ion battery technology and selling premium performance power-train (engine, transmission) components to other manufacturers like Honda and Daimler.
Tesla Motors is not yet a household name, but with their ambitious CEO, game changing technology and innovative designs both inside and out, consumers and competitors alike are starting to look more seriously in their direction.
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