Digital Media Concepts/Tesla, Inc.

OverviewEdit

 

Tesla inc is an American car producer, originally founded in 2003, by a group of visionaries that believed in smarter electric cars without the hassle included. Based in the bay-area, this company is known for its manufacturing of |lithium-ion batteries, |electric vehicles, |solar panels, and sustainable-energy generating and storage solutions[1]. They are currently most commonly recognized for their automotive sector, which produces vehicles such as the Model S, Model X, Model 3, and the discontinued, Roadster.

History and Early DevelopmentEdit

 
Tesla headquarters, located in Palo Alto, CA

Tesla Inc., or formerly known as Tesla motors, was originally founded by |Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in July of 2003, with the intention of proving that “people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric”[2]. Over the course of their first year, they continually hired product designers and like-minded engineers and eventually came into contact with |Elon Musk. After expressing an interest in the company, Elon Musk was tasked with leading the company’s Series A financing, which raised around 7.5 Million dollars[3]. Through this, and many of his other major achievements, he progressed within the company, eventually becoming the |CEO in 2008, and maintains the title to this day.

RoadsterEdit

After careful development and thorough testing, Tesla released their first car, the Roadster, to the public in 2008, five years after their emergence (2003). The Roadster was an all electrically powered vehicle that was the first of its kind in many aspects.

DevelopmentEdit

 
Tesla's Roadster assembled by Lotus Cars

Being a young company without very many of their own resources, Tesla signed a production agreement with |Lotus (an established car manufacturer) that allowed them to outsource the complete car production[4], excluding a powertrain. This enabled them to focus the majority of their resources towards the electric-power concept, saving them time and money. Tesla’s first car gained them popularity as being one of the first to produce an electric powered, performance car. The Roadster was quickly featured in several shows and articles like for example, the BBC TV-show, “Top Gear” and Motor Trend Magazine.

DesignEdit

The exterior featured a convertible roof, sleek aerodynamic curves, and standard multi-spoke rims. Being electric powered, the Roadster delivered instant torque responses and a 0 - 60mph time varying between 3.7 - 4.2 seconds, depending on the model[5]. While the car did speak for itself performance and aesthetic wise, Tesla being an inexperienced company at the time, struggled greatly with delivery timings and customer satisfaction. The company sold over 2,000 units until production ceased in 2012[6].

TechnologyEdit

 
An example of Tesla's induction motors found in the Roadster.

The Tesla Roadster had an immense amount of technology behind its creation and power source. The motor, for example, defies other electric motor norms by eliminating the use of traditional permanent magnets. In replacement, the roadster used a unique application of metal plates and wires, which were used to create electromagnetic fields, also known as |induction motors[7]. The lithium-ion batteries powering the vehicle were extremely small for their output, reducing weight and also enabling the vehicle to travel around 240 miles per charge[8].

Model SEdit

 
Tesla Model S

After realizing the great interest in electric-powered cars sparked by the Roadster, Tesla went back to the drawing board, intending to create something far better. Initial planning and designs for their new model began in 2008[9], alongside the production of the Roadster. The result was the Model S, a four-door, all-electric sedan that combined luxury, performance, smart-tech, safety, efficiency, family needs, and budget considerations, into one package. In the spring of 2009, the first official prototype was released and received immediate media and consumer recognition and approval. The Model S exists in several variations, differing by battery capacity, motor size, smart technologies, and other luxury-related perks[10].

ProductionEdit

 
Tesla production factory, located in Fremont, CA, equipped with 5.3 million square feet of combined manufacturing and office space

Tesla, wanting to take full responsibility for their cars, occupied a 5.4 million square foot factory in Fremont California and assembled the model S within the premises[11]. After production, each car undergoes a strict quality control and stress assessment, also administered at the Fremont factory. Currently, due to high demand for the Model S, Tesla produces over 500 over these vehicles per week.

DesignEdit

The Tesla Model S features a unique look and distinguishing LEDs. Depending on the specific variation of the Model S, the car could have 22-inch rims, black or chrome accents, or a frost-white modern looking interior.

TechnologyEdit

 
2012 Tesla Model S digital screens. The central bottom touchscreen shows a google map view with live traffic updates, and the top screen shows tesla's website

The Model S is known to have a wide array of technological advancements, from the development of autopilot technology to understanding the drivers daily behavior and adapting. A vast majority of these features are made possible by a “17-inch flat panel display with a Linux-based computer system, that provides access to just about every aspect of the car's performance and entertainment system”. In addition, Tesla’s software programmers are constantly tweaking and generating code that optimizes the hardware supplied as well creating new features. An example of such technology would be the autopilot capabilities. According to a statement made by Tesla, all vehicles currently produced “have the hardware needed for full self-driving capability at a safety level substantially greater than that of a human driver”. Along with the advanced algorithm responsible for executing commands, autopilot enabled vehicles are equipped with eight surround cameras, twelve ultrasonic sensors, and a forward facing radar, combined to detect and adapt to any driving conditions.

External LinksEdit

RefrencesEdit

  1. https://www.tesla.com/about, accessed September 19, 2017
  2. https://www.tesla.com/about, accessed September 19, 2017
  3. https://techcrunch.com/gallery/a-brief-history-of-tesla/slide/1/, accessed September 19, 2017
  4. https://techcrunch.com/gallery/a-brief-history-of-tesla/slide/3/, accessed September 20, 2017
  5. https://www.0-60specs.com/tesla-roadster-0-60-times/, accessed September 20, 2017
  6. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Roadster, accessed September 20, 2017
  7. https://www.technologyreview.com/s/410636/tesla-roadster/, accessed September 19, 2017]
  8. http://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-the-origin-story-2014-10, accessed September 20, 2017
  9. https://techcrunch.com/gallery/a-brief-history-of-tesla/slide/8/, accessed September 20, 2017
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_Model_S#History, accessed September 20, 2017
  11. https://www.tesla.com/factory, accessed September 20, 2017