The Tesla Mission – Accelerate the world’s trasition to sustainable energy.
Elon Musk is undoubtedly one of the most visionary entrepreneurs of our time. He is currently at the helm of three companies that include Paypal, Tesla, Inc. (formerly known as Tesla Motors), and SpaceX . Apart from successfully reiterating the electric car, Musk ‘s name is also synonymous with advancements made in other fields of renewable resource harvesting, apart from sustainable space travel.
Known to be an extremely driven man, Elon Musk has driven Tesla, Inc. to new heights, in spite of seeing many a tumultuous instance, including once in 2013 when the company was going through a rough patch and Musk considered selling it off to Google. Today, Tesla, Inc. is valued in excess of $20 billion, which is more than well established players like Fiat, Renault and Suzuki – not bad at all; given that Tesla Motors is just over a decade old.
Today, Tesla’s Autopilot is arguably the most advanced application of autonomous driving. Available in all the Tesla cars, Autopilot relies on a bunch of cameras and sonars that create a 360-degree buffer around the car. The system can detect road signs, lane markings, obstacles, other vehicles and even pedestrians, thus letting the car drive itself without the driver’s inputs.
It’s not a completely foolproof system yet, as there have been reported crashes due to the system goofing up, but it’s continuously being fine tuned. And the best part is that yearly updates to the system can just be downloaded into each and every Tesla car’s brain; irrespective of their MY.
Tesla isn’t just into launching cars; they’re also about creating an infrastructure around the cars. Case in point – the Tesla Supercharger. These free (yes, free) charging stations, placed at strategic locations across a country, can charge a Tesla in a matter of minutes instead of hours. So basically Tesla wants you to travel across the country for free.
Built in association with Panasonic, Tesla’s Gigafactory in Nevada, US, is one of the most technologically advanced factories in the world, apart from being one of the biggest. It’s mission is to manufacture as many lithium-ion battery packs as possible, which’ll be put inside millions of electric cars; thus making them more affordable. With the Gigafactory, the company plans to achieve 50 GWh in annual battery production by 2020, which should be good for 500,000 Tesla cars. The factory is completely powered by renewable sources of energy, and is a zero-emission facility.
It’s still under construction though, and only 14% of it is currently operational. The Gigafactory, when complete, will have the largest footprint of any building in the world. To spread across 15 million square feet, the Gigafactory’s footprint will be bigger than the combined footprints of The Great Pyramid, the Empire State Building, the Eiffel Tower and the Burj Khalifa; with all of them lying on their sides! A second factory—Gigafactory 2—is slated to be built in Europe in 2017.
Space X is Elon Musk’s other baby, and this is his more adventurous, space faring one. Musk is said to work in Southern California, at SpaceX, for half of the week, and for the other half works at Tesla in Silicon Valley. SpaceX has one mission – to make space travel more accessible and sustainable; thus enriching possibilities like commercial space travel and creating a self-sustaining civilization on Mars.
And things are looking really good for them. Because at costs unimaginable to NASA, SpaceX has already become the first privately funded company to have its own orbit capable rocket flown into space and recovered. It has already flown six missions to the International Service Station, and has even delivered satellites in orbits.
Most of the rocket parts are built in-house itself, using modern-day techniques like 3D Printing. At SpaceX, rocketry is constantly being fine tuned to be more sustainable. Amongst other things, SpaceX also plans to have a network of 4000 satellites over the earth to create something called a ‘Global Internet’ that’ll reach even to the remotest corners of the planet.
Here are a few more Tesla facts:
Due to their inherent construction, which involves no IC engine, Tesla vehicles are one of the safest in the world. They also have no dealerships, and are sold either online or from malls. And finally, Tesla Motors is one of the few leading companies in the world who’ve had their patents open to the public to encourage competition.