Tesla is a United States-based company, founded in 2003 by a group of engineers who aimed to highlight the benefits of electric vehicles. South-African born Elon Musk is the co-founder, CEO and product architect of this innovative company that strives to prove that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and just as fun to drive as petrol/diesel vehicles. The underlying value in Tesla Inc. hinges on the belief that a zero-emission future is possible through moving away from reliance on fossil fuels.
More recently, Elon Musk (and indirectly Tesla) made news headlines for launching a Tesla Roadster into Space aboard a rocket designed to pioneer space-travel; the Tesla Roadster – being Musk’s personal car – is tipped as an all-electric supercar. According to Tesla, the Roadster is the quickest car in the world, with an acceleration rate of 1.9 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour. With wheel torque of 10 000 Nm, this starts to feel a little surreal. The price tag (starting at around $200 000 or roughly R2.3 million) is rather exclusive though, and it’s safe to say that right now there aren’t that many of these vehicles on the road yet.
There is one in space though. Fitted into the test-rocket that was launched on 6 February 2018, the Roadster is the culmination of ten years’ worth of design and improvement, featuring cutting-edge battery technology and an electric powertrain. The Roadster is, however, not the only amazing vehicle to come from this company. The world’s first premium all-electric sedan, Tesla Model S, combines safety, performance and efficiency and has become known for causing a paradigm shift in terms of longest range of any electric vehicle thus far.
In 2015, the Model X was launched as the safest, quickest and most capable SUV in history. Seating 7 passengers, and sporting nifty Falcon Wing doors that lift up in quite a sci-fi-like manner, the Model X is so tech-laden that I’m pretty sure it barely needs a driver… still, the SUV is massively impressive and darn good-looking to boot.
The following year, Tesla produced Model 3; a lower-priced, high-volume electric vehicle that upheld the high safety standards and longer range that Tesla is known for, without seemingly breaking the bank. However, production has only just started, and delivery is only expected late in 2018.
Taking it one step further, Tesla also designed a truck (Tesla Semi) with the intention of saving the owner hundreds of thousands of dollars on fuel costs alone. It is safe to say that Tesla is onto something, without a doubt; however, with limited production capabilities at present, this isn’t exactly taking the world by storm.
The concept of providing accessible and affordable vehicles that use clean energy, is admirable and something which I personally find very important. Here’s hoping that Mr. Musk’s plans filter through to the rest of world pretty soon.
By Desh Bechan