Climate change is a very popular topic amongst many individuals and communities worldwide as it is becoming more and more obvious that our planet is overwhelmingly littered with plastics, chemicals, and toxins on land and in our waters, but also with dangerous greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are the highest they have been in over 800,000 years (Lindsey, 2019). Air pollution and smog block beautiful surrounding scenery around major cities like Paris and Los Angeles (Shahan, 2016). The pollution in the air is causing health issues like cancer, asthma, and heart attacks. Not only does the high rate of CO2 in the atmosphere affect human health, but it can also be linked to mass extinctions of species all over the world (Glikson 2013). One of the major contributors to air pollution and the release of carbon dioxide are emissions given off by gasoline-burning means of transportation. The average vehicle gives off 404 grams of carbon dioxide each mile it travels (EPA, 2018). One gallon of gasoline contains 8,887 grams of CO2, per gallon (EPA, 2018). Although these numbers can depend on the type of fuel burned, the car’s economy and mileage per year, the issue could be avoided if more people would be open to electric options.
Driving electric vehicles can minimize the number of emissions released into the atmosphere, thus keeping the air cleaner and reducing damage to other humans and animals. These cars have surprisingly good torque, they are nearly silent, and can be recharged at home, saving the consumer time and money (U.S. Department of Energy, 2019). One of the most highly rated and successful electric vehicle manufacturers in the market right now is Tesla Motors. Not only does Tesla create electric vehicles, but they also create several solar panels and battery packs for homes and businesses to use (Tesla, 2019). This company is making great strides to invent and introduce high quality and affordable green energy options to consumers worldwide, and they are just getting started (Tesla, 2019).
In 2003, a group of engineers founded Tesla with the same vision – to make people see that electric vehicles can still be just as luxurious, fast, and impressive as gas engine cars and trucks (Tesla, 2019). Tesla is working hard to present fossil fuel alternatives in hopes that maybe someday the world could create zero-emissions (Tesla, 2019). In 2008, Tesla released its first electric vehicle – the Roadster. The company was off to a rough start when the 2008 financial crisis almost sent Tesla to bankruptcy (Tesla, 2019). In 2009, the Model S was released. It was the company’s first electric sedan. In 2011, Tesla revealed the Model S. It was the first electric car to be able to reach 60mph in under 5 seconds. The company introduced the first crossover SUV in 2012 – Model X. In 2014, autopilot cars became a work in progress (Tesla, 2019). Model 3 became Tesla’s first car to be sold on the mass market in 2016. Model 3 starts at just $35,000 (Team, 2019). The autopilot cars were finally cleared by the federal government in 2017. Recently in 2019, Cybertruck was introduced. Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, has informed social media that there are already 200,000 orders for the truck and is projected to have tremendous success. Tesla has also recently produced an ATV (CarAdvise, 2019).
Tesla cars receive their power from a heavy-duty battery – charged by electricity (Rachel, 2016). Plug the car in nightly after returning home from the day, just like an electronic device. If while out and about and the battery is running low, Tesla has installed several supercharging stations nationwide. This saves consumers a large amount of time and money fueling up with gasoline (Rachel, 2016). Electricity still needs to be generated by fossil fuels, unfortunately. These include those such as coal, petroleum, and natural gas. Consider charging electric vehicles using solar or wind power to reduce emissions further (EIA, 2019). By using battery packs in electric cars, the United States will save billions of dollars just by cutting the amount of oil purchased overseas from countries that never really liked us anyway. That is approximately a $155 billion annual savings (Shahan, 2016). Cutting these costs would allow our government to fund other necessary matters here at home such as education, medical research, veteran care, etc.
Although Tesla has been extremely successful, there has been some trouble along the way. Earlier in 2019, a Florida driver using the autopilot feature in a Tesla Model 3 was killed after neither the car nor driver initiated the breaks before colliding with a tractor-trailer (Boudette, 2019). The autopilot feature of the car has also been reported to be rather unpredictable and would occasionally misjudge the distance between other objects and cars (Boudette, 2019). Another man operating a Model S lost control of his car and plowed it into a tree line ending in a blazing fire. No one was able to get him out of the vehicle because the handles on the car would not operate (Matousek, 2019). There have been several reviews online about the Tesla cars having issues with its windows, handles, trim, and paint defects. Sales for the Model 3 and Model S fell drastically after the incidents in early 2019. However, the ratings of these cars have been slowly inclining as Tesla continues to perfect and correct each Model and its errors (Matousek, 2019).
In the United States, Tesla manufactures its cars in Fremont, California. Worldwide, there are 438 Tesla Motors Stores, 100 service centers, and 14,000 charging stations (Fruhlinger 2019). There are about 49,000 full-time Tesla employees (Statista, 2019). To strengthen sales overseas, the company began a factory based in Shanghai in 2018. It is predicted that electric vehicle sales in China will reach 5million by 2025. In 2018, Tesla’s revenue was $21.5 billion (Statista, 2019). In February, Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla would make 500k cars in 2019 (Shahan, 208). However, a majority of the sales will be made online or via catalog since a large portion of Tesla stores nationwide is being made into strict galleries. If gasoline prices soar, one would imagine the sales of electric vehicles might spike as well.
In conclusion, Tesla Motors has come a long way since 2003 and continues to produce all-electric vehicles that attract the attention of people around the world. Even though those times when the ratings were knocked down due to malfunctions, the company’s drive to keep perfecting their creations and make sure safety, economic, environmental, and visual needs are met is quite impressive to all. With the low cost of Tesla’s Model 3, driving electric is affordable for almost everyone. There are numerous different gas and diesel-powered makes and models on the road each day that cost the same price. When making the decision to purchase a new vehicle, why not use the money to buy a vehicle that is safe for the environment, yet still has all the bells and whistles of an ordinary car, truck or SUV? It is time that people stop worrying about how cool “rolling coal” from the tailpipe of diesel trucks looks, or how loud the muscle car can be, and think about how harmful it all is for the environment. Even if Tesla is still out of the price range, there are still several other electric vehicle options on the market in all different shapes and sizes. Take the time to do the research and make sure to find the perfect fit. Perhaps soon, gas and diesel combustion engines will be a thing of the past and the future can be entirely electric.
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