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Tesla’s Plans to Make the World a Better Place

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Cars, planes, boats, trains, power plants, and even rockets will cease to run. The world as we know it can’t sustain itself like this, with the earth only containing a limited amount of fossil fuels. They won’t last us forever (Koppelaar, Rembrandt, and Middelkoop, 28). In addition to this problem, when burned, fossil fuels emit carbon dioxide into the air causing global warming and air pollution. However, Tesla Motors has acknowledged these problems and seen that renewable energy has become less expensive and easier to produce. Elon Musk, founder of Space X, PayPal, and CEO of Tesla has been very wise by significantly investing seven million dollars in Tesla on February of 2004 (Koppelaar, Rembrandt, and Middelkoop, 34). Despite Musk’s efforts, it’s difficult to tell if Tesla Motors will make it. Today, most of our potential-to-kinetic energy converters, like motors, and engines, involve, in one way or another, an internal combustion engine, causing unnecessary and excessive amounts of air pollution, but further uncontrolled contamination can be easily avoided by using a corresponding alternative.

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Today in the United States, no one can live without electricity, people need power all day every day to survive. However, most power plants still use fossil fuels to generate electricity even though supplies are at half of what they used to be (Koppelaar, Rembrandt, and Middelkoop, 28). This will remain the case for the next five to ten years (Reinert, 89). The problem is caused by the high prices of solar energy converters and the lack of research and development on renewable energies. One hundred seventy-eight governments have come to acknowledge the situation and are now striving to find solutions. In two thousand fifteen alone, three hundred twenty-nine billion dollars were spent developing renewable energies, as opposed to the one hundred thirty billion designated to fossil fuels (Koppelaar, Rembrandt, and Middelkoop, 29).

Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning (Boudette). Eberhard loved fast cars and big engines but despised the fact that they used fossil fuels. He got together with Marc and they created something to change the world. In February 2004 Elon Musk, with the same interests, saw potential in their company and decided to help them out, donating seven million dollars of his personal funds. In addition to Musk’s efforts to boost their company, thousands more became interested and over one hundred million more dollars were added to the company. The company started to fall apart in 2008. So, Elon Musk claimed possession of the company and added to it another forty million dollars. By 2016 the company was worth a staggering five billion dollars (Koppelaar, Rembrandt, and Middelkoop, 34).

Having made his fortune in Silicon Valley, Elon Musk is one of the richest men in America. However, Elon Musk isn’t one to settle with a lot of money. After he sold PayPal, he used his money to pursue his dreams. In 2004 he founded Space X with the goal of colonizing Mars (Belfiore, Michael, and Tadaomi Shibuya, 103). Later, while working with Tesla, he created a way for all of Tesla’s vehicles to be connected to each other through Cellular transmitting (Boudette).

The first car Tesla Motors produced was the 2008 Roadster. The roadster was all electric with a range of up to 200 miles. It used lithium-ion batteries and an AC electric motor. Secondly, Tesla composed the Model S, a four-door sedan. Capable of up to two hundred and fifty miles on a single charge, this car was nothing like an electric vehicle of its day. The model S was able to accelerate from zero to sixty in under four seconds. Making it equivalent in acceleration to the million-dollar McLaren P1. Sales for the Model S started at a base price of seventy thousand dollars, and over one hundred forty-five thousand of them were sold by September of 2016 (Koppelaar, Rembrandt, and Middelkoop, 37-38). Also, in 2016 the Model X was released. With a similar range of two hundred and fifty miles, the Model X reached sixty miles an hour in five seconds. This falcon winged SUV sold for a little over one hundred thousand dollars. Tesla’s latest release is the Model S’s little brother the Model 3. Starting at thirty-five thousand dollars, its meant to bring electric vehicles to everyone, not only the wealthy. The Model 3 is an exact replica of the Model S only 12 centimeters shorter and a semiautonomous autopilot option (Koppelaar, Rembrandt, and Middelkoop, 37-38). In the future, Tesla intends to make more vehicles including semi-Trucks, pickups, The Model Y, and a new version of the roadster (Boudette).

Despite the amount of technology that has gone into these vehicles, they still prove themselves to be imperfect at times (Boudette). Tesla has begun to develop self-driving capabilities in most of their vehicles (Burns, 89). Boudette says that the fatal accident in May of 2016 involving a Semi-trailer and an autonomously driven Model S, is a demonstration of how these systems are still in their “beta stage” and are very much in need of development. Elon Musk, However, still says that the vehicles are “Better than a person” even though many people report incidents that they have to take control of the vehicles to avoid collisions (Boudette). Tesla is still working on this technology. Many people say the software download is insufficient and hardware must be updated as well. So, Tesla is working on updating their cameras to include radar and possibly developing new technologies including lidar (Boudette).

CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk practically built Tesla out of nothing. Without musk, Tesla would not exist. He alone invested seventy million dollars of his own money to keep Tesla from bankruptcy. As of 2016, Elon Musk owns thirty million shares of the company which puts him in thirty-seventh on the list of richest Americans alive today. Musk pushed Tesla to open its first lithium-ion battery making Giga factory in northern California in 2016 (Koppelaar, Rembrandt, and Middelkoop, 34-35). Despite Musk’s vast amount of work and sacrifice in the past, he is still one of the hardest working people at Tesla. Working just as hard to maintain the dream as he did to obtain it, Musk spends most of his time at the plant trying to smoothen out and speed up the production of the Model 3. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla doesn’t even have an office on site (Boudette).

For Tesla to meet its goals, that it had to produce a low-end product that still showed true to the company’s reputation (Koppelaar, Rembrandt, and Middelkoop, 38). The model 3 has become so popular among Tesla’s consumers that Elon Musk is in “production Hell” because of the number of preorders made on the car (Boudette). Production has proven to be much more chaotic than expected. with malfunctioning robots that create lower quality products, and delays in the production line. Tesla has run into many more obstacles that were originally foreseen by the company (Boudette). Production needed to be sped up to meet deadlines, so Elon Musk ordered a tent, fifty by hundreds of feet to be assembled outside of the factory’s doors to house a third assembly line for the Model 3. A fatal accident in May of 2016 delayed the full autonomous update that Tesla had intended to install on all their vehicles (Boudette). However, all of Tesla’s vehicles are equipped with the necessary hardware to be fully autonomous, and they are now ready for he the software to be approved by the department of highway safety (Boudette).

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