Technology has continually led to several improvements in the way businesses operate (Hettich & Muller-Stewens, 2014). In the same way, technology has led to the inventions of products that help in making life more comfortable and sustainable. Based on the increasing need to preserve the environment and natural resources, some companies have gone steps further towards the production of gadgets that consume fewer fossil fuels. In this case, the following research paper will study the case of Tesla Inc. and its technology in cars.
In the year 2003, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning teamed up to form a company known as Tesla Motors (Hettich & Muller-Stewens, 2014). The two later recruited one famous entrepreneur, Elon Musk. Tesla Motors was coincidentally found in the same year that EV1 was destructed. Tesla, Inc. is involved in the designing, developing, production, and selling of electric vehicles, as well as solar panels both in the US and other international markets (Hettich & Muller-Stewens, 2014). Tesla Inc. conducts its operations in two divisions. The first segment; Automotive, deals with the production of sedans and sport utility cars. The division further provides EV powertrain components.
Similarly, the segment provides services for the EV through Tesla-owned service centers. The Automotive segment's products are sold using a network of Tesla-owned distributors (Tesla, 2018). The second segment of the company deals with energy storage products. This segment is also involved in the designing, manufacturing, installation, maintenance, leasing, and selling of solar energy systems to both commercial and residential consumers. Tesla company also sells renewable energy to residential and commercial customers. In 2017, Tesla Inc. changed its name from Tesla Motors. The headquarters of Tesla Inc. is in Palo Alto, California.
Tesla's Early Years into the EV Market
Having been formed in 2003, Martin and Marc recruited Elon Musk into their company (Hettich & Muller-Stewens, 2014). This move was a wise business move since Musk brought with him the technological experience required by a technology company. Musk was a co-founder of PayPal, SpaceX, and SolarCity. In this case, the initial goal of Tesla was to deal in the production of fully electric sports cars for performance, aesthetics, and appeal as opposed to cost. Musk was made the chairman of the company in 2004. Being made the chairman, he decided to involve himself in the technological advances, by first playing a vital role in the designing and the development of the first Tesla's Roadster.
The Roadster was launched in 2008 as the significant mark in the battery technology and electric powertrain. The roadster was an EV, which was a two-seater sports car. The car used lithium-ion batteries and was able to travel over two hundred miles. The technology used in the production of the roadster acted as the cutting edge to the Tesla company as well as the motorcar industry, as it proved to the world that electric vehicles had the capability of being both fast and with more extended range.
Following the 2006 market launch of the prototype Roadster, Tesla Motors attracted much attention, with celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio paying huge amounts in advance for the delivery of the first one hundred roadsters to be released. However, a further internal audit revealed that producing a single unit of the roadster would cost $140,000 as opposed to the $65,000 that had been forecasted by Tesla. The result was tremendous losses incurred by the company before releasing even a unit of the roadster. Tesla ended up in further financial troubles that made its board of directors to dismiss Eberhard. In the same way, Tarpenning also decided to leave the company in the same year. As such, Elon Musk was made the chief executive officer of Tesla Inc.
Elon Musk at Tesla
Elon Musk became the CEO of Tesla Inc. in 2008 when the company was still known as Tesla Motors (Hettich & Muller-Stewens, 2014). By the time he took over as the CEO, Tesla was selling less than two hundred roadsters, which was minute compared to the other competing firms in the industry (Hettich & Muller-Stewens, 2014). Musk's first approach was to reconsider the way of reviving Tesla Motors. As such, he thought of the way of furthering the technological advances of the Tesla company. He then hired Franz von Holzhausen, who at the time was the lead North American designer of Mazda. Franz's first task by Musk was to help in the development of a seven-seater electric car, which was later named the S Model.
Elon Musk has become one of the most consistent and significant figures at Tesla Inc. He was there when the company began, he did not give up when the company almost went bankrupt. He has engaged the company in the production of different models of cars as well as other energy products.
Tesla Company's Car Models
In the year 2012, Tesla Inc. launched the Model S. Model S is a seven-seater electric vehicle that enabled Tesla Inc. to compete in the sedan category. Initially, the roadster's parts were assembled from different sources; however, the Model S is one of the cars that was and is still entirely made by Tesla Inc. the Model S car is made using one of the latest technologies. The car is entirely electric, four-door, five-adult passenger sedan (Tesla, 2018). The Model S is prepared to offer different but friendly range and performance. The model was created using technology that enables the all-wheel-drive dual motor system. The car is made of seventeen-inch touchscreen driver interface, together with autopilot hardware that makes it achieve the highest level of safety and convenience to the consumers. Model S also is incorporated with over-the-air software updates that ensure the car achieves safety and is stylish at all times.
Model X is another Tesla car, which is made using advanced technology. It is an all-electric production sports utility vehicle offering superior performance to the consumers. The technology used in developing the car enables it to have features like fully electric, all-wheel drive dual motor system. The vehicle is also installed with an autopilot system. Model X has a maximum of seven-adult seats. Model X contains a falcon wing door system that enables convenient access to the other seating rows of the car (Tesla, 2018).
Tesla Inc. also produces Model 3, which is a third generation EV (Tesla, 2018). The first delivery of the Model 3 was made in 2017 July. Model 3 is expected to be produced at higher volumes and varieties than Model S.
Tesla Inc. utilizes energy management technologies to help in the development of vehicle powertrain systems. The company also has involved itself in the development of energy storage products consumed at homes as well as commercial places.
Tesla Inc. uses powertrain engineering technologies, together with the vehicle engineering technologies in the production of the EVs. The technological innovation at Tesla Inc. further helps in the manufacturing of the EVs (Tesla, 2018). Tesla Inc. owns several intellectual properties to help in the technological production of the vehicles, including the electric powertrain. Tesla's advance in technology has enabled it to design a car incorporated with self-driving technologies. Tesla Inc. involves itself in several years of research and design to help in the production of the different models of electric vehicles. Additionally, the company's cars are incorporated with the latest technological advances such as mobile computing and connectivity.
Tesla Inc. designs its battery pack using the latest technology that enables the batteries to accommodate high densities at the lowest possible costs. Irrespective of the lower prices, Tesla Inc.'s cells still maintain high levels of safety, reliability, and durability. The technologies utilized include the higher-density energy storage systems, adequate cooling, and safety technology as well as the structural sustainability and electronics management. Tesla Inc. utilizes technology in the manufacturing of larger battery packs at lower costs. Tesla Inc. uses highly qualified personnel in the development of the systems required for the utilization of the lithium-ion cells in the automotive environment. Advanced technological progress has enabled Tesla to optimize the designs of its batteries for increased performance.
Before the final production, Tesla engages in extensive research and development activities, including product testing at all product life-cycle stages and other critical battery pack systems to increase the reliability and efficiency of the battery produced by the company (Tesla, 2018).
Another area of technology that Tesla Inc. has succeeded is the Power Electronic system. The power electronics technology helps through governing the rate at high voltage electrical current flows throughout electric vehicles as well as serving to power the electric motor to aid in generating torque while the car is driven and delivering energy to the battery when charging.
The drive inverter technology helps in the conversion of the DC from the battery pack into AC for the effective driving of the induction motors, at the same time providing the "regenerative braking" functionality responsible for the capturing of energy from the wheels to charge the battery pack. In turn, the technology utilized enables Tesla to transform vast amounts of current in a smaller package. As such, the company uses technology, which allows its cars to recharge on wider varieties of electric sources.
Tesla Inc. has a group of in-house engineers who help in the designing of customized solar energy systems, referred to as Solar Roof for each customer. The team is in a close working relationship with the energy storage engineering teams at Tesla for the integration of an energy storage system whenever a customer requests for one. Tesla's technology has enabled the designation and development of software capable of maximizing the energy production of each system. Tesla's main solar system products include the solar panels, which helps in the conversion of solar energy into the electricity as well as inverters. Tesla has just begun the production of solar panels at the Gigafactory 2, which is accomplished due to its collaboration with Panasonic. In this regard, the majority of the components of the solar systems are still purchased from different vendors and using its advanced technology to produce a high-quality final product.
Tesla Inc. is one of the companies that has engaged in the technological world to help in producing products that do not rely on fossil fuels for energy. In this case, the company has used advanced technology to build electric cars and solar panels which capture solar energy and transform it into electrical power. Elon Musk has played a vital role in the success of Tesla since it was incorporated in 2003.
Hettich, E. & Muller-Stewens, G. (2014). Tesla Motors: Business Model Configuration. Case Study. The Case Centre. Retrieved from https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/252556/1/Tesla_Case_314-132-1.pdf
Tesla Inc. (2018). Form 10-K. Retrieved from http://www.annualreports.com/HostedData/AnnualReports/PDF/NASDAQ_TSLA_2017.pdf
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