The Timeline: TESLA

Tesla is the most well-known EV brand in the world, founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpening later joined by Elon Musk, JB

Straubel and Ian Wright. Based in Palo Alto, California Tesla also specializes in Solar Panel manufacturing and energy storage.

  • The AC motor used in Tesla was originally designed by Nikola Tesla in 1882.

When General Motors scraped its electric vehicle EV1 in 2003, Eberhard and Tarpening were influenced to start an EV company. Later Musk became the major investor in the company also joining the board of directors as its chairman. Initially, Tesla started to work on an electric sports car, which would change the perspective of people about electric cars.

The Roadster

 

Tesla began the production of its sports car, Roadster, in 2005. Roadster was first in its class commercial electric vehicle with a range greater than 320km or 200mi per charge and could accelerate from 0 to 100km/h (0 to 60mph) in 3.7 seconds which was unheard of for an electric car. Tesla also unveiled its Roadster 2.0 in 2017 but we will talk about it later in the article.

Although all the record-breaking specification Musk felt the Roadster was a disaster. Firstly, it was frankensteined together with the body of the Lotus Elise and the tech of Tesla. Secondly, the EV market was not like today, EV’s were stereotyped as cars that your grandma would drive. Also, there were multiple models of roadster, which combined with the lack of experience of the company made the production complicated.

  • Elon Musk sent his original roadster in an orbit around the Mars as the payload SpaceX’s first test flight of the falcon heavy, earlier this year.

The Model S

Introduced in 2009, Model S is Tesla’s take on a luxury sedan. The somewhat affordable as compared to the Roadster model S is still in production, also while writing of this article is the most sold EV in the world. This vehicle is one of the safest vehicle as rated by NHTSA automobile safety rating.

Model S went into production in 2012. After multiple updates to software and hardware, Tesla Model S is still in demand. The top tier Model S is equipped with a 100kWh battery pack which gives this EV a quite impressive range of 550km(335miles) and a dual motor option which give it a crazy acceleration of 0-100 kmph in just 2.2 seconds.

  • When Model S was launched it had a fake front grill that gave it a traditional look. Later the gill was ditched in favour of a much more sleeker design

The Model X

 

After the successful launch and sale of the company’s electric sedan, Tesla entered the market of SUV’s. First revealed in February of 2012, and production started in late 2015, the Model X is one of the most stunning Tesla’s ever produced, all though the new Roadster will take its place when its production starts tentatively in 2020.

Equipped with Falcon Wing doors and a range of up to 414km(257 mi). Model X sports all-wheel drive which provides it with an acceleration of 0 to 100kmph in 2.9 seconds, by the way that’s faster than almost any sports car on the market.

The Gigafactory

 

With increasing demands of lithium-ion batteries, Tesla revealed its plan to make a Gigafactory in 2014. Which was essentially a factory located in Clark, Nevada with its sole purpose to make lithium-ion batteries. It started limited production of Powerwalls and Powerpacks in the first quarter of 2016 using batteries from elsewhere. But in January of 2017, the factory started mass production of Lithium-Ion tech.

The Nevada Gigafactory is labelled as Gigafactory 1 and Tesla has plans to set more 5 factories around the world to keep up with the demand of lithium-ion battery in the future as we move towards the more non-conventional type of energy for our needs. Tesla plans to produce 35 gigawatt-hour of battery capacity per year.

The Autopilot

Tesla surprised its customers with the introduction of the autopilot for its model S and X in late 2014, although the public roll out for autopilot was in late 2015. The company started fitting its vehicles with the hardware required to support autopilot but it wasn’t publicized., so the reveal of the autopilot was a surprise for all.

Tesla continues to evolve its autopilot and claims that they can reach level 5 autonomy, which in essence is completely autonomous, with its second generation hardware. The Second generation hardware includes a forward radar, trifocal forward cameras, dual forward and rearward looking cameras, rearview camera, a sonar and get this a Nvidia CUDA based GPU. A GPU in a car is probably the most insane and coolest thing. In 2017, Tesla introduced Hardware 2.5 which is an incremental update.

The Powerwall

With the widespread adoption of solar power, Tesla found a big business opportunity in power packs and introduced Powerwall in April of 2015. With Gigafactory producing a large number of batteries, it was ever easier for Tesla to make power packs competitively priced.

The Model 3

Tesla announced a budget sedan in September of 2015, with a tentative unveiling of the car in

March of 2016 and delivery of the same in 2017. This car attracts a lot of crowd due to its kinda budget price. Model 3 sports a very unusual dashboard with only an LCD screen in centre with nothing else around it, not even a console behind the steering.

According to Tesla, the Model 3 would deliver a range of 500kms or 310mi in the long-range model. Within a week of the unveiling, Tesla stated that they have received 3,25,000 reservation for the car which is triple than the number of Model S sold by 2015.

  • You can also pre-book Model 3 in INDIA!! click here for more information

The Tesla Semi

Tesla introduced its semi on November 16 last year. One may not be excited for a Semi but this thing is from the future. Tesla Semi has a centrally located driver seats and two screens all around. Due to the location of screens, it seems like the working space of Nick Fury from the first Avengers. The company claims that the truck would have a range of 805kms (500mi). Although the company have announced that the truck will go in production mode in late 2019, but don’t be surprised if that is delayed.

The Roadster 2020

This is one of the most anticipated cars in the history and my favourite. Announced with the Tesla semi, the all-new Roadster has some of the specifications from out of this world. With 0-100kmph in 1.9 sec, this is the fastest street-legal car ever produced. Roadster provides a range of almost 1000 km or 620mi. Also, this is a four-seater, which is not usual for a car of this calliper. Elon Musk claimed that the Roadster would be in production in late 2020 with deliveries starting in early 2021.

If you want to know more about Elon Musk, Tesla and Spacex. I recomend to read this biography by Ashlee Vance.

Resources used for this Article:

I am an engineering student in NSUT, formerly NSIT. Currently living in New Delhi and hope to live here till my last breath. I am a technology nerd and a photographer. I also love reading books while cuddled in my blanket, although I don't get enough time to read.

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