As time goes on, we see new technologies being developed every day. Tesla Motors is an extraordinary development in transportation that changes the way we drive today, providing improvements in safety and environmental impacts. Though Tesla’s were not the first electric vehicles, they are certainly leaving a dent in the auto industry. Tesla motors was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Contrary to popular belief, Elon Musk was not the founder but an investor, who later became chairman of the board. Tesla headquarters are located in Palo Alto, California, where all manufacturing takes place.
Tesla currently manufactures 4 main models of their electric car: The Model X, Model S, Model 3, and the Roadster. The Roadster has record setting acceleration, going 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds. It can go up to 250 mph, and can accel to 100 mph in 4.2 seconds. While the Roadster is the fastest Tesla, other models do not fall too far behind. The Model S can accel 0-60 mph in 2.28 seconds, the Model X in 2.9 seconds, and the Model 3 in 5 seconds. Each car can go a certain amount of miles per charge, each ranging from about 200-300 miles. There are over one thousand charging stations in North America, each with multiple chargers available for use. You do have to pay per charge, but free unlimited supercharging is available for the Model S. Even paying per charge saves a substantial amount of money, costing less than half the amount of what it would take in gas. These cars do not come at a cheap price, costs ranging from $70,000 to $100,000. However, the Model 3 stands as the companies more affordable vehicle, starting at $35,000. Customization is available for each vehicle, so how much it is can vary with what customizations are done.
Tesla’s do not only save money, but also help to save the environment. The Roadster earned Tesla the Global Green USA Product/Industrial Design Award for being the world’s first lithium ion, electric sports car. The Roadster, along with the other models, has saved over 3 million tons of carbon dioxide since their creation. In 2013, vehicles contributed over half of the air pollution emitted in the air. With electric cars on the rise, Tesla Motors is one of the first companies to take this large step towards reducing air pollution.The uniqueness of these cars does not only come from their speed and electric motors, but from their ability to drive themselves. All Tesla vehicles produced include self-driving technology. Each vehicle has 8 cameras giving 360 degree visibility, and ultrasonic sensors to detect objects. When Tesla says that their vehicles are self-driving, they do not mean that their cars can just drive in a straight line, their cars can do everything that a human can. You simply enter your destination and the Tesla will do the rest. It drives on its own, fully capable of braking and accelerating, knows where and how to turn, and on the freeway it even knows when to take exits and can determine when to safely change lanes. The cars also include parking abilities, where you can get out of your car at your destination and it will drive off on its own to park. When you’re ready to leave, you simply summon it back to you using an app on your phone.The safety of Tesla vehicles is just as outstanding as its performance. In 2013, the Model S scored the best safety record of any car that had ever been tested. The NHTSA gave the car a 5-star rating in every category. The car meets the safety standards in a number of ways such as the placement of the battery and the lack of a large gas tank. Most extraordinary of all, when being tested for roof crushing, the Model S actually broke the machine. Though the full results were set off due to the breakage, it was concluded that at least 4 other Model S vehicles could be stacked on top of one, and the roof would still cease to cave in. Tesla is not only changing the car industry, but is also dipping into the world of semi trucks as well. The company recently revealed the new Tesla Semi, calling it the “safest, most comfortable truck ever”. The truck takes a different approach by having a centered driver position, and a low center of gravity to prevent rollovers. The electric energy for the truck costs half the price of diesel. Four different motors provide more power for the truck, enabling it to go 0-60 mph in 20 seconds, while carrying 80,000 pounds. The truck carries the same autopilot technologies as Tesla’s other vehicles. Over 3,000 people die each year as a result of large truck accidents, and over 100,000 injured. The creation of the Tesla Semi gives the potential of monumental safety improvements, including a decrease in accidents caused by drivers falling asleep the wheel.
While the safety of the Tesla is remarkable, many people have come to have a distrust with the technology of the vehicles autopilot. There are 3 reported autopilot accidents that raise this controversy, with people questioning how much you can truly trust the feature. In one case, a Tesla drove straight into a parked fire truck, while in another, a drunk driver was found passed out behind the wheel. No one was injured in those 2 cases, but the third did lead to one death. A man was in autopilot when a tractor was crossing a road, and the car drove straight into it, killing him. Claims rose of the technology being unsafe but were quickly dropped as Tesla reminded everyone that though autopilot does work, it does require the drivers hands to be on the wheel. The man didn’t have his hands on the wheel for 90% of his drive, and the Tesla reminded him to put them on several times before the crash. This being said, while people can have their doubts, these accidents are not proof that the technology is unsafe. They are incidents caused by the safety precautions of the autopilot being ignored by the driver.Elon Musk, currently CEO of Tesla Motors, cannot be left unmentioned when discussing the Tesla empire. His name is usually the first that comes to mind when it comes to those in charge at Tesla, and for a good reason too. Elon Musk provided the funding that quite possibly could have been the make or break of the existence of Tesla Motors. Elon Musk, born in Pretoria, South Africa, has made many large investments in his life, ofcourse one of which being Tesla. He dropped out of Stanford after 2 days to start his first company, Zip2.com: the internet’s first yellow pages. Another big accomplishment was his founding of X.com, which eventually became the popular payment method known as PayPal. Musk’s current large company alongside Tesla is SpaceX. He founded SpaceX, or Space Exploration Technologies, in hopes to make rockets more affordable, as well as try and make it possible to send humans to Mars.
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