Tesla: Accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable transport
Founded in 2003 by a group of engineers who wanted to prove that people didn’t need to compromise to drive electric cars, Tesla is still one of the most innovative companies in the world. Now, the company has moved into the energy industry as such and at Nordic Delivery Conference ’17 powered by Consignor, Director EMEA Business Development, Peter Bardenfleth-Hansen offered insights into disruptive technology’s impact on the future transport, delivery and energy industries.
Tesla is one of the main disruptors of a very old and traditional automotive industry. The company’s mission is to accelerate global conversion to sustainable energy, paving the way for a sustainable fleet of vehicles, infrastructure, energy storage and solar energy, as Bardenfleth-Hansen puts it “Tesla is more than just transport”.
The world is facing environmental challenges on a global scale and it will require some drastic changes to counter the effects seen today, from e.g. CO2 emissions, which the transport sector is a major contributor to. According to Tesla, the production of energy would also be a natural place to look and connecting the two in the storage of sustainable energy, to find out how to actually store the energy obtained from wind during the night and the sun during the day. Resolving this dilemma could solve all energy problems of the world moving forward and allow people to be able to transport themselves without actually emitting any CO2.
The “Secret” Master Plan
Tesla went about their mission by launching an expensive sports car, the Roadster, which may seem like a strange move for a company that wants to bring sustainable transportation and energy to the masses. However, the launch of the showstopper made people notice electrical cars and won over investors, pushing and paving the way for mass produced vehicles such as the new Model 3. At the conference, Bardenfleth-Hansen noted: “Otherwise nobody would have paid any attention. Now we have got their attention and moreover, have perfected the art of building electrical cars, so that we can adopt this into our next generation of vehicles.” Tesla sold 2,500 Roadsters, 80,000 Model S and X and got 400,000 orders in one week for the Model 3.
Pushing the Limits of Electrical Transport
Beyond private cars, Tesla is also developing energy storage, for example different types of batteries and roof tiles with built-in solar panels. In addition, the company is looking into trucks and busses, pushing the bounds of what types of transport can be done by electrical means. Other actors within transport and logistics are also testing how electrical, self-driving delivery vehicles can be used to ease delivery in congested inner-city areas, reducing noise, pollution and utilizing roads better. If the self-driving delivery truck makes it to the market, it could revolutionize the entire transport industry.
All Tesla vehicles built since October ’16 have the hardware for Full Self-Driving Capability. That means that all cars sold today are ready for autonomous driving when extensive software validation and regulatory approval are ready. If and when, it becomes possible to use self-driving vehicles, both roads and cars can be utilized better, making driving more safe and making it possible to share vehicles with others. It is not possible to know exactly when each element of the functionality made possible by the new hardware will be available, as this is highly dependent on local regulatory approval.
At the conference, Bardenfleth-Hansen concluded: “The ability to make energy from the sun and being able to store it, we believe, is one of the major things in the years to come, of course coupled with sustainable transport. This is what will enable us to change the world and make us move in the right direction”.
- Tesla was founded in 2003 by Elon Musk
- Launched the Roadster in 2008 and followed up with Model S, the world’s first premium all-electric sedan and has since added Model X to the product line
- Tesla’s affordable Model 3 (from $35,000) was announced in 2016 and began production in 2017
- All vehicles are produced at Tesla’s Fremont factory in California
- Tesla also designed other energy solutions such as the Powerwall, Powerpack and Solar Roof