How Tesla started making cars of the future.

By Dailyfinreport - September 20, 2020

Two names are closely related to electric vehicles: Nikola Tesla and Elona Musk. Both of them influenced the fate of electric vehicles, which became a real revolution in the automotive industry. And it seems that their time is just beginning.



Nikola Tesla is often called "the man who invented the twentieth century", but in fact he did much more - he defined the main vector of the development of the automotive industry in the twenty-first century. Today, one of the most famous electric vehicle manufacturers in the world bears his name.


Was Nikola Tesla the inventor of the electric car?

There is no definite answer to this question, but there are no less myths and assumptions than about Bigfoot or aliens. It is believed that Nikola Tesla in 1931 demonstrated a working prototype of an electric car that moved autonomously, without power sources connected to it. Allegedly, a famous engineer and inventor removed the internal combustion engine from the Pierce-Arrow car, installed an AC electric motor in its place, connected several lamps, resistors and wires to it, and then connected it to the standard transmission. Until now, no one has confirmed that this electric car actually existed. But according to legend, he was supposed to develop a record speed - up to 150 km / h! But Nikola Tesla's electric motors, to the development of which he made a huge contribution (and this is a historical fact!), Are successfully used in modern electric trains,


How ICEs and electric motors competed over a century ago

Even if we consider the story of Nikola Tesla's electric car a myth, electric motors still appeared before internal combustion engines (ICE). It was only in the 19th century that there were several successful attempts to create a DC car electric motor. The output was not quite cars in the modern sense, but they were quite working prototypes and even serial models of vehicles, quite in the spirit of that time. Until 1920, electric motors still competed with internal combustion engines, but in the end gasoline engines won out - they were cheaper, more powerful and faster.


The rebirth of electric vehicles was experienced in the 90s of the last century. There were two reasons for this: oil prices were rapidly increasing, and the idea of ​​environmental protection was actively gaining popularity in society. These were favorable conditions in order to reuse not gasoline or gas, but environmentally friendly electricity. True, this required a radical rethinking of electric vehicles from the past and create something that would appeal to discerning buyers.


From the dream of the perfect electric sports car to Tesla

Tesla wasn't the first to make electric vehicles, but it set the bar high and made the whole world talk about its cars. This is partly due to the charisma and fantastic ideas of Elon Musk - one of its founders - but this is not the only reason for its popularity.




Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Mark Tarpenning. The first dreamed of an ideal sports car, but did not want it to have an internal combustion engine. So the idea came up to install an electric motor in it. The company, which was engaged in the production of electric vehicles, lithium-ion batteries, photovoltaic panels and solar tiles, was symbolically named after the great inventor Nikola Tesla.


The first hand-assembled prototype, called the TZero, never entered commercial production. The founders of Tesla Motors did not have enough money to implement the idea with an electric car - the task turned out to be more difficult than it seemed at first. Eberhard was actively looking for investors until he met Elon Musk, already a famous engineer and billionaire at that time. Musk got so carried away that he invested tens of millions of dollars in Tesla Motors, and over time became its CEO and mastermind.


Later, other talented engineers and managers appeared in the company, and the founders turned out to be from the idea of ​​creating a car from scratch. Now the task was to build on the electric vehicle based on a suitable production model. The latter must meet several conditions: sporty, compact, with an engine compartment behind the driver - to evenly distribute the mass of the batteries. The popular British sports car Lotus Elise was chosen as the basis, and the prototype of the electric car was named Tesla Roadster.


Tesla Evolution : From Roadster to Model Y

Tesla Roadster was released only in 2006. Elon Musk decided to draw attention to the car in a non-trivial way: he arranged a private show and invited 350 famous and, of course, not poor guests to it. During the show, orders were taken on the Signature One Hundred, and Musk was guaranteed to sell the first Tesla electric car for only $ 100,000 to the first hundred who wanted it. At the same time, aggressive advertising in the mass media began, followed by authoritative awards and titles, but … The car turned out to be "raw" for inspection.


Tesla Roadster accelerated to 100 km / h in just 3.9 seconds and could cover 393 km without recharging.


The manufacturer did not calculate its strength, did not take into account many technical issues, and the Roadster electric sports car ended up with its owners two years later than planned. The first experience was unsuccessful, and the car was more often criticized than admired. Celebrities rained down claims like "it doesn't work" or "constantly breaks down." Elon Musk tried to save the situation by transferring the car for testing to the popular Top Gear show, but this idea failed miserably. Show host Jeremy Clarkson criticized the Tesla Roadster so much that it turned into a lawsuit.


The thousandth Roadster was sold only in 2010.


Musk is not one of those who stop halfway, because his company (at that time he owned the lion's share of Tesla shares) started producing a new modification - the Roadster Sport. This car took only 3.7 seconds to accelerate to the cherished 100 km / h, and the power reserve was 372 km.


The next step was the Tesla Model S, with a former stylist from Mazda North America involved in its development. The company spent a long time looking for a site to build a new plant and ultimately chose the city of Fremont, California. The Model S prototype was shown back in 2009, but commercial production began only three years later. The manufacturer promised that, depending on the selected configuration, the car will travel 442, 502 and 480 kilometers without recharging. The acceleration time to 100 km / h was also different - it ranges from 3.1 to 5.4 seconds.




The Model S P100D with Ludicrous mode was the first car with an electric motor to travel 500 kilometers on a single charge.


The Model X prototype was released in 2012 in Los Angeles. It is a full-size, all-wheel-drive luxury SUV electric vehicle. Unlike the Model S, it uses two electric motors - one each on the front and rear axles. The Falcon Wing doors became the most interesting in the design of the new car, and the more practical people should have appreciated the HEPA filter in the cabin. The doors provided the car with a spectacular opening, and the filter - perfectly clean air, like in an operating room. By the way, the Model X is a full-fledged crossover with six passenger seats. It is no longer just a sports car, but a roomy car with good cross-country ability. In the modification with a 100 kW / h battery pack, it can accelerate to 100 km / h in just 3.1 seconds!


Everything about Tesla cars is great, apart from their price. Therefore, Elon Musk decided to reduce the cost of one of the models. He called it Model 3 and began selling it for a democratic $ 35,000. In 2016, it was almost half the price of the simplest modification of the Model S. If more expensive models offered an autonomous range of 500 km, then in Model 3 it was only 346 km. Elon Musk even began to dissuade some buyers from the idea of ​​getting a Model 3, as he saw their high expectations from this car. Nevertheless, it went on sale, and thousands of motorists got the opportunity to buy the first electric car.


The next stage is Model Y, announced in 2019. This is another sporty crossover in four versions. It is expected to go on sale in 2021. The model will be sold at a democratic price, but it will become more secure.


What makes Tesla management impressive

Speed, acceleration, range and impressive design are not all that Tesla electric cars are interested in. Here are just a few interesting facts about how control is implemented in them.


To control the functions and devices of the car, a touchscreen display located to the right of the driver is used. The operating system Ubuntu is hidden behind the graphical shell.


After connecting to the mobile Internet, the driver can use the built-in browser. Considering that the Model S has a 17-inch screen, it's more convenient to do this than from a smartphone.




The navigator remembers the location of each charging station that the vehicle has visited. True, this rule works only for official stations that are open mainly in the United States and several European countries.


An automatic system analyzes traffic. It determines how fast neighboring cars are moving, whether they comply with traffic rules and what potential threats they pose. Depending on this, the system offers the best route to the Tesla driver.


The software can be updated remotely. This will require a good internet connection and a few minutes of free time.


Some functions are available through the mobile app. Using a smartphone, you can turn on the heating of the passenger compartment in winter or find out at what stage the battery charging process is.


Tesla cars: pros and cons

Today Tesla is appreciated not only for its environmental friendliness, fast acceleration and original design, but also for its thoughtful safety. What about the downsides?


First: the price . Even the budget Model 3 did not change the situation: not everyone can afford a Tesla electric car.


Second: the difficulty of recharging . In the USA and Europe, the number of charging stations covers the needs of electric vehicle owners, but in Russia this is still a problem. A person who sets out on a long journey does not have to rely on the fact that every 300-500 km he will meet electric filling stations.




Third: management. If you're used to drive and active steering, Tesla will disappoint you. Here, the connection between the wheels and the steering wheel is poorly implemented, and an experienced motorist can experience pleasure only during acceleration.


Tesla and  Elon Musk in particular have been repeatedly criticized for too loud promises, opaque operating principles and excessive eccentricity, but this is a completely different story. Musk was the first to launch a cherry-colored Tesla Roadster into space as part of the SpaceX project, another company he owns.


What about the competitors?

Of course, Tesla isn't the only one in the world to make electric vehicles. It has many competitors, and their number will only grow further. The first electric vehicle to sell over 10,000 units by 2011 was the Mitsubishi MiEV. One cannot but recall the Nissan Leaf, a Japanese electric car that has been produced since 2010. Nissan set a world record in 2018 with 300,000 Leaf vehicles. They are most actively bought in the USA, Japan and Europe. A limited edition version of the Toyota RAV4 was released a few years ago. But the most active in recent years are the Chinese auto concerns. The PRC claims to be the world leader in the production of electric cars, although some of its electric cars are known only on the domestic market. Today, BYD, Geely, Chery, Zhidou, BAIC,

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