The Revenge of the Electric Car

I must have been in a coma for the past two years.  For it was only today that I have come across a new, innovative company based out of Palo Alto, CA known as Tesla Motors.

Tesla, the company, obviously takes its’ name from Nikola Tesla, the Serbian-American inventor and creator of the modern alternating current (AC) supply system.  Tesla Motors on the other hand is the creation of Elon Musk, an American entrepreneur that was born in South Africa to an South African engineer father and a Canadian mother who worked as a nutritionist and model.  Elon Musk made his initial fortune and fame through the creation of PayPal.  His stated goals are to bring innovation into three primary areas;

  • The Internet
  • Clean Energy
  • Space

Tesla Motors introduced a supercar roadster in 2006 and has achieved modest success.  The company is now bringing to market a luxury sedan known as the Model S.  This car differs from other electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf in that it comes in a configuration which purports to run for up to 480 kms on a single charge.   Having an electric car that provides between 300 to 500 kms between charges definitely hits a sweet spot.

Further, this car offers some impressive statistics such as 0-100 km/h in 5.6 secs with a top speed of 200 km/h, seats up to five adults and two children and competes directly against mid-class luxury cars such as the BMW 535i, Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz S class.  Pricing is expected to start at approximately $50,000 for the base model and will reach up to $100,000 for the signature performance model, which will increase performance to deliver 0-100 km/h in 4.4 secs.

Leave it to a small Silicon Valley based company to bring true innovation and responsibility to the market – a feat that the big auto manufacturers haven’t been able to delivery.  In fact, it was only after Tesla released the Roadster that it garnered the attention of General Motors with then, Vice-Chairmen Bob Lutz kicking off the Chevy Volt project.

About Grant Fengstad

I’m a technology professional in the travel and transportation sector and have been very involved with the Internet for over 20 years.