The name of Tesla Motors is now synonymous with the electric vehicle market with the company having such a major influence and a major presence in the worldwide media. It is easy to forget that this is a company formed when electric vehicles were not even a niche market but this is a company now worth billions of dollars. While the company’s chief executive officer Elon Musk has always aimed for the stars, and been very proactive of late, he has even bigger plans for the future.
Even though there is always a danger that the electric vehicle industry will build up hope and expectations above and beyond what it is able to deliver, there are very few people who doubt the recent promises made by Tesla.
An affordable EV in four years
Perhaps the first major announcement is the one which has caught the attention of the worldwide mass media, Tesla’s announcement that it would have an affordable EV available within four years at a price of around $40,000. The company intends to use the technology available in its more expensive vehicles at this moment in time and make use of volume efficiencies and developments in the technology over the next couple of years.
If Tesla was able to deliver a $40,000 EV with a journey capacity of around 200 miles this would be a massive boost to an industry which is currently going from strength to strength. There has been some criticism of the company’s announcement although in reality there are very few who really doubt that Elon Musk will deliver.
The 10 minute charge time
It was interesting to see that Tesla announced plans to introduce a superfast charger in the medium-term which would effectively allow electric vehicles to be recharged within 10 minutes. This announcement broke just a matter of weeks after the company announced and showcased a groundbreaking battery exchange technology which will be rolled out across the company’s network of battery swapping stations.
The demonstration of the battery swapping technology went down a storm with the media and EV enthusiasts and despite the fact that Better Place, a US company with a similar service, folded earlier this year, Tesla seems to have perfected this particular art. The switch from battery swapping to superfast battery charging is one which will have a major long-term impact upon the industry. At this moment in time the only real technological barrier is ensuring that the electric car batteries do not “fry” when receiving the superfast recharge.
Is it dangerous to aim high?
Perhaps if it was any company other than Tesla there would be grave concerns about delivering an affordable EV in four years and a supercharger in the medium term which will reduce charging times down to around 10 minutes. However, this is Tesla, a company which pushes the boundaries every day, a company which is leading the EV industry and a chief executive who has put his money where his mouth is.
While Tesla has the trust of the motoring public it needs to be able to deliver on these promises within an acceptable timescale. It seems highly likely that the company will deliver but if by chance there were some slippage or problems in the future this could potentially be a major setback for the industry.