Celebrating 15 years of Tesla production and the EV
Tesla has officially been on the road for 15 years since the first Roadster rolled off the production line on February 1, 2008, and what a decade and a half it has been. In that time, Tesla has gone from a niche startup auto manufacturer to the innovating force behind the automotive industry’s shift to electrification — but what lies ahead could be more significant, still.
Above: A Tesla Roadster (Image: Casey Murphy / EVANNEX).
In a report celebrating Tesla’s 15 years of EVs and looking at the future of the company, PC Mag notes a few of its biggest questions about the automaker’s next 15 years. Among them, the outlet points to its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta, its plans for an autonomous robotaxi business, Cybertruck sales performance, whether the company will face bigger rivals in China or the U.S. and when the company will debut an affordable, mass-market vehicle.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has talked about his purpose for the automaker being to help transition to clean energy vehicles, as he stated on that first day of production.
"The overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution," Musk said upon taking over the company in 2008.
As the world grapples with how to shift toward electric vehicles (EVs), Tesla’s FSD remains front and center as one of its most talked-about products. Last year, Tesla opened its FSD beta to all users in North America who pay the $15,000 for it, though it still has a ways to go from its current Level 2 of autonomy before becoming truly autonomous.
"The overwhelming focus is on solving full self-driving," Musk said last June in an interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley. "That’s essential. It’s really the difference between Tesla being worth a lot of money or worth basically zero."
Questions surrounding the FSD technology remain, and while it has come under scrutiny from the public for concerns about safety, Musk stands by the fact that it’s safe. Additionally, the system could someday be the basis for an autonomous robotaxi business, maybe even as soon as 2024.
"As of now, we've deployed full self-driving beta for city streets to roughly 400,000 customers in North America," Musk said at Tesla’s Q4 earnings call this year. "It's a huge milestone in autonomy, and published data shows improvement in safety statistics is very clear."
When asked about what companies could be Tesla’s biggest rivals, Musk points to the Chinese market.
"Five years is a long time. Right now, I don't think you can see second place with a telescope, at least we can't. But we have a lot of respect for the car companies in China. They're the most competitive in the world, and the Chinese market is the most competitive. They work the hardest, and the smartest. If I had to guess, probably some company out of China is most likely to be second to Tesla."
Tesla is preparing to deliver the first Cybertruck deliveries by the end of this year, and hopefully the public will see a more affordable mass-market Tesla soon. In any case, however, Tesla has had vehicles on the road for 15 years since the first Roadster, and the next 15 years is likely to have even more interesting developments in the industry.
===Source: PC Mag