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7 Ways Tesla Is Changing Everything

In Brief
Truly a company of the future, Tesla currently has a hand in everything from manufacturing
self-driving electric cars to developing clean residential and commercial energy solutions.
Tesla is proving that there is money to be made in sustainability and that one company can
truly make a difference in shaping the future.

Rising From the Shadows


For much of the 20th century, Telsa was
simply the last name of a brilliant man who
died penniless after living much of his life
in the shadow of successful rival Thom-
as Edison. Now, the name is synonymous
with innovation, excitement, and the future
thanks primarily to the efforts of another
brilliant man: Elon Musk.

Under the Tesla moniker, Musk and a group


of Silicon Valley engineers set out in 2003 to CLICK TO VIEW THE FULL INFOGRAPHIC
prove to the world the benefits of electric
cars. Five years later, they released their first model, and since then, the company has become
the poster child for sustainability. With Musk at the helm, Tesla has expanded its focus from
simply building the best electric car to paving the way for autonomous vehicles, solar power,
and so much more.

Here are seven ways Tesla is changing, well, everything:

Building Better Electric Vehicles


You cant talk about Tesla without talking about electric vehicles. The companys very first
model, the Tesla Roadster, was the first mass-produced, all-electric car to travel more than
320 kilometers (200 miles) on a single charge and the first highway legal one to use lithium-ion
battery cells. Its only gotten better from there.

Teslas Model S was the first fully electric sedan, and it earned the distinction of being the best
selling plug-in electric car in the world in 2015 and 2016. Their forthcoming Model 3 is expect-
ed to put even more Teslas on the road, racking up hundreds of thousands of preorders short-
ly after it was announced. Even Teslas charging stations are better than the competition its
Supercharger network features more than 5,000 of the fastest charging stations in the world,
giving Tesla drivers the ability to get back on the road quicker than any other electric vehicle.

Not only are their electric vehicles outperforming other EVs in terms of sales, driving range,
and charging times, Teslas are outperforming their gas-guzzling counterparts in some ways,
too. Just recently, the Model S P100D earned the distinction of being the fastest production
car by accelerating from 0 to 97 km/h (0 to 60 mph) in 2.28 seconds. Thats the fastest produc-
tion car, period not just the fastest electric vehicle.
The company is building some of the highest-tech cars on the road, receiving top safety rat-
ings, and even pushing the envelope with style (just check out those falcon wing doors on the
Model X). That these cars are better for the environment ends up feeling like a really, really
great bonus.

Photo Credit: Tesla

Increasing Vehicle Autonomy


By now, youve likely heard the statistic that 94 percent of vehicle collisions are caused by hu-
man error, resulting in thousands of deaths every year. No company has been making greater
strides toward removing the human element from driving than Tesla.

Since 2014, Autopilot hardware has been included as a standard feature in all Teslas, and the
company frequently bests its competitors in terms of self-driving capabilities. The National
Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) currently classifies Teslas Autopilot as
a Level 2 automated system. However, the company is already testing Level 3/4 software in
some of its fleet, with plans to reach Level 5 (full autonomy) by the end of 2017 following fre-
quent over-the-air updates to its software to gather data and work out any kinks.

While legislation will need some time to catch up with the tech, Teslas self-driving transporta-
tion will be ready when it does.
Rethinking Ridesharing
A mere half-decade after the first Uber app was downloaded, ridesharing is already proving
to be a major disruptor in the transportation market. This billion-dollar industry is poised to
put taxi drivers out of business, so they couldnt be happy to hear that Tesla plans to enter the
market as well, but with an autonomous twist.

Sure, Lyft and Uber are already testing out autonomous vehicles for ridesharing purposes.
However, their one-off, city-specific autonomy tests cant compete with Teslas ability to make
frequent adjustments to its Autopilot software thanks to the number of equipped vehicles
already on the road. The company expects to reach Level 5 autonomy by the end of 2017, and
once that happens, its looking to launch the Tesla Network.

This fleet of self-driving Teslas could be summoned via an app just like you would an Uber or
Lyft driver, but if youre going to take a chance on a driverless taxi, why wouldnt you want it
to be one from Tesla, the company at the forefront of the self-driving revolution? The benefits
extend to Tesla owners as well, as the Network would give them a built-in way to monetize
their new vehicles. This would be something that would be a significant offset on the cost of
ownership for a car, Musk told Techcrunch back in August.

Making Solar Energy Sexy


Not content to simply reshape our roads, Tesla is also bringing residential energy into the fu-
ture through its acquisition of SolarCity last year.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, solar is the most abundant source of energy on
Earth, and demand for it in the U.S. has never been higher. With costs continuing to drop and
the technology becoming more efficient, one of the few remaining hurdles to mainstream
adoption is literally surface level some people just dont like how solar panels look.

Compared to traditional solar panels, Tesla and SolarCitys are attractive and available in mul-
tiple styles, ranging from slate to Tuscan, to help the energy-generating devices seamlessly
blend into existing architecture. If you dont want to worry about matching solar panels to your
existing tile, though, Tesla also gives you the ability to have an entire solar roof. Either option
is sure to remove eyesore from the vocabulary of any solar naysayers.

I think theres quite a radical difference between having solar panels on your roof that actually
make your house look better versus ones that do not, said Musk in a conference call. I think
its going to be a night-and-day difference.

Designing Superior Batteries


Teslas attractive take on the traditional solar tile isnt the only thing helping propel the com-
pany forward in the residential energy market. Its cutting-edge Powerwall and Powerpack
energy storage systems are making those tiles worthwhile.
Introduced in October 2016, the Powerwall 2 system includes a 14 kWh lithium-ion battery
pack, and it can be mounted on a wall or the ground, indoors or outdoor, adding to the aes-
thetic flexibility of Teslas residential solar energy systems. One Powerwall can store enough
energy to power an entire two bedroom home for a whole day, and it can even be used in
homes without a solar energy system, pulling energy from the electric grid when rates are
lower and saving it for use during times with higher rates or a power outage.

While the Powerwall is designed for residential homes, the Powerpack system was created
with utility and commercial vendors in mind. Each Powerpack contains 16 battery pods, and
it can be used as a standalone system or combined with solar. The latest version, Powerpack
2, features the highest efficiency, highest power density utility-scale inverter available at the
lowest cost. Telsa already built a massive 80 MWh Powerpack station for Southern California
Edison and has plans for a number of other major collaborations in the near future.

If all goes according to Teslas plan, your home or business may never be without power again.

Creating 21st Century Jobs


Beyond making big money for its investors, some of whom expect the company to cross into
the trillion dollar range in the next decade, Tesla is doing its part to share the wealth by creat-
ing much-needed jobs at home and abroad.

Teslas Gigafactory in Nevada employs hundreds of workers, and last month the company an-
nounced it would be adding 550 more jobs to that total by bringing production of its Model 3
motors to Nevada. Add to that an estimated total investment of $5 billion in the state, and you
can see why several European countries are vying for the opportunity to host the next Giga-
factory.

As of last year, Tesla only had 14,000 employees worldwide. When you consider that Musk
believes the Nevada Gigafactory alone could end up employing 10,000 people, you get an idea
of its growth trajectory and how it could be majorly responsible for training people in the clean
energy industries of the future while keeping many jobs Stateside.

Leading By Example
Perhaps more than anything else, Tesla is changing the world by showing us that changing the
world is possible. Musk is the closest thing the real world has to Tony Stark, and his work with
Tesla is just the tip of the iceberg. Hes using his Boring Company to decrease traffic conges-
tion by building a tunnel below the streets of Los Angeles, hes revolutionizing space travel
through SpaceX, and hes even inspired the world to reimagine mass transit with his Hyper-
loop vision.

Musk has proven that a single person can still have a huge impact on the world around them.
At a time when big business is often seen as the Goliath out to exploit the Davids of the
world, Tesla is a welcome exception. Its a multi-billion dollar company that seems more inter-
ested in building a better future than satisfying shareholders, and for that, we are grateful.