Alternative Fuels for the Future

Over the past few decades, fossil fuels have given way to a new type of propulsion for commercial transport vehicles. With a company such as Tesla, the possibilities are endless when it comes to providing a cleaner and more efficient fuel to power our vehicles. Since the inception of vehicular transportation, fossil fuels have been used to power these vehicles and have been releasing harmful toxins into the atmosphere. Alternative fuels are the future for this world, and it is up to the leaders of the preexisting companies to decided whether to get with the times or be left behind.

Tesla is an American start-up company that began in the mid-2000's by selling only one vehicle, an all-electric roadster produced in limited numbers. In the beginning, Tesla had a contract with Lotus to use the shells of their cars to base the Tesla Roadsters off of, this venture was very successful in the few production years of the roadster. As of today, the line-up consists of only two vehicles, a sedan and a crossover. There are talks of the roadster making a comeback for the 2019 model year, but no plans have been set in stone. The Tesla Model S, which is the sedan in the line-up, is by far the most successful vehicle of the three Tesla has come up with and sold. In either 2017 or 2018, Tesla will introduce a new model to their line-up, the Model 3, which is planned to be the most affordable electric car to date. The price points for the Tesla vehicles has generally been over $100,000, with the Model 3 being the first of their vehicles to be under even $50,000. But Tesla is much more than an automotive manufacturer, Tesla is attempting to branch out into the general electric realm. Tesla has plans to power homes and entire city grids with their product line of Tesla Energy. Tesla is a model for American start-up companies because it is always trying to grow, there is always more to do to improve their vehicles and business model. Tesla began by selling only 2,500 roadsters in the span of a few years. On the other hand, the Model S broke the 100,000 units sold mark in December 2015 and the Model S is also the second best-selling plug-in electric car on the market today (the Nissan Leaf is first).

One of the main detractions of electric vehicles is their performance throughout the power band. Electric vehicles provide a lot of power on the low-end, but once the vehicle reaches the high-end of the power band, much is left to be desired. This has been further proven because Tesla has introduced several new modes through firmware updates in order to increase acceleration. One of these such updates included the introduction of 'Insane' mode then eventually 'Ludicrous' mode, further improving the acceleration of the Model S through the low end. Barry Ritholz, a writer for Bloomberg, put 'Ludicrous' mode into perspective by saying, “What Tesla has done with its “Ludicrous mode” upgrade for the Model S is figure out how to put almost all of the power in its system to all four wheels at once without melting its engine management components” (Ritholz 1). Tesla has done something that no other auto manufacturer has been able to do, have a huge amount of power available instantly, repeatedly and without any mechanical problems, unlike many gasoline-powered cars.