The electric car manufacturer says updates to its battery design and manufacturing process will help lower production costs.
- The high cost of batteries is the main reason why electric vehicles cost more than gas-powered cars.
- At the company's 'Battery Day' event on Tuesday, Tesla announced a new battery design that will give its cars more power and a longer range.
- The success of Tesla's plan depends on its ability to scale up production.
Screenshot of Tesla's 'Battery Day' presentation
Tesla<p>It's unclear when Tesla will stop using cobalt, or when it will stop sourcing its batteries from Panasonic. But Tesla claims that its new battery design and manufacturing changes will allow it to cut the cost per kilowatt-hour in half. If Tesla can successfully scale up production, the company could hit its goal of $100 per kilowatt-hour sooner than expected.</p><p>Hitting that mark could usher in the electric-car revolution, considering $100 per kilowatt-hour is <a href="https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/How-Soon-Can-Tesla-Get-Battery-Cell-Cost-Below-100-per-Kilowatt-Hour" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">generally regarded as the threshold</a> the industry needs to reach in order to make electric vehicles cost competitive with gas-powered cars. </p><p>A $25,000 electric car would also be Tesla's cheapest offering by far. The company had previously promised a $35,000 car, but only offered one at that price for a limited time. Tesla's website says its Model 3, its cheapest car, starts at about <a href="https://www.industryweek.com/leadership/article/22027923/tesla-declines-as-model-3-price-cut-renews-demand-concerns" target="_blank">$39,000.</a></p>
Photo of Tesla's new battery design
Tesla<p>To be sure, Musk is known for promising big on his projects, but not always following through on the promised timetable. But despite having an "insanely hard" 2020, as Musk said, Tesla's had a good past couple years.<br></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"In 2019, we had 50% growth," Musk said at the event. "And I think we'll do really pretty well in 2020, probably somewhere between 30 to 40 percent growth, despite a lot of very difficult circumstances."</p>
These products are sure to inspire anyone who loves the work of engineer and inventor, Nikola Tesla.
- A prolific inventor, Nikola Tesla has been dubbed "the man who invented the 20th century."
- Tesla is best known for inventing the Tesla coil and the first alternating current (AC) electric system.
- These gifts are designed to inspire engineers, scientists, and general fans of Nikola Tesla and his work.
Twain and Tesla had similar passions and an amusing friendship.
- Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) and Nikola Tesla shared a friendship starting in 1890s.
- Tesla read a lot of early Twain when recovering from a serious illness.
- The two shared an interest in electricity.
In Tesla's Lab. 1894. Mark Twain holds Tesla's vacuum lamp, powered by a loop of wire that gets electromagnetic energy from a Tesla coil. Tesla's face is in the background.
In Tesla's lab. 1894. Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943, blurred at centre) is in the midst of an electrical experiment with writer Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain (1835 – 1910, left) and actor Joseph Jefferson (1829 – 1905).
Photo: Kostich/FPG/Archive Photos/Getty Images
The new version's battery has a shorter range and a price $4,000 lower than the previous starting price.
- Tesla's new version of the Model 3 costs $45,000 and can travel 260 miles on one charge.
- The Model 3 is the best-selling luxury car in the U.S.
- Tesla still has yet to introduce a fully self-driving car, even though it once offered the capability as an option to be installed at a future date.
Dwindling tax credits for customers<p>Customers hoping to score a tax credit when buying the new Model 3 will likely be disappointed. </p><p>Tesla recently announced that only orders placed by Oct. 15 would be eligible for the $7,500 that used to accompany each sale. That's because federal law only allowed for the full tax credits until Tesla hit 200,000 sales, after which begins an 18-month phase-out process. The tax credits are <a href="http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/news/base-2019-tesla-model-3-pricing-article-article-1.4043940" target="_blank">scheduled to drop</a> to $3,750 starting Jan. 1, to $1,875 on July 1, and then disappearing altogether by the end of 2019.</p>
Full self-driving autopilot<p> In addition to offering the new mid-range Model 3, Tesla also recently removed the "full self-driving" option from its orders page. This capability isn't currently available in any model—customers were previously able to pay extra for the feature to be installed at a future date—though Tesla cars do have driver-assist capabilities. </p><p> "Please note that Self-Driving functionality is dependent upon extensive software validation and regulatory approval, which may vary widely by jurisdiction," reads the Tesla <a href="https://www.tesla.com/autopilot" target="_blank">website</a>. </p><p> Musk tweeted that this controversial option was <a href="https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1053068635940388865" target="_blank">"causing too much confusion." </a></p><p> The removal comes just days after Musk announced that a major upgrade to Tesla's Autopilot system will be available in about six months. (Autopilot is the system that uses cameras, sensors and GPS to automatically control Tesla vehicles.) The upcoming hardware update, which could bring a <a href="https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/tesla-mothballs-full-self-driving-capability-option/" target="_blank">500 to 2,000-percent increase</a> in operations per second, will be free only to customers who chose to pay for the (somewhat deceptively named) "full self-driving" option at the time of purchase. </p><p> These customers will also be among the first to receive the full-driving capability when it does become available, though that almost certainly won't happen within six months. </p>
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