Tesla has been redefining what it means to be an advocate of sustainability since 2003. Through their innovation and technology, they have built some of the most impressive electric vehicles (EVs) ever to be on the market, carving out a new niche in the transportation industry while ensuring that they maintained a significant lead against competitors, and setting new records for quality and performance.
In 2016, they continued improving their vehicles, expanded further than car manufacturing, made significant strides in renewable energy, and moved even closer to the truly sustainable future that Elon Musk envisions for the world.
This year, Tesla announced a subtle name change that speaks volumes about where Elon Musk plans to take the company. Big picture—it’s not just about cars anymore; in fact, it hasn’t been for a while. Elon Musk has shown that there is a lot to look forward to from Tesla.
For starters, this is the year that we will see a fully autonomous Tesla drive across the country—from LA to New York. After this feat is conquered, hopefully without incident, and once the company achieves a significant level of autonomy for their vehicles, they will be launching their own ride-hailing network.
Adding to their sedan range, the company is expected to come out with an electric semi truck, the Tesla Semi, which, according to previous reports, is already in the works. Most of their resources are still focused on bringing the Model 3 to market, but assures the public that the Tesla Semi is already in “early development work.” However, speaking of the Model 3, it will be Tesla’s most affordable car to date, and the company has set production of the vehicle in mid-2017 to meet delivery targets for the end of the year.
Another recent development is the announced partnership between Tesla and Panasonic. This collaboration will have the company ramping up production of battery cells for the company’s Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2.
2017 should also be the year that Tesla makes good on its Supercharger network expansion, through which they plan to double the number of Superchargers in 2017.
On the energy front, the production of solar cells by SolarCity is underway and is on track to meet their target timeline. Also, Tesla’s Solar Roof Tiles, developed in collaboration with SolarCity, are expected to be completed in 2017.
A new Gigafactory is being planned for construction in Europe that will contain the production of both vehicles and batteries, and confirmation of this new site could be as soon as within the year. Tesla is also looking to reach the Indian market, which he hopes will happen towards the second half of 2017. There is even buzz of Tesla securing a manufacturing partner in China, following changes in policy, that will provide incentives for the production of new energy vehicles.
With such a lengthy list of achievements and goals, it might seem that Elon Musk has bitten off more than he can chew. But, based on the past successes of Tesla, and the incredible progress already being made by the company, few could doubt that Musk and his colleagues will create a lot of positive change within the coming months and years. From the ever-increasing repercussions of climate change to the possibilities of privatized space travel, the ambitions of Tesla promise to do a lot more than just build great cars.