Tesla Motors CTO reveals the secrets of their successful electric car

Tesla Motors CTO revealed some key reasons for their successful electric car.

* Superchargers and integrated manufacturing.

Superchargers allow us to charge the Model S more than twice as fast as other cars. To do that kind of charging, everything has to be working in perfect synchrony. The cooling system; the electronics that are talking to the charger; the connection to the grid. That whole thing has to work as a system flawlessly. If we outsourced the charger, or outsourced those other pieces, we couldn’t innovate as quickly. We couldn’t roll out things anywhere near as fast.

* digital controllers for the electric motor allows control of the motor with software. This provides vital flexibility.

* Tesla can perform wireless updates.

Last year two Model Ss caught fire after drivers ran over objects in the road. Tesla sent out a software patch that raised the height at which the cars travel on the highway. There have been no car fires since.

* Ten thousand small batteries are cheaper but were an engineering challenge

* Batteries are not most of the cost of an electric car. For the Roadster [Tesla’s first car], the battery was already down below half the cost. Now we’re down to a quarter of the cost in most cases. Tesla on track to getting to costs that will allow us to make a $35,000 car [the cost of the GM Volt] with a greater-than-200-mile range. It doesn’t require some mythical invention. All the pieces are fundamentally there.

Tesla’s vehicle sales rose to $610.9 million from $294.4 million a year ago. The Palo Alto, California automaker said it delivered 6,900 Model S electric cars globally in Q4.

Tesla sees Model S deliveries increasing to 7,400 in the first quarter, and hitting 35,000 total for 2014. This represents a 55 percent increase from 2013’s overall sales.

Helping sales is that production will ramp up to 1,000 vehicles a week this year compared to 600 a week right now, and sales will soon move into Europe and Japan as well.

Tesla will start selling China next month.

SOURCE -Daily Tech, MIT Technology Review

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