When it comes to living in a manner that is respectful to our environment, the concept of car ownership is quite rightly a matter to regard with some disdain – and industrialists, particularly of the motor and energy sectors, can expect to be in for some pretty damning press. It comes as a big relief, then, that one mega-company (and its classic head honcho/ruthless entrepreneur-type figurehead) is in with eco-friendly car design/manufacture and energy solutions on an enormous – and enormously visible – scale.
We’re talking, of course, about Tesla Motors, and their perhaps-not-so-villainous-after-all boss Elon Musk, whose grand gestures and crazy visions are thankfully backed up by serious investment and innovation in those areas that we care most about. Since quitting internet bank Paypal, Musk’s wealth has blossomed to a ludicrous $12bn, so we needn’t be too impressed that he takes just a dollar a year for his tenure at Tesla Motors (one of four companies he’s taken to a valuation of over $1bn). Yet his commitment to renewable energy and electric cars is all the more formidable for his uncompromising vision, and bold statements that force others to listen.
These statements do not just take the form of words. When Tesla’s Gigafactory is completed in Nevada, it will be the second biggest building in the world by volume – and yet powered by only renewable energies. The main purpose of the complex is to manufacture lithium ion cells for electric vehicles, and the Gigafactory’s 5.8 million square feet of floor space means they will do on a scale capable of powering half a million electric cars by 2018 alone. Thousands of green jobs will be created for the area and, naturally, Tesla Motors expects to reap back its $5bn investment many times over – a figure that’s sure to raise the attention of rivals and young upstarts. This is eco on a scale we’ve never seen.
With pioneering domestic solar power panels and electric car supercharging stations, Tesla is making electric car culture achievable and affordable, and importantly their cars really move. Their sleek, strong design and enviable acceleration make them important tools in the effort to convert affirmed petrol-heads to the cause. For a load more facts that you can use to bolster your own argument, check out the infographic below, which really offers some serious background on Tesla and Musk – and if a car is a necessity for you and you’ve not yet gone electric, this could be the time to change your mind.
Featured image source: Wesley Fryer