Childhood Dreams are Becoming Reality (pt 2)
On April 8, 2022, Bloomberg reported, “The world is about to pass another important milestone in electric vehicle adoption: 20 million plug-in vehicles on the road globally, come June, according to BNEF estimates. That’s remarkable growth from only 1 million EVs (electric vehicles) on roads in 2016. In the second half of 2022, almost a million EVs a month will be added to the global fleet. That’s about one every 3 seconds.”1
Out of those millions of global EVs, without question, one company holds the advantage of amassing these monumental numbers. According to Experian Automotive, 69.95% of EVs purchased in the US in 2021 rolled out of Tesla factories. Nissan came in second place at an underwhelming 8.51%.2 Embodying the likes of the eclectic Marvel characters Howard and Tony Stark, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, stands out as a strong thought leader and innovator in the evolving EV automotive industry space. Musk’s determination, innovative business style, and expansion of unique projects continue to wow and intrigue a public already hungry for the coveted autonomous utopia from the silver screen.
Tesla’s first product, the Roadster sports car, debuted in 2008, and the company’s first fully electric sedan, Model S, arrived only four short years later in 2012. While drivers only purchased 500 Roadsters in 2008, Tesla quintupled its output of EVs, delivering 2,650 Model S sedans in 2012.3 Since 2009, over 1.9 million EVs have rolled off the line. Tesla delivered 936,222 EVs in 2021 with a staggering revenue totaling $53.82 billion. Of the 1.9 million Tesla EVs purchased worldwide since 2009, over half were delivered in the short 12 months of 2021. Q1 of 2022 showed Musk’s year-over-year growth again exceeding expectations, delivering 310,000 EVs and pocketing over $18.5 billion.4 The exponential production, distribution, and mass public adoption of Tesla’s S3XY line of EVs, Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y, from 2008 to 2022, sounds like a page written right out of a science fiction screenplay.
As if the idea of fully electric cars wasn’t extraordinary enough, in October 2014, Elon Musk announced an autopilot suite featuring Autosteer, Autopark, and TACC (Traffic-Aware Cruise Control). This feature enabled drivers to ease into the novelty of owning a car like Disney’s Herbie or K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider that could drive all by itself. There’s little doubt Tesla’s ingenious scientists and engineers gleaned inspiration for self-driving technology embodying AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning through on-screen influence. It’s possible some even took note in 2005 when a Stanford robot won the DARPA Grand Challenge for autonomously driving 131 miles along an unrehearsed desert trail.
Musk assures Tesla owners will continue to receive updates to the Autopilot Hardware feature using the internal FSD (Full Self-Driving) and Dojo chips every few years, which as of 2022, marks version 3.0.5
1 McKerracher, Bloomberg News, “The World’s Electric Vehicle Fleet Will Soon Surpass 20 Million,” April 8, 2022 https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-08/plug-in-ev-fleet-will-soon-hit-a-20-million-milestone
2 Lambert, Electrek, “Tesla still dominates US electric car market, and it’s not even close,” March 17, 2022 https://electrek.co/2022/03/17/tesla-still-dominates-us-electric-car-market/
3 Cole, InsideEVs, “Tesla Model S – Over 2,400 Sold, 2,750 Built in Last Quarter of 2012,” February 20, 2013 https://insideevs.com/news/317209/tesla-model-s-over-2400-sold-2750-built-in-last-quarter-of-2012/
4 Lambert, Electrek, “Tesla (TSLA) releases Q1 2022 results: beats both revenue and profit expectations in record quarter,” April 20, 2022 https://electrek.co/2022/04/20/tesla-tsla-q1-2022-results/
5 Tesla, “Artificial Intelligence & Autopilot,” May 4, 2022 https://www.tesla.com/AI