Tesla’s Greatest Achievement (and it’s not a car)

Tesla's Greatest Achievement

Elon Musk just unveiled his master plan for Tesla, which if he can pull off will change the face of transport and energy production forever.

In his own overview it looks like this:

  1. Create a low volume car, which would necessarily be expensive
  2. Use that money to develop a medium volume car at a lower price
  3. Use that money to create an affordable, high volume car
    And…
  4. Provide solar power. No kidding, this has literally been on our website for 10 years.

He then goes on to explain how he intends for Tesla to provide a single integrated solution to generate and store power for both home and transport, as well as develop a fleet of more commercial vehicles such as trucks and public transport. In addition to this Tesla owners will be able to turn their cars into a self driving Uber style service, while Tesla will provide it’s own self driving taxi fleet in densely populated areas.

The result of all this will be to minimize the need for people to even own a private car, and to become energetically self sufficient using renewable (solar) energy.

It shows an incredible level of planning and patience, and goes to show just how committed Telsa are to changing our dependance on fossil fuels. I don’t think there is a company on earth that can come close to this level of vision, or of being so close to pulling it off.

Elon Musk from TeslaIt frustrates me when I see report after report comparing Tesla to other car manufacturers, or comparing Elon Musk to other business owners with their limited thinking and financially driven motives.

Many people do not take the time to consider that Elon actually risked every penny of an already very healthy personal fortune to make this vision a reality. (Many wealthy individuals risk money, but rarely everything they own.)

Then Elon made Tesla’s patents for EV technology available to the competition, something that is almost never done in business. (To be fair Volvo did make the patent to the seat belt open for all to use in the name of public safety.) Why would a car manufacturer looking to ‘compete’ in the traditional commercial sense of business do anything like this? Because the real goal is not to sell cars, it is stop us burning fossil fuels.

Even if Tesla were to fail as a car company, level one of the mission looks set to succeed. Almost every car manufacturer is now producing, or developing, EVs. And Norway have already committed to banning the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2025.

Of course Tesla want to succeed financially too. But not so Elon can stroke his ego, or buy a bigger car (or Space Rocket), but because they need the cash to keep driving the vision forward. To keep evolving technology, and most importantly, pushing other companies to be better.

Are Tesla perfect? Of course not, no one is. But do they shi* on the competition from a great height – hell yes. Not because their Model S has been repeatedly voted the best car ever made. This only accounts for a few points of difference. They beat everyone else hands down because they have almost single handedly redefined the automotive industry, and are set to do the same for the production of electricity. And they do it not because it will make them more money, but because it is the right thing to do.

Tesla is just 13 years old. It is remarkable what it has achieved in its short history. I look forward to seeing what it can achieve in the next 13 years. But I think it’s greatest achievement will not be what it ever produces itself, even though this is revolutionary and well deserving of many awards. No, I think it’s greatest achievement is the influence it has on changing the course of its competitors, and ultimately the reduction of CO2 production. The impact of this is almost immeasurable.

So next time you see some narrow minded, money fixated reporter dissing Tesla, give them a slap from me. And tell them to wake up and see what is perhaps one of the largest industrial miracles unfolding in front of them. If they can pull off one hundredth of an impressive feat, maybe then they can be worthy to criticize.

Leon Jay

Leon is author of several books on the topic of business, an international speaker, and consultant. He has worked as Director of Marketing for an online personal development company, co-founded a variety projects that have each generated multiple 6 and 7 figures, and is the founder of SocialpreneurTV. He is passionate about helping businesses find creative solutions to operate in more environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable ways.

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