Work, invention, inspiration, betrayal, and the creation of electric vehicles
The reaction of Elon musk (center) at the first public AP Photo/Mark Lennihan
The existence of Tesla unnatural. The last successful automotive startup America, which struck the world with its new technologies, founded 111 years ago, and it was called "Ford."
The company, which barely exceeded 10 years, worth more than $ 30 billion. Yes, the stock market, its quiet I love everything from green energy lovers and fans of artificial intelligence to ordinary motorists. A Bank holding company, "Morgan Stanley" Tesla called most important car company, and Tesla Model S became the favorite car of the United States in 2014.
But really nothing new has happened: for the first time saw the light of the electric vehicles in the XIX century. Before the advent of the Tesla was only boring cars with electric traction, to drive which was decided is that violent fans of "green" technologies.
Elon Musk, seem to be able to give this idea new substance and to implement the lessons in life, although in reality, the public often mistakenly associates his efforts with success. Real authors are the group of engineers who are faced with a young billionaire. Here we will talk only about the period of the development of Tesla, which many people forget.
Based on detailed interviews with many of the actual participants in history and a rare leak of documents to the public Network website Business Insider has published a unique article on formation of the company. This post is based entirely on its materials.
In the summer of 2004, the product designer Malcolm Smith called his former colleague — engineer Martin Eberhard and was invited to look at his car. In a small office in Menlo Park, California Eberhard and his business partner mark Tarpenning showed Smith a rough draft of a business plan and some sample technical specifications for the future product. They wanted to build a car.
And it wasn't just a car: it was electric. Of course, Smith reacted to the idea with curiosity, and with ridicule and skepticism. He understood that to create a new product do not need to invent everything from scratch, just need to put together existing technologies.
tzero from AC Propulsion. Wikimedia Commons, GNU Free Documentation License.
Eberhard has offered Smith a ride in a double car. It was a small yellow car with a logo of tzero on Board. The name was a reference to the physical marking of the initial reference point of time: T0. The car left the feeling of a manual Assembly — it really was assembled by hand. They were driving down sand hill road, the street today is known for a variety of venture capital companies, and tzero is only slightly noisy. Sitting behind the wheel, Eberhard slowed to 15 miles per hour and asked the Smith to reach the dashboard of the car.
Smith reached out to her, and Martin recessed the gas pedal. Smith's hand never reached its target: this machine is accelerated to 97 kilometers per hour (60 mph) in less than 4 seconds. Overload push the occupant's body in the chair.
Best of all, this incident shows a video with the Tesla P85D
It is this demonstration further changed the attitude of Smith, he realized that it was not any fun, but high-tech project. It's not a Golf cart or toy car, for fans of green technology. Only electric car able to give full torque. Smith was one of the first 20 employees of the company as Vice President of engineering. And Eberhard has kept a habit is to do for newcomers to the company this spectacular demonstration of the power of electric cars.
The first car Tesla, which has caused interest in the company, was a Roadster. The electric car was released in 2008. His nasybulina just a machine, and one of the strongest automotive applications on the road. Model S sedan has become one of the hottest cars of 2013. In the same year, Tesla Motors in terms of sales in the United States exceeded Mercedes Benz S Class, BMW 7 other luxury cars.
But it all started in the 90s and not with electric cars. Mark Tarpenning worked for Textron in Saudi Arabia. Once, during a visit home to California, he met an old friend, Greg Renda, at that time employed at Wyse Technology in San Jose. Greg insisted that mark stopped by his office to see the new terminal worked for Wyse. There mark met Martin Eberhard.
Energy, govarivali and personal charm, Martin was immediately visible: he dominated in the study. In General, dolgovato and beard Eberhard was forced to compare him with Abraham Lincoln. Tarpenning was from another test: more modest, smaller and quieter, with a very wry sense of humor.
These two opposites become fast friends. Every few weeks they're together with a group of other geeks played Magic: The Gathering. Mark recalls how Eberhard loved to experiment with a variety of thoughtful strategies that are either led him to success, or failed miserably. About the same he engaged in business.
Some time later, Eberhard and Tarpenning started working together. They provide consulting services to companies involved in disk drives, data. Very often they worked from a cafe, using the early representatives of mobile technologies: cell phones, laptops, handheld computers, PalmPilot.
The duration of portable devices strongly depended on the volume of their battery, and while it left much to be desired. In General, the battery capacity grows slowly, mark Tarpenning even called its growth rate "slow Moore's law". The original law of exponential growth predicted two-fold increase in CPUs for 18 or 24 months. This empirical observation claimed that the battery capacity will increase twice in 10 years.
Martin Eberhard and Rocket eBook from NuvoMedia. Photo By Associated Press
And it made me think: what product can become better with a decent battery? Stopped at the e-book. In those years, "Amazon" had sold books via the Internet, but it was possible to download them page by modem at 9.6 KB/s.
April 15, 1997, Eberhard and Tarpenning founded the company NuvoMedia. In late 1998 they released a device for reading e-books Rocket eBook. In 1999 it sold 20 thousand units. In 2000 the company became interested in the Corporation Gemstar-TV Guide. Feeling the approaching fall, they sold their offspring for 187 million dollars. And by the end of 2000, they again wanted anything to start.
Around the same time, Eberhard got divorced. Happy bachelor I decided to buy a sports car, but he couldn't bring himself to buy a car that eats a quart every 8 miles. It also scared the war in the middle East and becoming the obvious global warming. A normal high-performance electric cars did not exist.
Martin made the sign of all the sources of energy that he could think of: hydrogen power cells, various types of gasoline and diesel fuel, natural gas, several varieties of batteries. In one of the columns there was a distance of movement of the vehicle, which can give a unit of energy from each type of fuel. As he says Eberhard, the results were a bit shocking. First: hydrogen fuel cells are terrible, the efficiency is not higher than the gas. Second, electric cars are much better than all the rest, even the electricity for powering is removed from coal.
He became interested in communities of fans of electric vehicles and came upon AC Propulsion, engaged in consulting on automakers, which they needed in connection with the intentions of the heads of California in terms of environmental sustainability program Zero Emission Vehicle. The company name can be translated as "reduction in movement due to alternating current". From this artisanal producer of electric vehicles were available tzero sports car.
Sitting behind the wheel of this electric car, Eberhard immediately realized that I was not mistaken in the calculations: the car had the acceleration-level Lamborghini, and it clearly showed that the electric car can be sporty and fast. Okay, in the rain led her to the water will cause a short circuit in the onboard computer, but she was not like a typical electric vehicle.
Here is an excerpt from the original business plan of Tesla Motors. Here, Ian Wright (the first Vice-President of development and one of the co-founders of the company) is lavish with his praise tzero.
"When I first drove the tzero from AC Propulsion, I was immediately struck by the energy faded as the acceleration of the movement of the electric vehicle — there was a feeling that riding in first gear, but it never ends and goes up to 100 mph [161 km/h].
The second discovery was addictive to decrease the power where I want, without any thoughts about changing gears. The speed control has become as instinctive as basic steering control.
Thirdly, by the end of the test drive I was amazed how smooth and easy speed control at Parking speeds. I'm on the same program as in 100 miles per hour, and everything is working perfectly! How this is possible? But it's real."At some stage, Eberhard invested in AC Propulsion in the hope to obtain your vehicle and even thought about working in the company. Perhaps his skills could help in turning machines for enthusiasts in the industrial design of the electric vehicle. But soon he realized that existing culture of the company contrary to his ambitions.
The era before TeslaЕсли electric car so good and has so many wonderful benefits in addition to its environmental friendliness and lack of emissions, why not use the existing giants?
Scrapped EV-1. Plug In America, Wikimedia Commons
The answer is simple: the big companies were trying a new direction, but made mistakes. Two years before the release of the first production vehicles Tesla in the 2006 documentary "Who killed the electric car?" (Who Killed the Electric Car?), which focuses on the attempts of big players. The film is almost entirely devoted to electrocare EV-1 from General Motors and contains a lot of speculation about who would benefit from the failure of this product.
GM claimed that the EV-1 was their best attempt. According to reports the Washington Post, the company has spent $ 1 billion to develop. EV-1 was impossible to advance beyond the circles of ardent supporters of environmental protection and enthusiasts of electric cars, at least so said General Motors. Almost all of the EV-1 was withdrawn, most of them were destroyed.
For Tarpenning was obvious the potential of electric motors, which do not use automotive:
"One of the recurring leitmotifs with which we are faced in these articles was the following: the reason that will never allow electric cars to be successful is the lack of development of battery technology over the last hundred years. The media said similar, and this is true for lead-acid batteries."But not for lithium-ion. Due to innovations in the chemistry of the electrolytes, according to Tarpenning, they become better at 7% per year, and is cheaper. If there are no unexpected obstacles, we should expect that within a decade everything will be more accessible, easier to design, cheaper, more profitable and more efficient. The electrical nature of their future offspring, as shown by research and effective presentation with a request to reach the dashboard allows you not only to get a lot more torque immediately after pressing the gas pedal, but also to carry out regenerative braking, that is, to use typically lose energy to recharge the battery of the car.
By the summer of 2003, Eberhard and Tarpenning already knew I wanted to start a company for the production of electric cars, beginning with two-seater sports car with lithium-ion battery and an induction motor, then advancing towards greater financial inclusion. This could not prevent even the complete absence of any knowledge about the automotive industry. The co-founders of the company knew, how much they will have to learn. They had nothing to fear for the electronic part of the future car — this was a strong Silicon valley. They were afraid only for what he did in Detroit, its iron component.
DeLorean was well-liked, but the company folded. rjshade/flickr
It gradually became clear that the last 20-30 years has become much more inviting to motor startup. Yes, previously had to live the smallest details of your future offspring, for example, the shape of the windshield wipers and door handles, and make their own, as does the DeLorean.
But the industry has changed a lot: the car company no longer engaged in the development of the windshield, it is bought from another private producer windshields. Side Windows and rear are from other companies. Outsorced not only small details, but even the electronics and exterior design. Basically, the giants are working on the engine, Assembly, sales, marketing and consumer lending. And they have enough money.
Partners willing to cooperate, they need only to find. I will not be as beneficial as it could be with the size of the supply as Ford, but largely due to the specialization of the automotive industry at Tesla has a real chance to be part of the automotive world. After these revelations Tarpenning decided that the time has come for the company's electric cars.
Registration documents Tesla
The company name had to mean something different than the names of manufacturers of electric vehicles to the pre-startup Eberhard: no "volt", "eco", "pulses" or other Teleostei. In addition, like any name, it had to be a resounding and memorable and, of course, to point out that this is a car company, not a manufacturer of any other high-tech electronics.
Eberhard for several months racked my future wife, many different names. He also wanted to honor the memory of the man who invented the induction motor, which became the core of their primary product. The name was found, and in August 2003, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning moved into their first office. The plaque bore the name of the last tenant, something like Bushtracks African Expeditions. The plate was inverted and brought to the back of the name of the new company: Tesla Motors. Before 23 APR Martin registered the domain name teslamotors.com. The first of July is the procedure of legal registration. published
P. S. And remember, only by changing their consumption — together we change the world! ©