Tesla Inc. faces a decisive year in 2017 when the company has to pull it off or risk being left behind and lose its dominant position.
Tesla Motors' History
According to Wired, Tesla Inc. made it as one of the world's best-known, biggest companies in its 13 years of its existence. While flirting with illegality to keep up its frenetic pace and dodging bankruptcy, the company built a zealous fan base, charged electric cars with sex appeal, set records for quality and performance and even started selling cars that drive themselves.
As successful as Tesla's story is, this is just the beginning. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has great visions for the future and long promised to change the world. He offers an affordable electric car for the masses that also happens to drive itself.
While keeping shareholders happy, Tesla is ready to transform from a niche player into the company that is making a palpable, positive impact on the planet and on people's lives. And the year 2017 will be a decisive one when the company has to prove its maturity and maintain its dominant position in the market or risk being left as just one more daring automotive startup that just couldn't hang up with the pace of competition.
Because behind those headline goals are the challenges in turning vaporware into a physical product at scale, that stage at which so many companies fail. And Tesla has to make that transformation while fighting off increasing competition from mainstream and newer automakers, continuing to improve its autonomous technology, and avoiding negative press.
According to IEEE Spectrum, finally, Tesla's lithium-ion batteries will start coming off the line in 2017.The Gigafactory promises to quickly push lithium batteries to an unprecedented scale. This might prove that clean energy could be powerful and shift the trajectories for both the energy-storage and the automotive industries.
While energy storage vendors slashed prices and scaled up battery production, several competing car makers doubled down on electric-vehicle development. The energy market research firm Navigant Research reports that Tesla's push is a leading factor behind a 60 percent increase in EV battery sales.
Without producing a single EV battery, the Gigafactory was able to have such a significant influence on the EV battery market. And within the next several months, this is a situation that's about to change. The Gigafactory will soon begin rolling off the assembly lines the first battery packs produced entirely in-house.
According to reports, by midyear, the plant will need to produce 75 Li-ion cells per second for the Model 3 electric car for the masses. The Gigafactory will also need to ramp up production of Powerpacks and Powerwalls, the company's energy storage systems for utility, commercial and homes use.
In order to continue meeting orders, sometime next year Tesla's battery plant must reach its 35-GWh annual capacity. The year 2017 is definitely the year when the Gigafactory must become an efficient mass producer rather than just a clean energy icon.
Leading Self-Driving Niche
More than just electric cars, Musk's ambitions include plans to make every Tesla vehicle able of driving itself everywhere, in all conditions. Musk has promised that by the end of 2017 he will send a self-driving car from Los Angeles to New York. What Musk has in mind is full door-to-door travel in full autonomy, including the autonomous car dropping the passengers in Times Square, then parking itself.
Tesla needs to continue to be seen as a market leader in the field of autonomous cars because the market is going to become very large in the future. This means seeking good publicity as well as avoiding bad publicity.
To date, Tesla has been using car owners as testers with releasing "beta" versions of its technology. The company has a great tolerance for risk taking, so the consumers are the ones who need to be cautious instead.