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7/31/2014
10:46 AM
Susan Nunziata
Susan Nunziata
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Tesla Cars: 8 Hot Technologies

Tesla Motors' electric vehicles pack plenty of technology breakthroughs. Explore the most innovative features found in these computers on wheels.
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(Source: Tesla Motors)
(Source: Tesla Motors)

Just how much technology does a Tesla electric car deliver? Let's start with over-the-air software upgrades, a 17-inch capacitive touchscreen, and a sophisticated array of computer processors.

In fact, you can think of the vehicles essentially as computers you can drive -- complete with 3G wireless and WiFi connectivity.

It's no wonder the Tesla roadster and the Model S generate plenty of buzz despite their limited sales to date and their high price range (starting at $70,000). The much-anticipated Model X will add an SUV to the company's offerings in 2015. Tesla Motors is expected to sell 35,000 vehicles this year.

In 2017, the company plans to introduce the Model 3, a $35,000 electric vehicle, while rumors abound that Tesla Motors is working on a self-driving car.

We're focusing here on the technology in the cars themselves. But Tesla Motors has a tech-forward approach to everything it does, from the sophisticated robotics in its manufacturing plants to its direct sales strategy, which relies on e-commerce, something that is shaking up the automotive industry. In addition, its groundbreaking supercharger stations, which are designed to let drivers recharge their vehicles in the span of a lunch break, are being built out around the country.

Here are the eight hottest technologies in Tesla Motors' electric vehicles, including a look at what the future might hold. Do you drive a Tesla? If so, tell us what you love (or hate) about it. If you're admiring the vehicles from afar, let us know what intrigues you most. Did we leave any of your favorite Tesla Motors technologies off the list?

Susan Nunziata works closely with the site's content team and contributors to guide topics, direct strategies, and pursue new ideas, all in the interest of sharing practicable insights with our community. Nunziata was most recently Director of Editorial for ... View Full Bio

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Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/31/2014 | 11:43:24 PM
Re: pricing
@mak63: I'm not an expert on the tax credit thing, but I'm pretty sure that is a Federal tax benefit to anyone who buys any kind of electric or hybrid vehicle, so I imagine that will be available for the $35K as well. I sure hope so, because I know I'm saving up my money...In fact, i made the decision to be carless until 2017 when I plan to be one of the first people in line to buy one of  those.

 
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/31/2014 | 11:39:57 PM
Re: Tesla
@David: San Francisco Bay Area is highly motivated to support Tesla--their headquarters are in Fremont, CA, just acros the Bay from SF. I don't know if other metro areas have incentivized electric car drivers as much as we have here. It will be interesting to see if those special parking and HOV privilieges start to fade as more and more people make the switch to electric vehicles of all kinds.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/31/2014 | 11:37:22 PM
Re: Love Me Some Tesla
@Mejiac, @Dave: Other than changing a tire, I don't know of any late model cars that can actually be fixed on the side of the road, unless you're talking about simple things like topping off oil. None of which you'd have to worry about in a Tesla because it has no engine...

Also, because of the over-the-air connectivity, many problems can be resovled remotely, without even requiring a service visit. That's what makes them so amazing...it's almost like driving a car that can heal itself.

I know I sound like a true Tesla fangirl, but really the things force us to completely rethink how we approach driving.

You're right the network of service centers still needs a buildout, but here's a list of how many they have so far and their locations, so you'll be all set when you drive that new Tesla of yours :D

http://www.teslamotors.com/findus/service
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/31/2014 | 11:29:52 PM
Re: Wanted to admire the Tesla
@tekedge: I know what you mean. My perfect car would have the technology of a Tesla and the looks of a MINI Cooper.

While the Model S probably could have better looks to stand out from the rest of the sedan pack, there are design features (and color options) that make it distinctive. The one I'm drooling about, though, is the Tesla roadster. That's the first Tesla I ever saw in the wild and I came home raving about this amazing car I'd just seen zoom past me on the highway that looked like it had a "T" on the back...and so began my love affair with Tesla.

Check out the image gallery and tell me what you think of these beauties:

http://www.teslamotors.com/roadster/gallery

 

 
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/31/2014 | 11:25:13 PM
Re: Tesla
@Thomas: That's true, and if you drive any kind of electric car in the Bay Area you are allowed to use the HOV lanes, even when you are driving in the car by yourself.

Tesla opened its 100th Supercharger Station in Hamilton, NJ (of all places) back in April, those are the stations that enable you to charge up quickly. This is its 100th worldwide and 86th in North America.

according to Tesla: The network is already robust enough to support long-distance drives on the most popular routes across America, whether it be a cross country trip from Los Angeles to New York, an East Coast jaunt from Rhode Island to the southern tip of Florida, or an epic 12,000-mile journey to every corner of the United States.

And that groovy 17-inch dashboard monitor makes it easy to locate a charging station.
Susan_Nunziata
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Susan_Nunziata,
User Rank: Strategist
7/31/2014 | 11:19:53 PM
Re: Tesla
@Laurianne: Yep, that battery factory is going to be key to their ability to deliver the Model 3. And, yes, I see Teslas (Tesli?) on the roads here, in fact just saw one driving around Berkeley tonight. My first Tesla sighting was actually on the highway in NJ, actually.
mak63
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mak63,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 10:12:33 PM
pricing
"Do you drive a Tesla?"
Nope, but I would love to. The Model S is a thing of beauty,
Anyhow, I wonder if the upcoming Model 3 will also have the tax credit of $7,500


David Wagner
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David Wagner,
User Rank: Strategist
7/31/2014 | 7:00:00 PM
Re: Tesla
@Thomas- Agreed. I'd even go so far as to say the best spaces in the city are reserved for electric cars. they are usually the spots next to those reserved for disabled and in some family oriented places for pregnant women. 

Not everywhere will be able to adapat as easily but SF has easily created the needed infrastructure and social acceptance.
mejiac
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mejiac,
User Rank: Ninja
7/31/2014 | 6:56:28 PM
Re: Love Me Some Tesla
@David' "it impossible for the average person to fix, especially at the side of the road. " My sentiments exactly, not only would the Tesla be difficult to offer your standard road side assistance, you would be limited where you can get help if you go for a cross country trip. Luv the technology, but it may be ahead if its time
tekedge
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tekedge,
User Rank: Moderator
7/31/2014 | 6:38:25 PM
Wanted to admire the Tesla
I really was excited when I heard about Tesla and wanted to see the looks of one. I must admit look wise I was a bit disappointed with Tesla.
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