5 min March 20, 2017 in

Tesla’s Electric Car, Zero Cost Mobility and the ‘Renewable’ Future

Industries like media, music and software have already seen a revolution thanks to the Internet. In certain cases, it offered us an era where information is almost free.

Tesla’s electric car and their way of approaching energy could lead to a zero marginal cost mobility future. You need to admit we’re living exciting times, especially since Tesla isn’t limiting its technology just for cars.

Energy storage facilities, solar roofs for your home, solar panels for your car, innovative batteries – many feel this is the only way forward.

Will Tesla’s Electric Car – Model 3 – Have a Solar Roof?

tesla electric car

Most Tesla owners were surprised by one of Elon Musk’s tweets from November 2016, after the company had just announced a new type of glass being developed for the Model 3.

When a user asked Elon to clarify the topic and mentioned the words “embed solar panels in the roof” ,Tesla’s CEO said “We will probably offer that as an option.”

You surely can imagine what that means. A solar roof on an electric car would mean the cars driving range would increase.

It’s all thanks to Tesla’s innovative glass division developing a new design for solar panels. Basically, the solar cells are tucked behind the glass so the result is both good looking and efficient. Additionally, Elon hinted the glass could incorporate defrosting elements, so the roof can clear off snow or ice and continue producing energy.

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Renewable Energy Sources Are Getting Cheaper

Renewable energy hasn’t been widely adopted so far because of its high production costs. People can’t afford to fit their homes with solar panels and batteries to capture the solar energy.

However, that could change in the following years and it’s not all about the electric car anymore. Tesla has already flipped the switch on for a new energy storage facility at a plant 40 miles east of Los Angeles.

Solar energy stored in 396 refrigerator-sized stacks of lithium-ion batteries are successfully powering 15.000 homes for about four hours in the evening.

The energy storage facility mentioned above came to life after a natural gas plant in Southern California suffered a methane leak in 2015. Almost 10 percent of California’s energy usage comes from solar. The state even has an excess of energy during the day.

So, a facility which could capture that extra energy and distribute it during evening hours is more than plausible but ideal.

The Renewable Future Where Everyone’s Producing Energy

electric car renewable energy

There are some experts who hint at a world where almost everyone becomes an energy producer. The idea is for humanity to shift away from fossil fuel and nuclear.

Additionally, you can no longer think of it as a Sci-Fi scenario. Every home can now be retrofitted with solar panels which produce energy. The costs are usually covered anytime between two and eight years.

The energy we now use to power our global economy represents six times less than just one-tenth of 1 percent of the Sun’s energy which reaches Earth.

But batteries will play a key role in this future. The excess energy needs to be captured and stored for night use.

Back to the Electric Car

Humanity will most likely have to wait a few more decades until the move to completely renewable energy sources is made. But the automotive industry has already made considerable progress.

The amount of hybrid cars – which use a small petrol engine and an electric engine – being released and developed in recent years has gone up. People are liking the idea and adoption was quick.

If Tesla does stick to the plan of fitting their electric car with a solar panel, things would progress even further. Granted, the initial cost of getting such a vehicle might be a bit out of your budget.

But:

  • You’ll be saving money on fuel each month.
  • Electric motors are far more durable, so you’ll save on maintenance as well.
  • Tesla’s EV has zero emissions, so you’re protecting the planet in the process.

Should we prepare to see zero marginal cost mobility becoming reality in the next five years? Let me know how you feel in the comments section below.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to get weekly food for thought about driverless cars and the mobility of the future

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