Electric vehicle and energy storage manufacturer, Tesla, considers itself an energy company not a motor company, according to the European head of Tesla’s Supercharger program, Jelle Vastert.
Despite being famed for its high-end electric vehicles, Vastert explained that Tesla has been a battery company since its inception and electric vehicles were chosen as the first venture of the company.
Speaking at an event organised by the Solar Trade Association in London, Vastert explained: “Our mission is not to build expensive sports cars, our mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. We now see ourselves as more of an energy company. JB Straubel, our Chief Technical Officer, said that he sees the company not as a car manufacturer but as an energy innovator.”
Indeed, back in 2006 Elon Musk wrote about the company’s “secret plan” which detailed the company’s ambition to manufacture a high-end sports car that would facilitate the design of a more economical EV, which in turn would allow the company to offer a truly mainstream EV.
However, Musk is explicitly clear about the end goal of the company, writing: “The overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution.”
In May, Tesla launched a new range of energy storage devices designed for homes, businesses and utilities. The price point at which the company will be bringing the new storage systems to the market will be as little as a third of the price of comparable products. The energy storage devices use the same lithium-ion technology batteries that the manufacturer uses for its range of electric vehicles, which will soon be manufactured at the company’s so-called Gigafactory in America in partnership with Panasonic.