Industry Case Study

OEM Details – Tesla

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Tesla currently sells electric cars such as the Model S, Model X, Model 3, and Model Y. The company’s EVs in development include the Semi truck, Roadster sportscar, and Cybertruck. Tesla’s active partners for battery manufacturing include LG Chem, CATL, and Panasonic.

EV Models Currently Sold

EV Models in Development

  • Tesla currently has three EV models in development.
  • The Semi was announced in November 2017, and the company is expected to begin delivering the electric class 8 truck in 2021.
  • The Roadster was announced in November 2017, and Tesla is expected to begin delivering the electric sportscar in 2021.
  • The Cybertruck was announced in November 2020, and the company to begin delivering the electric pickup truck in 2021.

Partnerships with Battery Manufacturers

  • In January 2020, Tesla announced that it had entered into a partnership with LG Chem and CATL. The deal allowed Tesla to buy nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries from LG Chem in China. CATL is expected to begin supplying nickel-manganese-cobalt batteries to Tesla in China in 2021.
  • In June 2020, Tesla announced that it had signed a three-year pricing deal with Panasonic. As part of the deal, Panasonic will supply lithium-ion battery cells to Tesla at the Gigafactory in Nevada. Panasonic has been supplying lithium-ion battery cells to Tesla since 2009.

Advancements Made in Battery Technology

  • In September 2020, Tesla made a series of announcements related to advancements made in battery technology.
  • The company will be manufacturing its own “tabless” batteries. These batteries will improve the range and power of Tesla’s vehicles. They are also expected to reduce the company’s cost per kilowatt-hour and bring the sale price of its vehicles closer to gasoline-powered cars.
  • Tesla also revealed that it would be building a new cathode plant for its batteries in Austin, Texas. This is part of the company’s plan to “reduce supply chain costs and simplify cathode production.” Tesla also planned to improve its processes to “make cathodes 76% cheaper and produce zero wastewater.”
  • Lastly, the company announced that it planned to “eliminate the use of cobalt in its cathodes” to significantly reduce the cost of its batteries.

EV Platform Releases

  • Tesla’s latest EV platform release, Software Version 10.0, was announced in September 2019 and included several new features.
  • The Tesla Theater feature allowed United States-based customers to access Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu, and China-based customers to access iQiyi and Tencent Video.
  • Customers who have bought the Full Self-Driving Capability or Enhanced Autopilot feature can use the Smart Summon feature to “enable their car to navigate a parking lot and come to them or their destination of choice.”
  • Customers in selected markets can now access Spotify Premium, and China-based customers can access the Ximalaya podcasts and audiobook services.
  • Other new features included Karaoke, Restaurants & Destinations, and Tesla Arcade.

Collaborations with Another Auto OEMs

  • In 2009, Daimler, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz, acquired nearly a 10% stake in Tesla. As part of the deal, “Mercedes engineers helped Tesla develop its Model S luxury sedan in exchange for access to Tesla’s partially hand-assembled battery packs.” The partnership ended when Daimler sold its stake in Tesla in 2014.
  • In 2010, Toyota acquired a 10% stake in Tesla. As part of the deal, Tesla agreed to provide Toyota with “battery packs for its upcoming RAV4 EV.” The partnership ended when Toyota discontinued the RAV4 EV production in 2014 and sold its stake in Tesla in 2017.
  • In 2019, Tesla and Fiat-Chrysler signed a deal to “pool together their fleets to meet tough European Union emissions standards.” As part of the deal, Fiat-Chrysler paid Tesla around €1.8 billion to “avoid large fines for having excessive emissions rates.” The partnership is still active today.
GLENN TREVOR
Glenn is the Lead Operations Research Analyst at Simple Manifestation with experience in research, statistical data analysis and interview techniques. A holder of degree in Economics. A true specialist in quantitative and qualitative research.

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