Earlier this year, Tesla Motors CTO JB Straubel gave a presentation at the THINK 15 conference. I recently caught word of a video of his presentation and checked it out. It’s a good one (of course), so here it is for your own enjoyment, followed by some of my own notes:
I love how JB explained the disruptive shift to lithium-ion batteries in the presentation. It is a point he typically makes, but he lays it out very well here how the major auto manufacturers had “given up” on electric vehicles and didn’t really notice or pay attention to this leap in battery technology. It took Tesla and its Roadster to make them notice that lithium-ion batteries offered a big jump in the convenience and practicality of affordable electric cars.
For those of you who haven’t been following Tesla for ages, he also explains a big part of why Tesla entered the market with the Tesla Roadster.
JB also highlighted how its focus on a touchscreen for the user interface and a culture of software allows Tesla to continuously update the care like your smartphone or tablet is continuously updated. He is a bit surprised that Tesla is still essentially the only car company doing this. He talks a lot more about this software culture and how conventional automakers just don’t get it, and why. It’s very interesting.
JB also detailed the launch and early development of Tesla’s Supercharger network a bit. And he delved into the history and massive shift in the battery market.
There’s much, much more in the video, so I encourage you to give it a watch/listen.