Tesla’s Model 3 Expected to be “Game Changer” for Sustainable Transportation

It goes from 0 to 60 miles in six seconds and travels 215 miles on a single charge. Meet Tesla’s Model 3, a mass marketed, affordable electric car expected to have a major impact on the automobile industry.

tesla-model-3-photoTesla unveiled a prototype of the Model 3 on March 31, and already online orders for the car have reached more than 133,000 and counting. The Model 3 can be reserved in the United States for a $1,000 deposit. The inaugural shipment is expected to arrive at the end of 2017, first for customers on the West Coast, then the East Coast and finally, overseas. The cost of the Tesla starts at $35,000.

According to Tesla’s official release, the Model 3 “combines real world range, performance, safety and spaciousness into a premium sedan and is designed to attain the highest safety ratings in every category.” The car seats five.

The electric automobile is also expected to exceed the mileage number of 215 with all model cars including support for Tesla’s high-speed Supercharging network, which allows the car to stay charged for longer periods of time.

Tesla’s Model 3 is being marketed with the tagline, “accelerating sustainable transport.” While it’s clear the Model 3 will advance sustainability in transportation and ultimately advanced energy progress for the nation, Forbes is already calling the Model 3 a game changer stating that, “on the face of it Tesla appears to be another car company.  But something much more significant is afoot.  This sales level, at these prices, when the underlying economics of use seem to be moving in the opposite direction indicates that Tesla has tapped into an unmet need.  Its products are impressing a large number of people, and they are buying at premium prices.  Based on recent orders Tesla is vastly outselling competitive electric automobiles made by competitors, all of whom are much bigger and better resourced.  And those are all the signs of a real game changer.”

This is a milestone event for the electric car industry and sustainable transportation, and one event that is sure to have a positive impact on the mission of TAEBC.

For information about the Tesla or to order your model, visit teslamotors.com/model3.

DOE Grid Modernization Funding Announcement Has East Tennessee Impact

When the Department of Energy (DOE) announced on January 14th a commitment of up to $200 million for more than 80 projects to modernize America’s grid, it left little doubt that DC is serious about increasing the reliability of the nation’s electrical delivery system.

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In a release, DOE Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said, “Modernizing the U.S. electrical grid is essential to reducing carbon emissions, creating safeguards against attacks on our infrastructure, and keeping the lights on. This public-private partnership between our National Laboratories, industry, academia, and state and local government agencies will help us further strengthen our ongoing efforts to improve our electrical infrastructure so that it is prepared to respond to the nation’s energy needs for decades to come.”

Tennessee Advanced Energy Business Council (TAEBC) Charter member Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is anticipated to play a major role in DOE’s overall plan. ORNL spokeswoman Morgan McCorkle confirmed to the News Sentinel that the lab will be involved in more than 25 of the funded projects. ORNL’s scope of work will include transformer research, analysis and testing. McCorkle also confirmed the lab will receive about $11 million in Fiscal Year 2016 and a total of $22 million over three years.

In addition, several of DOE’s grid modernization funded research projects explore the concept of microgrids, a localized group of electricity sources and loads that can disconnect and function on their own, separate from a traditional centralized grid. Microgrids are being researched and investigated here in Tennessee, both for their ability to function autonomously and for their capacity to operate as economic conditions warrant.

Last December, TAEBC members heard from fellow members who are investigating microgrid feasibility in East Tennessee. Cherokee Farm in Knoxville, working with Hitachi, continues to study the economic impact of an operational microgrid. TAEBC member Schneider Electric is also making advances toward microgrid development in Upper East Tennessee.

All of this activity is not only good for the nation but good for organizations such as TAEBC. With our Charter member ORNL playing a significant role in grid research, it’s safe to say that Tennessee overall will be a major player in advancing the resiliency, reliability, and security of the nation’s electricity delivery system.