In the aftermath of the demise of Shai Agassi’s Better Place electric car network company, EV car purchasers in Israel feared they might become stranded due to not being able to recharge or exchange their car’s lithium batteries. Will Tesla, who said they wouldn’t, swoop in?
Rumors have circulated that Tesla Motors, manufacturers of high priced electric sports cars, might soon be introducing their cars into Israel to take advantage of the electric car infrastructure already set up by Better Place.
This rumor became ever stronger due to a partnership between California based Tesla Motors and the Israeli Mobileye company to produce the world’s first “driverless” car.
Using robotic technology to program and steer a car while the driver does something else was once a concept only found in science fiction. But due to technology developed by Mobileye, this fiction may soon become at least partial reality. In an interview at the Marker business section, Mobileye’s co-founder Amnon Shashua tried to set matters straight regarding how “driverless” his company’s system will actually be.
He said: “It’s not automatic driving in which the driver puts an address in and goes to sleep. The system permits control to be transferred to it for a limited time. You can read a text message or switch radio stations and temporarily turn over control.”
Tesla Motors was founded by South African entrepreneur Elon Musk; and named after one of the world’s most innovative electronics geniuses, Nikola Tesla.The cars start in price in the USA at nearly $60,000, with a new 2015 Tesla Motors “Falcon Wing” Model X CUV model expected to sell upwards from $70,000.
Some Tesla models are said to have a driving range of up to 425 kilometers. This positive factor is still not enough to sell Tesla cars to the mass market, as these prices put them out of reach of most car buyers, especially in countries like Israel.
As it looks now, the appearance of a Tesla electric sports car in Israel will be for driverless testing purposes only.
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Photo of 2015 Tesla Model X, by Plug in Cars