Tesla’s growth story is one that has taken the world by storm. The electric vehicle giant has disrupted the auto industry in ways few people could ever imagine. In addition to the auto industry, the company is also sending shockwaves on renewable energy and energy storage business.
The tech giant is best known for designing and manufacturing high end autonomous electric cars. It is also making a name for itself in diverse industries thanks to a series of high profile acquisitions. For instance, it is already flexing its muscles in renewable energy generation and storage systems, having also become a key player in Lithium-ion battery development.
Tesla’s rise to dominance as the most valuable auto company has come at the back of a number of critical acquisitions. The acquisitions have gone a long way in strengthening its prospects and growth metrics. In return, its manufacturing capacity has increased significantly.
Below are some of the companies that the EV giant owns and relies on to safeguard its future.
SolarCity Corp is a company that has expanded Tesla’s footprint into the renewable energy space. Founded in 2006 by two brothers, the company designs, manufactures and installs solar systems. Similarly, it is also involved in the selling of solar-generated electricity.
Tesla acquired the company in 2016 as it sought to create the first-ever vertically integrated sustainable energy company. With the acquisition, the EV giant gained access to a valuable asset amid a growing push to curb carbon emission. SolarCity remains a key player in the green energy revolution with an increased focus on renewable energy sources and systems.
Tesla acquired Maxwell Technologies in 2019 as it sought to strengthen its energy storage capacity in the electric vehicle space. The company gained access to crucial technology to develop energy storage and power delivery solutions with the acquisition.
Maxwell Technologies specialized in the development of ultracapacitors commonly used in energy storage devices, given their ability to hold more energy than standard capacitors. Its products are currently in use in a number of sectors, including grid energy storage.
Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has always reiterated that ultracapacitors would be a game-changer in the electric vehicle revolution. It is expected that the ultracapacitors will significantly lower the cost of making electric cars and support the development of vehicles that can go on lots of miles on a single charge.
Tesla’s rise to dominance in the auto industry depended much on its ability to develop one of a kind, automated manufacturing systems. Likewise, in 2016, the company made known its intention to strengthen its prowess on this front with the acquisition of German-based Grohmann Engineering.
With the $135.3 million acquisition, the EV giant gained access to valuable technologies that have gone a long way in strengthening and improving its manufacturing processes’ speed and efficiency. Renamed Tesla Grohmann Engineering, the company has been at the heart of innovations that have found their way into Tesla cars, especially autonomous systems.
The ability to develop cost-effective electric vehicles depends largely on Tesla’s abilities to develop most auto parts in-house instead of outsourcing. Perbix Machine is the company that has averted the possibility of Tesla EV production costs ballooning.
Acquired in 2017, Perbix has made it possible for Tesla to develop most of the parts that go into its electric vehicles in-house. Maintaining control of the auto production process is seen as one of the reasons why the company is well suited and positioned to develop affordable autonomous EV cars going forward.
Hibar Systems is another company that allows Tesla to maintain all production operation in-house. The Canadian company is best known for the development of precision pumps and filling systems for Lithium-ion batteries commonly used in electric vehicles.
Similarly, Hibar Systems allows Tesla to produce battery cells in-house, maintaining full control of its EV production process. In the long run, the company should help Tesla reduce its reliance on Panasonic, with which it co-owns the Nevada battery factory.
Tesla is heading into an important phase of its growth story. Ramping up production to meet ever-growing demand is forcing the company to invest in key technologies and production lines. Likewise, in late 2020 the company reached an agreement to acquire German-based ATW automation.
ATW Automation, which has faced a string of financial challenges in recent years, has made a name for itself on developing battery modules and packs for the auto industry. The company has completed more than 20 battery production lines.
Likewise, it is expected to help Tesla ramp up battery production in the coming years while also helping reduce the cost of battery packs. The acquisition of ATW Automation comes at a time when Tesla is building up a new manufacturing facility near Berlin, which will also include a battery plant.
In a quest to create a truly driverless cars, Tesla has acquired four-year-old startup DeepScale in 2019. DeepScale uses low-wattage processors to power more accurate computer vision, in a bid to improve its Autopilot driver assistance system and deliver on CEO Elon Musk’s vision to turn its electric vehicles into robotaxis.