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Atmosphere was electric for TESLA event

Apr 18, 2018

Packed hall for the Tesla event
Packed hall for the Tesla event

In a real coup for the University of Salford, Tesla UK were on campus in our New Adelphi theatre last month to deliver a stunning presentation including a question and answer session for hundreds of colleagues and students. Those who came along to this sold-out event were able to get up close and personal with the stars of the show – the Tesla Model S and the Model X – and ask any technical questions of Tesla staff.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Stephenson (pictured below) gave the opening speech, highlighting the special relationships we were creating with organisations like Tesla, working together to co-produce solutions to global challenges and also to develop graduates fit for the future.

Richard congratulated Tesla on being a genuine disruptor that had reshaped the automotive industry, since its inception in 2003. He drew parallels with the University who were also pioneering new courses such as the automotive and driverless vehicle technology (ADVT) engineering degree programmes starting this September.

The presentation began with the Tesla Model X doing its party trick (the Christmas light show Easter egg): opening and shutting its falcon-wing doors, wing mirrors and windows to music. Bex Hill, a University of Salford graduate introduced the Tesla Model X and Andrew Reeves (Service Manager) went through some of the specifics of the Model S, which can do 0-60mph in 2.3 seconds, and is one of the fastest production cars in the world.

Andrew talked a little about the ethos of Tesla, run by the charismatic Elon Musk. The company’s mission is to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy” – Tesla now being a major player in the energy market producing the Tesla Powerwall and solar roof tiles, as well as manufacturing electric cars.

Tesla has around 25,000 employees and builds 2,000 cars per week.  Already the sales of Tesla electric cars have saved 500 million litres of petrol.  Advanced features allowed the cars to be “summoned” in a car park and the autopilot technology is already in place with 12 ultrasonic sensors and eight cameras.  It’s only UK legislation that is preventing the use of completely autonomous vehicles at this time. A mid-market lower priced car called the Tesla Model 3 will be launched in the UK next year, retailing at around £30,000.

A short video was played revealing the new Tesla Semi Truck with a staggering 1,000km range and a new Roadster car which has a top speed of 250mph; Tesla are already taking orders for their Semi with first deliveries in 2019 and the Roadster is expected to ship in 2020.

There was plenty of chance in the second half of the session for searching questions from the audience and a chance for people to sit in and explore the cars.

This was an excellent opportunity for our students to meet with industry experts and we hope to develop an ongoing collaborative relationship with Tesla UK as part of our ICZ strategy.