Driver less cars are coming before you know it and their arrival will herald the death of dirty fossil fuel cars and replace them with clean electric motors.
If this electric can be successfully generated by natural forces, for example wind and water turbines and new solar energy then electric driver less cars are the immediate future.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves though the driver less bit may be a few years away but the electric motor is definitely in the here and now and Tesla motor cars are at the vanguard of this new technology.
Tesla is changing the way we think about the motor car market. They have not spent a penny on advertising or endorsements and yet they have managed the largest product launch by dollar sales in history.
The new Model 3 will retail for around $35,000, and 325,000 people paid a $1,000 deposit for a car that will only be delivered in 2017-2018.
That represents forward sales of $14 billion.
The current Model S and Model X are luxury vehicles with competitive specifications, the Model X goes from naught to 60 in 3.2 seconds. The car recently featured on the UK Top Gear program and the public reaction was incredible. The company has ambitions to make 500,000 cars a year.
This is in the context of a global car market of 60 million or 70 million cars sold every year, which clearly gives them enormous scope to grow.
Electric cars are more reliable than their ICE (internal combustion engine) forebears with less moving parts to wear out but its the cost of replacing the battery pack and worrying whether or not the motor will fail that is currently putting many people off. Tesla currently offer an eight year warranty with their batteries.
Worrying about the battery life though is not an argument for not buying into the technology because with economies of scale the price of replacing them will quickly drop and make them just another throw away consumer item. Tesla (TSLA) rose +8.50 to $230.77 today and the price will continue to rise. Buy.
Protolabs is the world’s fastest digital manufacturing source for custom prototypes and low-volume production parts. Its advanced 3D printing, CNC machining and injection moulding services provide an unprecedented speed to market value for product designers and engineers during development.
They are a Fortune 100 fastest growing company and what brought them to my attention was the recent announcement that they are fast filling up space at their new warehouse premises here in Telford
Have you heard of the term Industry 4.0? Probably not, but many of the worlds leading technology companies are embracing this buzzword and it stands for turning your idea into a finished product as fast as possible via the use of prototyping. Industry 4.0 is about connecting automated front end software with back office hardware for more efficient decision making.
Proto Labs uses its proprietary computing technologies and automated manufacturing systems to produce plastic, metal and liquid silicone rubber parts in industry leading timescales. They have both ends of the digital route to market covered.
If you are a CAD designer, you can upload your file to the Proto Labs web-based platform and have a prototype made in as fast as one day. That's how effective this system is. In addition to the rapid prototyping processes that this company pioneers, the use of plastics in engineering processes like making cars is becoming ever greater as the resin compounds are improved.
Will ProtoLabs Be Able To 3D Print An Entire Car?
It's highly likely that this will happen sooner than you think because as electricity replaces fossil fuels the motor will become a sealed unit that simply hooks up to a battery. The car may be printed out and the motor and batteries dropped in to fit.
Making cars out of plastic is set to be the future and when you wed it with electric and driver less technology a company like Protolab is poised right at the vanguard of this technology shift.
For the benefit of those who haven't yet taken the plunge and invested in Shopify I'll outline in this article why you should and why this stock will continue to grow.
Shopify is “cloud based” e-commerce software which means that you don't need your own server to run it on. It is built and operated across a cloud network of servers that have inherent redundancy and utilise the latest in hosting techniques. If you haven't heard of CDN's yet then you will soon.
A content delivery network (CDN) is a network of distributed servers that deliver content based on the geographical location of the user. They use a proxy server which is an IT speak way of saying that everything is cached and therefore lightning fast.
Up until this point in time e-commerce websites have been made using “Open Source” software which is freely available. However the maintenance of this software is expensive requiring several developers on larger installations and as it is server based it does not have the benefit of CDN without extra investment.
In addition to the maintenance overhead probably the most attractive feature of e-commerce website builder platforms like Shopify is the security aspect. With hundreds of thousands of websites all running on a common platform it is much harder to exploit the defences of a well organised and drilled IT team than it is to find individual sites that have not kept up with patching or source code releases.
Building your e-commerce store using open source software means that you are accountable for the security. However with the majority of installations on shared hosting servers this software can be easy to attack via well known exploits.
The other benefit of using Shopify is that developers can connect to the software via a well organised common API instruction set which makes integrating with third party “best of breed” components like email software or accounting software a very easy thing to do.
Shopify has so far been the most successful company because it understands how to use the internet to market its product properly and the competition has been left trailing in its wake. BigCommerce is its nearest competitor but they don't have their templating system as well developed and their API is not as good.
The nearest competitor to Shopify that is likely to surge over the next few years is Lemonstand who recently raised $1.25 million in seed funding. Their use of open source tools to develop in and the adoption of a standard API system will make them a formidable player in this fledgling market.
Today Shopify sits at $28.90 and it is good value for a long term prospect.