Tesla case study
Tesla, founded by Elon Musk in 2003 have become a major leader in the design, engineering and manufacture of electric vehicles and sustainable energy sources for them. The company’s stated aim is to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy across the globe, and have been producing electric cars since 2008. In addition to a range of electric cars, Tesla also produce energy storage products such as the Powell home battery, and even solar energy products. This is a positive step towards reducing the world’s reliance on fossil fuels!!
As a direction, a company like Tesla appears to offer opportunities for developing safe, sustainable technologies for the future. However the company have had their issues along the way (as have others of course!). Some of the car models released to date have suffered quality issues and imperfections such as foggy lights, or loose seatbelts which have led to delays on delivering to dealers by set deadlines.
In 2017 the financial review also noted another potential ethical issue to consider was the raw materials needed to manufacture their batteries. Lithium-ion batteries have implications with respect to environmental pollution, but also their manufacture has been linked to other ethical issues such as child labour. These are ethical issues related to the mining and sourcing of materials used to make the batteries, however in today’s age of increased broad view CSR, there is a social expectation that companies will not obtain materials from companies who engage in unethical practices. Tesla have denied the claim that they have sourced materials from mining companies who use child labour, sweatshop conditions or who have a reputation for mistreating employees, however they have also declined to identify who their sources are, leaving open speculation regarding this issue.
If you select this case study, there are many different options you can consider for your case study – either positive or negative! You can focus on an issue included here, or do some research and find one that interests you, or that you consider as raising ethical issues. Remember, you can focus on one that poses an issue, or that you think addresses one, like environmental sustainability! I am looking forward to seeing what people decide!
You are to develop a report using the following headings:
- Overview of case study – provide an overview of the case study you will focus on for the report.
- Ethical issue – identify the ethical issue you wish to discuss, and outline why this poses an ethical issue.
- Concept: The broad and narrow view of CSR or distributive justice (PIMES)
- Define the concept and ethical arguments (Either the broad/narrow view of CSR ordistributive justice (PIMES)
- Identify ethical connections to your selected case study
- Outline of ethical theory: Ethics of care
- Application of ethical theory (JEERS)