As Tesla prepares for our first mass-market vehicle and continues to increase our Model S and Model X fleet, we’re making charging an even greater priority. It is extremely important to us and our mission that charging is convenient, abundant, and reliable for all owners, current and future. In 2017, we’ll be doubling the Tesla charging network, expanding existing sites so drivers never wait to charge, and broadening our charging locations within city centers.
Tesla today announced that CFO Jason Wheeler has decided to leave the company in April to pursue opportunities in public policy. Jason will be replaced by Deepak Ahuja, who was Tesla’s first CFO and worked for the company for more than seven years before stepping away in 2015. Deepak will formally take over as CFO in early March, with Jason remaining at Tesla through early April to ensure a smooth transition.
Tesla created the Supercharger network to make long-distance travel a seamless experience for drivers. Cars have always represented independence and the freedom to travel wherever and whenever people want to go. To enable this freedom, building a charging network that provides quick, convenient, and long-distance travel is critical to the adoption of electric vehicles. One of our top priorities this year is to significantly increase capacity of our Supercharger network.
We would like to welcome Chris Lattner, who will join Tesla as our Vice President of Autopilot Software. Chris’s reputation for engineering excellence is well known. He comes to Tesla after 11 years at Apple where he was primarily responsible for creating Swift, the programming language for building apps on Apple platforms and one of the fastest growing languages for doing so on Linux. Prior to Apple, Chris was lead author of the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure, an open source umbrella project that is widely used in commercial products and academic research today.
We designed the Supercharger network to enable a seamless, enjoyable road trip experience. Therefore, we understand that it can be frustrating to arrive at a station only to discover fully charged Tesla cars occupying all the spots. To create a better experience for all owners, we’re introducing a fleet-wide idle fee that aims to increase Supercharger availability.
Tesla’s shareholders have overwhelmingly approved our acquisition of SolarCity. Excluding the votes of Elon and other affiliated shareholders, more than 85% of shares voted were cast in favor of the acquisition. With SolarCity’s shareholders also having approved the acquisition, the transaction will be completed in the coming days.
Today, we are truly honored to announce that Model X has been awarded the Golden Steering Wheel (Das Goldene Lenkrad), one of the most prestigious automotive awards in the world. Candidates for this award are nominated by hundreds of thousands across Europe for excellence across six categories. The Golden Steering Wheel jury, composed of professional race car drivers, accomplished technicians, editors, designers, and digital and connectivity experts, then spent three days judging Model X.