Elite Plastics was challenged to make an attractive and durable nameplate for one of the most talked about new car makers: Tesla Motors.
North Shore Safety provides Tesla with the power inverters used to charge the Tesla Roadster. Tesla then reached out to Elite Plastics, looking for design options for the nameplate and plastic housing used on the Roadster inverters.
The nameplate was a unique challenge because the customer sought a high-end brushed satin chrome part that was neither too shiny nor too dull. Typical chrome plating methods could not be used, so several rounds of cosmetic samples were developed until just the right appearance was created. A special texture was used in the mold and multiple top coatings were applied to obtain the “dull” metal look versus a bright shiny finish.
Once the cosmetic aspects were established, the next challenge was durability. Because the part needed to survive in a garage environment, a specific matte clear coat was used that was strong enough to protect the nameplate yet complement the part’s aesthetics.
To ensure the project’s success, our team collaborated extensively with the customer, outside designer and eventually the OEM. Both Joye Graves, the Sales Rep, and Mike Bogle, the EP Design Manager, worked together to translate the customer’s needs to our internal groups. In the end, communication and teamwork were critical to creating a part that satisfied the unique needs of the customer. Elite Plastics was awarded this project based on the ability to produce the housing top and bottom with an elastomer over molding and the chrome decorated nameplate.