The Start of Tesla Motors
Elon Musk, Martin Eberhard, and Marc Tarpenning co-founded Tesla Motors back in 2003 from the Silicon Valley. And soon after that Musk joined the company’s BoD as Chairman.
Tesla’s engineers worked hard to make sure the company was able to successfully sell electric vehicles on a scale which would make perfect business sense. The company’s Model S 85D merges high efficiency front motor with a performance rear motor, making the new Model S the fastest four-door car ever made. The company started its sale with premium electrical sports car and moved rapidly into the mainstream to sell sedans and compacts.
Elon Musk took over Tesla Motors as CEO and Product Architect in 2008. Although not fully into Tesla’s day-to-day operations, Musk was deeply involved in designing the first Tesla model, the Roadster, which was the only battery operated electric sports car at that time.
Introduced in 2008, the Roadster featured a Lotus-built glider and an AC induction motor. In a study conducted by U.S. EPA, the Roadster was said to be capable of traveling 244 miles on a single charge, setting a new standard for electric cars. Tesla sold more than 2,400 Roadsters, which are now being used in over 30 countries around the world.
Tesla had been struggling to raise money during the recession and credit crisis. However in August 2009, the company announced a significant achievement: the approval of a US $465-million loan from the United States Department of Energy. The funding had been granted to support the production of a sedan model and to further enhance the development of the powertrain technology.
In 2012, Tesla pioneered the world’s first electric sedan, the Model S. Model S is 100-percent electric, with room for seven passengers and more than 64 cubic feet of storage. Named Motor Trend’s 2013 Car of the Year and earning 5-star safety rating from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Model S is a breath of fresh air in the realm of four-door cars.
In the same year, Tesla began building its first Supercharge stations. These electric versions of gas stations are a network of 480-volt fast-charging car stations that are built to facilitate long-distance driving of the Model S.
Soon after the launching of Model S, CEO Musk introduced two dual motor all-wheel drive configurations of the vehicle. Plans for introducing another electric vehicle was publicized by the company on Twitter. Then codenamed Tesla Bluestar, Model 3 was said to be an all-electric car that offered range and performance at an affordable price.
Tesla now has over 50,000 vehicles on the road worldwide and is gearing up for the high-volume production of the new Model X, a full-size crossover utility vehicle that is said to feature adrenaline-charged acceleration and stylized comfort.
In April 2015, Tesla launched its Powerwall home battery packs that can store 7 kWh and 10 kWh of electricity. Its big brother, the PowerPack, stores 100 kWh of electricity and is available for industrial consumers. Tesla received orders totaling to $800 million following the launch of the battery packs.
The Future of Tesla Motors
Today, Tesla Motors maintains its factory in Fremont, California, which used to be the headquarters of New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. Still a powerhouse of electric cars, the company produces 1,000 cars a week.
By 2020, Tesla envisions to build “gigafactory” battery manufacturing plant in Nevada, which is said to facilitate the production of the mass-market vehicle Model 3 and the production of more lithium ion cells than all of the world’s combined output.