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A company that manufactures electric cars.  Named for Nikola Tesla, one of the most important contributors to early electrical engineering.  The corporate name is Tesla Motors.  Started in 2003 by Elon Musk and based in Palo Alto, California, United States.

Vehicle names used by Tesla currently and throughout history include:  Model S, Model X, and Roadster.

History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Tesla Motors page on 17 November 2015, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Tesla Motors, Inc. is an American automotive and energy storage company that designs, manufactures, and sells luxury electric cars, electric vehicle powertrain components, and battery products. Tesla Motors is a public company that trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the symbol TSLA. In the first quarter of 2013, Tesla posted profits for the first time in its history.

Tesla first gained widespread attention following their production of the Tesla Roadster, the first fully electric sports car. The company's second vehicle is the Model S, a fully electric luxury sedan, which was followed by the Model X, a crossover. Its next vehicle is the Model 3. Global cumulative Model S sales passed 90,000 units by October 2015.

Tesla also markets electric powertrain components, including lithium-ion battery packs to automakers including Daimler and Toyota. CEO Elon Musk has said that he envisions Tesla Motors as an independent automaker, aimed at eventually offering electric cars at prices affordable to the average consumer. Pricing for the Tesla Model 3 is expected to start at US$35,000 before any government incentives, and deliveries are expected to begin by 2017. In 2015, Tesla announced Tesla Energy, a suite of batteries for homes (Powerwall), businesses, and utilities (Powerpack).

Overview

Tesla Motors is named after electrical engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla. The Tesla Roadster uses an AC motor descended directly from Tesla's original 1882 design. The Tesla Roadster, the company's first vehicle, is the first production automobile to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production EV with a range greater than 200 miles (320 km) per charge. Between 2008 and March 2012, Tesla sold more than 2,250 Roadsters in 31 countries. Tesla stopped taking orders for the Roadster in the U.S. market in August 2011. Tesla unveiled the Tesla Model S all-electric sedan on March 26, 2009. In December 2012, Tesla employed almost 3,000 full-time employees. By January 2014, this number had grown to 6,000 employees.

History

Tesla Motors was incorporated in July 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning who financed the company until the Series A round of funding. Both men played active roles in the company's early development prior to Elon Musk's involvement. Musk led the Series A round of investment in February 2004, joining Tesla's Board of Directors as its Chairman. Tesla's primary goal was to commercialize electric vehicles, starting with a premium sports car aimed at early adopters and then moving as rapidly as possible into more mainstream vehicles, including sedans and affordable compacts.

Musk took an active role within the company and oversaw Roadster product design at a detailed level, but was not deeply involved in day-to-day business operations; Eberhard acknowledged that Musk was the person who insisted from the beginning on a carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer body and he led design of components ranging from the power electronics module to the headlamps and other styling. In addition to his daily operational roles, Musk was the controlling investor in Tesla from the first financing round, funding the large majority of the Series A capital investment round of US$7.5 million with personal funds.

From the beginning, Musk consistently maintained that Tesla's long-term strategic goal was to create affordable mass market electric vehicles. Musk received the Global Green 2006 product design award for his design of the Tesla Roadster, presented by Mikhail Gorbachev, and he received the 2007 Index Design award for his design of the Tesla Roadster.

Musk's Series A round included Compass Technology Partners and SDL Ventures, as well as many private investors. Musk later led Tesla Motors' Series B, US$13 million, investment round that added Valor Equity Partners to the funding team. Musk co-led the third, US$40 million round in May 2006 along with Technology Partners. Tesla's third round included investment from prominent entrepreneurs including Google co-founders Sergey Brin & Larry Page, former eBay President Jeff Skoll, Hyatt heir Nick Pritzker and added the VC firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Capricorn Management and The Bay Area Equity Fund managed by JPMorgan Chase. The fourth round in May 2007 added another US$45 million and brought the total investments to over US$105 million through private financing.

In December 2007, Ze'ev Drori became CEO and President. In January 2008, Tesla fired several key personnel who had been involved from the inception after a performance review by the new CEO. According to Musk, Tesla was forced to reduce the company workforce by about 10% to lower its burn rate, which was out of control in 2007. In May 2008, The Truth About Cars launched a "Tesla Death Watch", as Tesla needed another round of finance to survive. In October 2008, Musk succeeded Drori as CEO. Drori became Vice Chairman, but then left the company in December. In December a fifth round added another US$40 million avoiding bankruptcy.

By January 2009, Tesla had raised US$187 million and delivered 147 cars. Musk had contributed US$70 million of his own money to the company. On May 19, 2009, Germany's Daimler AG, maker of Mercedes-Benz, acquired an equity stake of less than 10% of Tesla for a reported US$50 million. In July 2009, Daimler announced that Abu Dhabi's Aabar Investments bought 40% of Daimler's interest in Tesla.

In June 2009 Tesla was approved to receive US$465 million in interest-bearing loans from the United States Department of Energy. The funding, part of the US$8 billion Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, supports engineering and production of the Model S sedan, as well as the development of commercial powertrain technology. The low-interest loans are not related to the "bailout" funds that GM and Chrysler received, nor are they related to the 2009 economic stimulus package. The loan program was created in 2007 during the George W. Bush administration. Tesla repaid the loan in May 2013. Tesla was the first car company to have fully repaid the government, while Ford, Nissan and Fisker had not.

The company announced in early August 2009 that it had achieved overall corporate profitability for the month of July 2009. The company said it earned approximately US$1 million on revenue of US$20 million. Profitability arose primarily from improved gross margin on the 2010 Roadster, the second iteration of Tesla’s award-winning sports car. Tesla, which like all automakers records revenue when products are delivered, shipped a record 109 vehicles in July and reported a surge in new Roadster purchases. In September 2009, Tesla announced an US$82.5 million round to accelerate Tesla's retail expansion. Daimler participated in the round to maintain equity ownership from its initial investment.

Tesla Motors signed a production contract on July 11, 2005, with Group Lotus to produce "gliders" (complete cars minus powertrain). The contract ran through March 2011, but the two automakers extended the deal to keep the electric Roadster in production through December 2011 with a minimum number of 2,400 units, when production ended, mostly because of tooling changes orchestrated by one of its suppliers. In June 2010, it was reported that Tesla sold a total of US$12.2 million zero emission vehicle credits to other automakers, including Honda, up to March 31, 2010.

In October 2014, both Daimler and Toyota sold their holdings of Tesla shares. As of 2014, Tesla has a Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) of 276 mpg.


Multimedia

29 July 2016
Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory
George Putic, VOA News
Duration: 2:19
Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
Download Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory - 52.0MB


Article Index

DateArticleAuthor/Source
12 June 2008Tesla Motors startet PR-Kampagne in Europa Wikinews
14 June 2008Brandenburgs Wirtschaftsminister Ulrich Junghanns bei Tesla Motors Wikinews
2 July 2008Daimler und Tesla Motors vor möglicher Kooperation bei Elektroautos Wikinews
2 July 2008Tesla Motors auf Expansionskurs Wikinews
16 January 2009Tesla Motors wird Batterienlieferant für Daimler Wikinews
12 February 2009Elektroautobauer Tesla Motors will Mitte 2009 profitabel sein Wikinews
1 February 2010Elektroautohersteller Tesla plant Börsengang Wikinews
17 July 2010Toyota, Tesla to develop electric SUVWikinews
4 October 2012Grant of Authority for Subzone Status; Tesla Motors, Inc., (Electric Passenger Vehicles), Palo Alto and Fremont, CAFederal Register: Foreign-Trade Zones Board (Andrew McGilvray)
21 June 2013Tesla Unveils Battery Swapping TechnologyVOA News
14 November 2013Tesla Model S Coming To UK In March 2014 And Will Cost £50k Matt Hubbard, Speedmonkey
27 January 2014Tesla Cars Can Now Recharge Coast-To-CoastVOA News
31 July 2014Tesla Motors Building Huge Battery FactoryVOA News
5 September 2014Nevada Wins Bid for $5B Tesla FactoryVOA News
10 September 2014Tesla vehicles could have full autopilot by 2020 Luke Ottaway, TorqueNews
18 May 2016Nick Passalacqua of Quotelogic.com Inspired by Tesla Motors to Generate More VSC LeadsQuotelogic.com
23 June 2016Foreign-Trade Zone 18--San Jose, California; Application for Subzone Expansion; Subzone 18G; Tesla Motors, Inc.; Palo Alto and Fremont, CaliforniaFederal Register: DoC (Elizabeth Whiteman)
12 July 2016US Asks Tesla for Autopilot Data in Crash ProbeVOA News
14 July 2016Consumer Reports Calls on Tesla to Disable and Update Auto Steering Function, Remove “Autopilot” NameConsumer Reports
10 August 2016Foreign-Trade Zone (FTZ) 126--Reno, Nevada, Notification of Proposed Production Activity, Tesla Motors, Inc., Subzone 126D; (Lithium-Ion Batteries, Electric Motors and Stationary Energy Storage Systems), Sparks, NevadaFederal Register: DoC (Andrew McGilvray)




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