Elon Musk is celebrating his 48th birthday on 28 June. Musk is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and engineer. He has started and operated many companies like SpaceX, Neuralink, The Boring Company, OpenAI and PayPal, but to the world, he is best known as the chief of Tesla. On his birthday, let’s take a look at Tesla’s journey and its major milestones:
- Tesla Inc., formerly known as Tesla Motors, is an American electric-automobile manufacturer based in Palo Alto, California.
- It was founded in 2003 by American engineers cum entrepreneurs Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. The company’s name is a tribute to engineer Nikola Tesla.
- Tesla Motors was formed to develop an electric sports car. Eberhard was Tesla’s chief executive officer (CEO) and Tarpenning its chief financial officer (CFO).
- Funding for the company was obtained from a variety of sources, most notably PayPal co-founder Elon Musk, who contributed more than $30 million to the new venture and served as chairman of the company, beginning in 2004.
- In late 2007, Eberhard resigned as CEO and joined the advisory board of the company. It was announced in 2008 that he had left the company. Tarpenning also left the company in 2008. Elon Musk then took over as CEO.
- In 2008, Tesla Motors released its first car, the completely electric Roadster. In company tests, it achieved 394 km on a single charge, a range unprecedented for a production electric car. The vehicle’s electric motor was powered by lithium-ion cells—often used in laptop-computer batteries—that could be recharged from a standard electric outlet. But its cost of $109,000 made it a luxury item.
- In 2010, Tesla’s initial public offering raised around $226 million.
- In 2012, Tesla stopped production of the Roadster to concentrate on its new Model S sedan, which was acclaimed for its performance and design. The Model S was the first to get Tesla Autopilot, a form of semiautonomous driving, in 2014.
- Beginning in 2012, Tesla built stations called Superchargers in the US and Europe designed for charging batteries quickly and at no extra cost to Tesla owners. Later versions of those stations were called Tesla Stations.
- In 2015, Tesla released the Model X, a “crossover” vehicle with seating for up to seven people.
- In 2015, Tesla also branched out into solar energy products. A line of batteries to store electric power from solar energy for use in homes and businesses was unveiled.
- In 2016, Tesla bought the solar panel company SolarCity. In 2017, the company changed its name to Tesla Inc. from Tesla Motors to reflect that it no longer sold just cars.
- In 2017, because of demand for a more inexpensive vehicle, production began for the Model 3, a four-door sedan with a range of 354 km and a price of $35,000.
- In 2018, after 10 years in the market, Tesla was ranked as the world’s best selling plug-in passenger car manufacturer, both as a brand and by automotive group, with 245,240 units delivered and a market share of 12% of the plug-in segment sales.