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The Unusual History of Tesla, a Company You Don’t Know Until the End

Equipment news The Unusual History of Tesla, a Company You Don’t Know Until the End

Published on 23.07.2022 at 20:07

Electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla has become a benchmark for alternative energy vehicles. You probably think that you know everything about this company, but you are far from it!

Elon Musk is not the founder of Tesla.

It may come as a shock to many, but Elon Musk is not the founder of Tesla. Worse, it ousted the three original founders. What if Tesla was before?

Tesla Motors was founded on July 1, 2003 by two engineers, Martin Eberhard and Mark Tarpenning. A few months later, Ian Wright, a third Tesla employee, joined the adventure. A year later, they organize a $7.5 million fundraiser. This is where Elon Musk comes in. He is investing $6.5 million, which is the bulk of the funds raised.

Finally, in 2004, Ian Wright left to also start an electric vehicle company.

Elon Musk just amassed a fortune by selling PayPal, which he co-founded. This allows him to join Tesla Motors and become chairman of the board. Two years later, the fundraiser brought in $13 million. The third fundraiser is led by Elon Musk and brings in $40 million. We find big names like Sergey Brin and Larry Page, founders of Google.

The following year, $45 million was raised, bringing the total to $105 million. The Tesla Roadster prototype was only unveiled in July 2006.

In 2007, musical chairs began. Eberhard is ousted as CEO and becomes “President of Technology”. After a year, he decides to leave. At the same time Mark Tarpenning leaves the ship.

Martin Eberhard filed a lawsuit against Tesla in 2009 when he saw that Elon Musk introduced himself as the founder of Tesla. Unfortunately for him, he gets the opposite from American justice. He reigns by naming the five official founders of Tesla Motors: the two originals, Martin Eberhard and Mark Tarpenning, Ian Wright, Elon Musk, and investor Strobel.

Tesla Roadster Revolution

Before the electric car, it was ugly, not very powerful, not very autonomous, and used lead batteries. In short, this is a car for the elderly… But Tesla aims to change that by proving that an electric car is fast and sporty. Production of the roadster began in 2008, with the first 147 models produced in 2009. At the same time, he managed to raise $187 million. The problem is that the car is intentionally expensive. With an entry ticket of 84,000 euros, it still offers 370 km of autonomy and a 0-100 sprint in 3.9 seconds. The sports model is then sold for 100,000 euros. The goal is to get the money back to develop a less expensive car.

In unusual anecdotes, we find the fact that the Tesla Roadster is actually a Lotus Elise with a battery and an electric motor. The carbon fiber body is also manufactured in France at Saint-Méloir-de-Hond by Sotira.

Even more unusual is that in 2009 he took part in the Monte Carlo Grand Prix and won in the alternative energy category. The driver behind the wheel is none other than Mathieu Kassovitz. Yes, the actor from the film Lahain, Amelie Poulain, from The Office of Legends, etc. He managed to cover 386 km non-stop between Monaco and Valencia.

Difficulties begin

Since 2008, the situation has been very difficult financially. He then invested half of his fortune ($70 million) in Tesla and the other half in SpaceX, also in trouble. But problems persist, and Tesla is on the brink of bankruptcy. On Christmas Eve 2008, an investor adds $40 million to save the automaker.

In June, the state provides a $465 million loan to help the company recover from the crisis. Tesla can then design and manufacture the Tesla Model S, the manufacturer’s first production vehicle.

In 2012, the last roadster was released, followed by the launch of the S model. The car was award-winning and very successful. In 2013, it will even be among the best-selling cars in Norway.

Elon Musk, as a philanthropist, makes available all Tesla patents. He explains: “If a company depends on its patents, it either doesn’t innovate or doesn’t innovate fast enough.” We feel like a shovel sent to Apple.

Since 2017, the problems start again. The release of the Model 3, a more affordable but no less modern car, poses serious logistical challenges. Thus, between 2017 and 2019, Tesla again found itself on the verge of bankruptcy. The manufacturer then fires and puts even more of those who remain to work. As a result, it is possible to start production and make the first deliveries.

Tesla starts spinning

In 2018, Elon Musk carried out a joint project of his two companies Tesla and SpaceX, sending his personal roadster into space to Mars. The move was part of the final testing of the Falcon Heavy rocket.

Despite financial difficulties in 2017, Tesla is donating solar panels to a hospital in Puerto Rico after it was hit by a hurricane. The following year, $37.5 million was donated to the STEM K-12 educational project in Nevada. In January 2020, 2020, before any restrictions, Tesla donated $720,000 to a Covid research center in China.

The Model 3 is selling very well around the world and is allowing Tesla to see the light at the end of the tunnel in 2018. This is the model Elon Musk wanted. From July 2019 to June 2020, Tesla announces profitable quarters. A boon for a company that a few years ago financial analysts thought was the end.

Today, Tesla added the Model Y to its catalog. A kind of hybrid between Model X and Model 3. The last unusual information. Elon Musk named his cars for a reason. If you add them up, you get: S3XY.

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