A Bloomberg Business video recently chronicled Tesla’s history in under 2 minutes (albeit, leaving out some key details, of course). The video pointed out that Tesla was founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. In 2004, Elon Musk became chairman of Tesla’s board and lead investor. He helped the company raise $7.5 million in the first funding round. Finally, in 2008, Elon Musk was appointed CEO of Tesla Motors. By then, he reportedly invested $70 million from his own pockets into the company — a clear sign of his dedication to them.
Back in 2008, Tesla released the Tesla Roadster, and became known as the company that built the fastest and safest production electric car on the market — actually, the safest production car of any kind and the quickest production sedan. It impressed many people, but of course, there were skeptics that claimed it was just a tiny car jam-packed with a colossal quantity of laptop batteries. Technically, it was a tiny car with many laptop batteries installed in the trunk. However, it still raised the bar for electric vehicle performance and range. It was also a huge step ahead of the EV1 or any other production EV in history.
Tesla then released the Model S, and Toyota invested in the company shortly after. In addition to the fact that it was rare for car companies to launch and succeed (hadn’t really happened in many decades), Tesla became the first American car company to go public since Ford and finally started delivering the Model S in 2012. That was when things got interesting. The Model S was a first in many regards: It was the first electric luxury sedan, it was fast, it had plenty of interior room, and it had a small trunk in the front, plus a large rear one. In fact, it was quite widely regarded as the best mass manufactured vehicle on the market by auto journalists and reviewers.
Unfortunately, the company reached a difficult crossroads in 2013. It was on the verge of bankruptcy. Selling Tesla to Google was set up as a backup plan, but Tesla finally turned a profit in the first quarter and cancelled negotiations with Google. Sadly, they weren’t in the clear for long, as an EV maker’s worst nightmare happened — three Model S vehicles caught fire due to battery damage. EV opponents love harping on the fire hazard of lithium-ion batteries, so they had a field day with it, despite there being far more gasmobile fires per gasmobile on the road than EV fires per EV on the road.
To add insult to injury, Tesla’s stocks still plummeted after they reinforced the Model S battery packs. Tesla now has more than 50,000 vehicles on the road, and charging stations which cover virtually the entire United States. It is impressing prospective buyers more than ever with better models. There is a saying that success is determined by perseverance during hardship. It couldn’t be more true! Tesla is proof of this.