What is Tesla’s history? – In this article and several related articles, we will discuss the Tesla revolution. Namely a revolution in the field of vehicles from the mainstream using fossil fuels with its ICE engine into electric vehicles. So, to understand the overall course of the Tesla revolution, please refer to the following article links;
What is Tesla’s history?
In 2003 Tesla Motors was co-founded by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Both men played active roles in the company’s early development prior to and after Elon Musk’s involvement, with Eberhard being the original CEO until he was asked to resign in 2007. Eberhard began his career as an electrical engineer and founded NuvoMedia, creators of one of the first e-book readers. He started Tesla because he was passionate about sports cars and concerned about US dependence on imported oil. Elon Musk became involved with Tesla almost from the very start and led the first round of financing in February 2004, investing over $7 million personally, before joining Tesla’s board of directors as its chairman. Between 2003 and 2007, total investments in Tesla grew to over $100 million through private financing, in which many famous entrepreneurs participated. The two Google founders were among them.
In early 2008, at the start of the financial crisis, Musk took over as CEO, fired Eberhard and 25% of all Tesla staff, and completed a fifth round of financing ($40 million) to avoid bankruptcy. In that year the company’s losses were five times its revenues, and Tesla was in dire shape. By 2009, Tesla had raised a total of almost $200 million and delivered fewer than 150 Roadster sports cars.
Then the tides began to turn. Between 2010 and 2016, it raised another $4.5 billion, of which about half has been spent on new innovations and car designs and the remainder on manufacturing capabilities to ramp up car production and installation of a network of charging stations. This rapid scaling has paid off as Tesla’s sales revenue grew from almost nothing to $5 billion.
In June 2010, Tesla Motors launched its initial public offering (IPO), which raised $226 million and made it the first American carmaker to go public since the Ford Motor Company in 1956. Just 13 years after its start, Tesla has grown to a market capitalization of $32 billion, quite close to the $51 billion valuations of its predecessor Ford. The company opened its first Gigafactory for lithium-ion batteries in 2016. Elon Musk has spent an estimated $70 million of his own funds in the development of Tesla Motors and owns almost 30 million Tesla shares, which equates to about 22% of the company in 2016, making him the 37th richest American. Some analysts have shared their doubts about whether Tesla can survive as a stand-alone company because of the huge costs involved in the fast growth of the company.