No other car manufacturer is generating as much attention right now as Tesla Motors, Inc. The company, based in Silicon Valley, aims to combine performance with green technology and make affordable battery powered sports cars available to the masses. In 2008, Tesla turned heads when it launched the Tesla Roadster, the world’s first fully electric sports car. Earlier this year, the hype surrounding Tesla went into overdrive when the company unveiled a prototype for its Model 3 car, a four door compact sedan that it plans to deliver by the end of 2017. The Model 3 promises to have a driving range of 215 miles on a single battery charge and cost about $35,000. Pre-orders of the Tesla Model 3 have reached $14 billion and CEO Elon Musk continues to hype the car and company behind it. But here are 10 things you likely didn’t know about Tesla Motors.
10. Elon Musk is not a Tesla Founder
Despite his personal claims, Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk is not a founder of the car company. The real founders of the upstart car company are Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, who launched Tesla in 2003 in response to the problem of the automotive industry’s reliance on oil. The two friends set about building a beautiful aspirational vehicle without any regard for cost. They wanted to bring green cars into the mainstream. Big on plans but short on cash, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning joined forces with Elon Musk in 2004, bringing him into the then-fledgling company to lead the company’s first venture capital round in 2004. Elon Musk muscled his way deeper into the company by personally investing $7.5 million in Tesla Motors. Over time, the extroverted and brash Elon Musk became the face of the increasingly popular Tesla company.