Tesla: A History Of Innovation (and Headaches)

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Tesla: A History Of Innovation (and Headaches)

Tesla has driven a long, potholed road to success.

Since its 2010 IPO, the famous (and occasionally infamous) auto manufacturer has enjoyed stratospheric highs, cratered to purgatorial lows and rumbled over everything in-between. Through its ups and downs, the company has broken records and brought electric vehicles into the mainstream.

Now, 18 years after its founding and 12 years after going public, Tesla is preparing for a fully-electric, fully-autonomous future. But the road here hasn’t been easy—and the journey isn’t over yet.

Let’s take a look at Tesla’s history by way of its major innovations.

July 1, 2003: Tesla Motors was born

Stock Price: Pre-IPO

Tesla was founded in July 2003 by a pair of engineers, Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, in San Carlos, California. Originally called Tesla Motors, the company was named after famous Serbian-American physicist Nikola Tesla.

At its founding, Eberhard claimed the title of CEO, while Tarpenning served as Tesla’s CFO. According to Eberhard, Tesla was to become “a car manufacturer that is also a technology company,” centered around crucial technologies like “the battery, the computer software and the proprietary motor.”

Their ultimate goal: to engineer and mass produce a 100% electric vehicle (EV) that refused to compromise on mileage or comfort.

2004: Elon Musk invested

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