Tesla, IncAutomotive company
Tesla, Inc. is an American multinational automotive and clean energy company headquartered in Austin, Texas, which designs and manufactures electric vehicles, stationary battery energy storage devices from home to grid-scale, solar panels and solar shingles, and related products and services.
- Elon Musk
Last Updated: November 5, 2023
Tesla, Inc., often pronounced as TESS-luh, is a prominent American multinational corporation based in Austin, Texas. It specializes in the design and production of electric vehicles, ranging from cars to trucks, as well as stationary battery energy storage solutions that cater to various needs, from homes to large-scale grid systems. Additionally, Tesla is renowned for manufacturing solar panels, solar shingles, and a range of related products and services. The subsidiary, Tesla Energy, plays a significant role in the development and installation of photovoltaic systems in the United States, establishing itself as one of the world’s leading suppliers of battery energy storage systems, with an impressive 6.5 gigawatt-hours (GWh) installed in 2022.
Tesla’s headquarters, known as Gigafactory Texas, is located in Austin, Texas. The company’s journey began in July 2003, under the name Tesla Motors, with its founders Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. The choice of the name “Tesla” pays homage to the legendary inventor and electrical engineer, Nikola Tesla. The pivotal moment for Tesla occurred in February 2004 when Elon Musk made a significant investment of $6.5 million, becoming the company’s largest shareholder. Musk assumed the role of CEO in 2008.
Tesla’s overarching mission revolves around the creation of products that accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. The company’s remarkable product line includes:
- The Roadster sports car (2008)
- The Model S sedan (2012)
- The Model X SUV (2015)
- The Model 3 sedan (2017)
- The Model Y crossover (2020)
- The Tesla Semi truck (2022)
- The Cybertruck light-duty pickup truck (2023)
Notably, the Model 3 achieved the status of the best-selling plug-in electric car globally and was the first electric vehicle to surpass 1 million units sold worldwide in June 2021. Tesla’s growth is evident in its 2022 deliveries, which amounted to approximately 1.31 million vehicles, marking a 40% increase from the previous year. As of April 2023, Tesla has successfully delivered a cumulative total of 4 million vehicles.
Tesla’s impact extends beyond its remarkable products; it’s also one of the world’s most valuable companies. In 2022, Tesla led the battery electric vehicle market, capturing an impressive 18% share. The company reached a significant milestone in October 2021 when its market capitalization temporarily reached $1 trillion, making it the sixth company in U.S. history to achieve this feat.
While Tesla’s innovations have garnered substantial attention, the company has also faced scrutiny and legal challenges. Allegations of whistleblower retaliation, worker rights violations, product defects, and Elon Musk’s controversial statements have led to lawsuits, government investigations, and critical media coverage.
Leadership at Tesla is marked by key individuals:
- Martin Eberhard (2004–2007)
- Ze’ev Drori (2007–2008)
- Elon Musk (since October 2008)
Elon Musk, in particular, has played a pivotal role in shaping Tesla’s future. Despite the challenges and criticisms, Tesla’s continued innovation and commitment to sustainable energy make it a transformative force in the automotive and energy industries.
Board of Directors: Tesla has faced criticism for its board’s composition, particularly regarding the lack of independent directors. Calls for additional independent board members eventually led to the appointment of Kathleen Wilson-Thompson and Larry Ellison at the end of 2018. Despite these changes, concerns have persisted that most independent directors lack automotive industry experience. Nevertheless, the company remains steadfast in its mission to revolutionize the automotive and clean energy sectors.