In 2003, engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning set up a new company, Tesla. The name is an intentional reference to Nikola Tesla (1856—1943), the engineer who contributed significantly to the development of alternating current electricity supply systems. In 1960, the international unit for magnetic flux density was even named after him.
In 2004, multimillionaire and visionary Elon Musk joined the small firm—and that’s when things really started happening. First came the Lotus Elise-based Roadster in 2008. Then came the celebrated Model S, the first 100% electric vehicle to offer a decent amount of range and indecent performance (but never both at the same time!). Its price, however, made the Model S unaffordable for most people.
- Also: The Car Guide Visits Tesla’s Factory
- Also: Exclusive: Tesla Model S P90D: A High-Speed 5- or 7-Seat Electric Rocket Ship
The future is almost now
Telsa’s next vehicle is about to mark another milestone, as the Californian firm prepares to unveil the Model X SUV. But the most notable accomplishment may come in the form of the Model 3, a sedan priced for the masses.
To prevent dependence on other companies, Tesla is currently building its Gigafactory. Slated for completion in 2020, this a massive plant will have a production capacity of 35 gigawatts per hour.
Our visit to the Golden State
Even if Tesla’s fire were to burn out today, its impact on the automobile industry would still be significant. Not that Tesla is on the point of dwindling out! We recently had the chance to visit their facilities, and what we saw was hugely impressive.
In fact, the experience was too much to summarize in just one article, so we put together a series of reports for you:
- Tesla Feature – The Car Guide Visits the Tesla Plant
- Exclusive video of our visit to the Tesla plant
Marc Lachapelle’s test drives
- Exclusive! Tesla Model S P90D: A 5 or 7-Seat Electric Rocket
- Tesla Model S P85D and 70D – AWD, Performance and Better Price