Tesla's headquarters in Palo Alto
|Tesla Motors, Inc. (2003–2017)|
|Founded||July 1, 2003|
| 367,500 vehicles (2019)
1,651 MWh batteries (2019)
|Revenue||US$24.578 billion (2019)|
|US$−69 million (2019)|
|US$−862 million (2019)|
|Total assets||US$34.309 billion (2019)|
|Total equity||US$6.618 billion (2019)|
|Owner||Largest Shareholder Elon Musk (20.8%) Publicly traded company|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references|
Tesla, Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors, Inc.) is an American electric vehicle and clean energy company based in Palo Alto, California. The company specializes in electric vehicle manufacturing, battery energy storage from home to grid scale and, through its acquisition of SolarCity, solar panel and solar roof tile manufacturing.
Founded in July 2003 by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning as Tesla Motors, the company’s name is a tribute to inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla. The next three employees were Ian Wright, Elon Musk, and J. B. Straubel, all of whom are named as co-founders of the company. Musk, who formerly served as chairman and is the current CEO, said that he envisioned Tesla Motors as a technology company and independent automaker, aimed at eventually offering electric cars at prices affordable to the average consumer. In February 2017, Tesla Motors shortened its name to Tesla, Inc.
Tesla operates multiple production and assembly plants. Its main vehicle manufacturing facility is at Tesla Factory in Fremont, California; Giga Nevada, Giga New York, and Giga Shanghai are other facilities. Its main products include the Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y cars, and the Powerwall, Powerpack, and Megapack batteries. It also produces and sells solar panels, solar roof tiles, and some related products.
After 11 years in the market, Tesla ranked as the world's best-selling plug-in and battery electric passenger car manufacturer in 2019, both as a brand and by automotive group, with a market share of 17% of the plug-in segment and 23% of the battery electric segment. Tesla global vehicle sales increased 50% from 245,240 units in 2018 to 367,849 units in 2019. In 2020, the company surpassed the 1 million mark of electric cars produced. The Model 3 ranks as the world's all-time best-selling plug-in electric car, with more than 500,000 delivered.
Founded as Tesla Motors, Tesla was incorporated on July 1, 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. The founders were influenced to start the company after GM recalled all its EV1 electric cars in 2003 and then destroyed them, and seeing the higher efficiency of battery-electric cars as an opportunity to break the usual correlation between high performance and low mileage. The AC Propulsion tzero also inspired the company's first vehicle, the Roadster.
Ian Wright was the third employee, joining a few months later. The three went looking for venture capital (VC) funding in January 2004, and connected with Elon Musk, who contributed US$6.5 million of the initial (Series A) US$7.5 million round of investment in February 2004, and became chairman of the board of directors. Musk then appointed Eberhard as the CEO. J.B. Straubel joined in May 2004 as the fifth employee. A lawsuit settlement agreed to by Eberhard and Tesla in September 2009 allows all five (Eberhard, Tarpenning, Wright, Musk and Straubel) to call themselves co-founders.
Musk took an active role within the company and oversaw Roadster product design at a detailed level, but was not deeply involved in day-to-day business operations. Eberhard acknowledged that Musk was the person who insisted from the beginning on a carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer body and that Musk led design of components ranging from the power electronics module to the headlamps and other styling. Musk received the Global Green 2006 product design award for his design of the Tesla Roadster, presented by Mikhail Gorbachev, and he also received the 2007 Index Design award for his design of the Tesla Roadster.
From the beginning, Musk consistently maintained that Tesla's long-term strategic goal was to create affordable mass market electric vehicles. Tesla's goal was to start with a premium sports car aimed at early adopters and then moving into more mainstream vehicles, including sedans and affordable compacts.
Musk's Series A investment round in February 2004 included Compass Technology Partners and SDL Ventures, as well as many private investors. In February 2006, Musk led Tesla's Series B US$13 million investment round which added Valor Equity Partners to the funding team. Musk co-led the third, US$40 million round in May 2006 along with Technology Partners. Tesla's third round included investment from prominent entrepreneurs including Google co-founders Sergey Brin & Larry Page, former eBay President Jeff Skoll, Hyatt heir Nick Pritzker and added the VC firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Capricorn Management, and The Bay Area Equity Fund managed by JPMorgan Chase. The fourth round in May 2007 added another US$45 million and brought the total investments to over US$105 million through private financing. In January 2010 Tesla received a US$465 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy, which it repaid in 2013.
For the year 2019, Tesla posted a loss of US$862 million on total revenues of US$24.6 billion.
On January 10, 2020, Tesla become the most valuable American automaker to ever exist, with a market capitalization of US$86 billion. On January 29, 2020, Tesla became the world's second most valuable automaker, with a market capitalization of US$104 billion, passing Volkswagen's US$84 billion. On July 1, 2020, Tesla reached a market capitalization of US$206 billion, surpassing Toyota's US$202 billion to become the world's most valuable automaker by market capitalization. On August 12, 2020 Tesla announced a 5 to 1 stock split.
Tesla's business strategy is to emulate typical technological-product life cycles and initially target affluent buyers, and then move into larger markets at lower price points. The battery and electric drivetrain technology for each model would be developed and partially paid for through the sales of earlier models. The Roadster was low-volume and priced at US$109,000. Model S and Model X target the broader luxury market. Model 3 and the Model Y are aimed at a higher-volume segment. This business strategy is common in the technology industry. According to a Musk blog post, "New technology in any field takes a few versions to optimize before reaching the mass market, and in this case it is competing with 150 years and trillions of dollars spent on gasoline cars."
Tesla's production strategy includes a high degree of vertical integration (80% in 2016), which includes component production and proprietary charging infrastructure. The company operates large factories to capture economies of scale. Vertical integration is rare in the automotive industry, where companies typically outsource 80% of components to suppliers, and focus on engine manufacturing and final assembly.
Tesla's sales strategy is to sell its vehicles online and in company-owned showrooms rather than through a conventional dealer network. Moving towards an e-commerce strategy, customers are able to customize and order their vehicles online. (Tesla has built electric powertrain components for vehicles from other automakers, including the Smart ED2 ForTwo electric drive (the lowest-priced car from Daimler AG), the Toyota RAV4 EV, and Freightliner's Custom Chassis Electric Van.)
Tesla's technology strategy focuses on pure-electric propulsion technology, and transferring other approaches from the technology industry to transportation, such as online software updates. Tesla allows its technology patents to be used by anyone in good faith. Licensing agreements include provisions whereby the recipient agrees not to file patent suits against Tesla, or to copy its designs directly. Tesla retained control of its other intellectual property, such as trademarks and trade secrets to prevent direct copying of its technology.
Former Tesla Human Resources VP Arnnon Geshuri committed to bringing manufacturing jobs "back to California". Geshuri emphasized hiring veterans, saying "Veterans are a great source of talent for Tesla, and we're going after it."
Tesla delivered 367,500 cars in 2019, 50% more than in 2018 and more than triple the number sold in 2017. At the end of 2019, Tesla's global sales since 2012 totaled over 891,000 units. As of October 2018[update], Tesla's sales represented about 20% of the all-electric cars on the world's roads, according to Navigant Research. By November 2018, Tesla vehicles had traveled 10 billion miles (16 billion km).
In 2016, BYD Auto was the world's top selling plug-in car manufacturer with 101,183 units sold, followed by Tesla with 76,243. However, Tesla revenues ranked first with US$6.35 billion, while BYD notched US$3.88 billion. Also in 2016, Tesla sold US$1 billion worth of cars in China, the world's largest market for electric vehicles. In October of the following year it reached an agreement with the Chinese government to build a factory in Shanghai.
After ranking third by brand in 2017, behind BYD and BAIC, Tesla ranked as the world's best selling plug-in passenger car manufacturer in 2018, both as a brand and by automotive group, with 245,240 units delivered, capturing a market share of 12% of all plug-in cars sold globally in 2018, followed by BYD Auto with 227,152 plug-in passenger cars delivered.
In August 2015, Tesla launched a revamp of its stores to include interactive displays focused on safety, autopilot, charging network and motors. As of October 2016[update], Tesla operated about 260 galleries or retail locations in the United States. In June 2016, Tesla opened its first store-within-a-store: a small outpost within the Nordstrom department store at The Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles. In 2017, Tesla opened retail locations in Dubai and South Korea.
Foreseeing Germany as its second market after the U.S. (and the largest in Europe), in 2016 Tesla stated the Dutch (Dienst Wegverkeer) RDW-issued Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA) should be accepted as a legal compliance document, with no need to seek specific national type of approvals in EU member states. In 2017, Tesla had a US$52 million marketing budget and used a referral program and word of mouth to attract buyers.
In 2019, as cars sold worldwide increased 50% from 2018, cars sold in the United States increased only 0.33%, to 192,250 cars, leading to overall revenue in the United States falling by 15%, the first time there has been a decline in revenue in the United States since 2014.
Tesla’s Model 3 was the 8th best selling car in the first quarter of 2020 in the United States.
Production and sales by quarter
- Eberhard and Tarpenning were the original founders and incorporated Tesla, while Musk, Straubel and Wright joined during the next 11 months. A lawsuit settlement agreed to by Eberhard and Tesla in September 2009 allows all five to call themselves founders.
- Model Y started production in January 2020 and started shipping in March 2020. Tesla is reporting sales of Model 3 and Model Y as combined sales, starting with 2020-Q1.
- Sales are only counted as sold when delivered to end customer and all paperwork is correct
- Goods in transit are produced but not counted as sold until delivered. Tesla no longer reports in transit numbers.
- Sales by model do not add up to total, these were preliminary figures reported by Tesla. Only total sales is final figures are reported by Tesla, as breakdown by model is not typically provided.
Tesla deliveries vary significantly by month due to regional issues such as ship availability and registration. Tesla does not follow the former auto industry standard of monthly reporting. GM and Ford changed from monthly to quarterly sales reporting in 2018 and 2019, and several other brands in the US auto industry had also switched by 2020. Some monthly sales are estimated by media. On March 9, 2020, the company produced its 1 millionth electric car, becoming the first auto manufacturer to achieved such milestone.
US dealership disputes
Tesla operates stores and galleries—usually located in shopping malls—in many U.S. states. However, customers buy vehicles only from the Tesla website. The stores serve as showrooms that allow people to learn about the company and its vehicles. Some galleries are located in states with restrictive dealer protection laws that prohibit discussing price, financing, and test drives, as well as other restrictions.
Tesla's strategy of direct customer sales and owning stores and service centers is different from the standard dealership model in the global vehicle marketplace. Tesla is the first automaker that sells cars directly to consumers; all others use independently owned dealerships, although many provide online configuration and financing. Forty-eight states have laws that limit or ban manufacturers from selling vehicles directly to consumers, and although Tesla has no independent dealerships, dealership associations in multiple states have filed lawsuits over Tesla's sales practices.
Countries other than U.S. do not protect dealers. The Federal Trade Commission recommends allowing direct manufacturer sales, which analysts believe would save consumers 8% in average vehicle price.
In February 2019, Tesla announced that it would shut down the bulk of its stores and begin to sell cars exclusively through the internet. The next month, the company reversed its decision, saying in a government filing that it would only close about half the number of showrooms it had originally intended to.
This section needs to be updated.April 2020)(
Under a buyback program called the Resale Value Guarantee available in 37 U.S. states, a Tesla Model S sold new before July 1, 2016 included the right to return it after three years with reimbursement of 43% to 50% of its initial price. This reimbursement matched the trade-in values of competitive German luxury cars of that age. In addition to maintaining the resale value, Tesla hoped to secure a supply of used cars to refurbish and re-sell with warranty. According to Automotive News, the profit margin on used car sales in the U.S. is about triple that on new cars, and Tesla's direct sales would allow them to capture resale profits. 
In May 2015, Tesla started selling refurbished Model S cars in the U.S. and within a month sold 1,600 cars. As of July 2017, over 80 used Model S and Model X cars were for sale, with either a four-year, 50,000-mile warranty or a two-year, 100,000-mile warranty for vehicles above 50,000 miles. As of September 2015, similar programs existed in Canada, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Britain, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.[needs update]
As a vertically integrated manufacturer, Tesla has had to research and develop components in multiple technology domains, including batteries, motors, sensors, artificial intelligence, and glass.
Unlike other automakers, Tesla does not use individual large battery cells, but thousands of small, cylindrical, lithium-ion commodity cells like those used in consumer electronics. Tesla uses a version of these cells that is designed to be cheaper to manufacture and lighter than standard cells by removing some safety features. According to Tesla, these features are redundant because of the advanced thermal management system and an intumescent chemical in the battery to prevent fires. Panasonic is the sole supplier of the cells in the U.S., and cooperates with Tesla in the Giga Nevada's '21–70' cells. Tesla's battery cells in China are supplied by Panasonic and CATL, and are the more traditional prismatic cells used by other automakers.
In February 2016, Tesla battery cell costs were estimated at US$200 per kWh. Tesla indicated later in 2016 that their battery cells cost less than US$190/kWh. Still later that year Argonne Labs estimated US$163/kWh at a production rate of 500,000 packs per year. In the 2018 Tesla shareholder meeting, Elon Musk stated battery cell cost could be US$100/kWh in 2018 and that 2020 would bring US$100/kWh Tesla battery pack costs (as opposed to battery cell costs).
The batteries are placed under the vehicle floor. This saves interior and trunk (boot) space but increases the risk of battery damage by debris or impact. The Model S has 0.25 in (6.4 mm) aluminum-alloy armor plate. Former Tesla CTO Straubel expected batteries to last 10–15 years, and discounts using electric cars to charge the grid (V2G) because the related battery wear outweighs economic benefit. He also prefers recycling over re-use for grid once they reach the end of their useful life for vehicles. Beginning in 2008, Tesla worked with ToxCo/Kinsbursky to recycle worn out RoHS batteries, which as of 2015[update], the company planned to be an integral part of all Gigafactories.[needs update]
Tesla has ongoing battery research and development work at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, featuring lead researcher Jeff Dahn. Tesla acquired two battery companies in 2019: Hibar Systems and Maxwell Technologies. All three are expected to play an important role in Tesla's battery strategy.
Tesla makes two kinds of electric motors. Their oldest currently-produced design is a three-phase four-pole AC induction motor with a copper rotor (which inspired the Tesla logo), which is used as the rear motor in the Model S and Model X. Newer, higher-efficiency permanent magnet motors are used in the Model 3, Model Y, the front motor of 2019-onward versions of the Model S and X, and is expected to be used in the Semi. The permanent magnet motors increase efficiency, especially in stop-start driving.
Tesla states that Autopilot is designed to assist drivers with the most burdensome parts of driving, in order to make Tesla cars safer and more capable over time. Tesla states that current (as of July 2020[update]) Autopilot features require active driver supervision and do not make the vehicle autonomous.
Starting in September 2014, all Tesla cars are shipped with sensors and software to support Autopilot (initially hardware version 1 or "HW1"). Tesla upgraded its sensors and software in October 2016 ("HW2") to support full self-driving in the future. HW2 includes eight cameras, twelve ultrasonic sensors, and forward-facing radar. HW2.5 was released in mid-2017, and it upgraded HW2 with a second graphics process unit (GPU) and, for the Model 3 only, a driver-facing camera. HW3 was released in early 2019.
At the end of 2016, Tesla expected to demonstrate full autonomy by the end of 2017,  and in April 2017, Musk predicted that in around two years, drivers would be able to sleep in their vehicle while it drives itself. In 2018 Tesla revised the date to demonstrate full autonomy to be by the end of 2019. In January 2020, Musk stated that the full self-driving software would be "feature complete" by the end of 2020, and added that feature complete "doesn't mean that features are working well."
In April 2019, Tesla announced that all of its cars will include Autopilot software (defined as just Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer (Beta)) as a standard feature moving forward. Full self-driving software (Autopark, Navigate on Autopilot (Beta), Auto Lane Change (Beta), Summon (Beta), Smart Summon (Beta) and future abilities) is an extra cost option.
On April 24, 2020, Tesla released a software update to its full self driving capability. With this update, cars recognize and automatically stop at stop signs. The cars also automatically slow down and eventually stop at traffic lights (even if they are green), and the driver indicates that it is safe to proceed through the traffic light. Tesla acknowledges that the software is still in a beta phase and far from being finished. 
Tesla is planning to release a subscription package for their self-driving software. On April 28, 2020, a hacker revealed on Twitter that there is already code in Tesla’s app for the subscription plan.
In November 2016, the company announced the Tesla glass technology group. The group produced the roof glass for the Tesla Model 3 and for use in SolarCity roof tiles announced in October 2016. The roof tiles contain an embedded solar collector, and are one-third lighter than standard roof tiles.
The Model S is a five-door liftback sedan. Deliveries began on June 22, 2012. The first delivery in Europe took place in August 2013. Deliveries in China began in April 2014. First deliveries of the right-hand-drive model destined for the UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan came in 2014. As of April 2020, the Model S has two configurations: the Model S Long Range Plus, and the Model S Performance with EPA ranges of 391 miles (629 km), and 348 miles (560 km) respectively.
With an estimated 50,931 units sold in 2016, the Model S ranked was the world's best-selling plug-in car for the second year in a row. As of September 2018[update], the Model S, with global sales of 250,000 units, listed as the world's second best selling plug-in electric car in history after the Nissan Leaf (over 350,000 units).
As of September 2018[update], the United States listed as the world's leading Model S market with an estimated 136,542 units sold. Norway ranked as the Model S' largest overseas market as of November 2016[update], with 11,802 new units registered. The Tesla Model S became the first electric car to top the monthly sales ranking in any country, when the electric car achieved first place in the Norwegian new car sales list in September 2013.
In May 2010, Tesla purchased what would become the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, for US$42 million, and opened the facility in October 2010 where Model S would be produced. For the European market, final assembly and European Distribution occur at the Tesla facilities in Tilburg, Netherlands. Cars are built and tested in Fremont; then the battery pack, the electric motor and parts are disassembled and shipped separately to Tilburg, where they are reassembled.
Among other awards, the Model S won the 2019 Motor Trend "Ultimate Car of the Year", 2013 "Motor Trend Car of the Year", the 2013 "World Green Car", Automobile magazine's 2013 "Car of the Year", and Time magazine's Best 25 Inventions of the Year 2012 award.
In February 2020, Tesla announced that the Model S Long Range Plus had an EPA range of 390 miles; an improvement of 17 miles over the previous Model S.
The Model 3 (originally stylized as "☰"), a four-door sedan, is Tesla's third-generation car. The car was originally intended to be called the Model E, but after a lawsuit from Ford that holds the trademark on "Model E", Musk announced on July 16, 2014 that the car would be called "Model 3" instead. In July 2017, the standard Model 3 was expected to deliver an EPA-rated all-electric range of 220 miles (350 km), while the long range model was estimated to deliver 325 miles (523 km).[needs update]
On March 31, 2016, Tesla unveiled the car. Potential customers began to reserve spots on March 31 with a refundable deposit. Tens of thousands were reported waiting to reserve their spot. As of April 7, 2016, one week after the unveiling, Tesla reported over 325,000 reservations, representing sales of over US$14 billion. As of July 2017[update], Tesla reported about 500,000 reservations. Bloomberg News claimed "the Model 3's unveiling was unique in the 100-year history of the mass-market automobile." Bloomberg compared it to the 1955 Citroën DS that took in 80,000 deposits over 10 days at the Paris Auto Show.
Tesla expected to invest between US$2 billion and US$2.5 billion in capital expenditures to support Model 3 production. Limited vehicle production began in July 2017, with the first 30 units delivered at a special event on July 28. Customer deliveries totaled 1,764 units in the U.S. in 2017. In June 2018 production reached 5,000 per week. In January 2019, Tesla announced it would cut its full-time workforce by 7% – equal to about 3,150 employees – in order to reduce the cost of the Model 3 from US$44,000 to US$35,000. Musk explained that while the company had “made great progress, our products are still too expensive for most people … There isn’t any other way.”
Global deliveries passed the 100,000 unit milestone in October 2018. The Model 3 topped plug-in electric car sales in the U.S. in 2018, marking the first time a plug-in car sold more than 100,000 units in a single year (139,782). Also, it was listed as the best selling plug-in car in California in 2018 (51,293). The Tesla Model 3 also ranked as the world's best selling plug-in electric passenger car in 2018, with 146,000 units delivered.
In January 2019, the Model 3 passed the Model S to become the top selling all-electric car in the U.S. ever, and, the next month, also passed the Chevrolet Volt to become the all-time best-selling plug-in electric car in the U.S. On February 28, 2019, Tesla announced that they would begin to roll out the Standard Range base model starting at US$35,000.
The Tesla Model 3 ended 2019 as the world's best selling plug-in electric car for the second consecutive year, with just over 300,000 units delivered. The electric car also topped annual plug-in car sales in the U.S. (158,925) and California (59,514) markets for the second time in a row. The Model 3 also ranked as the best selling plug-in car in Europe in 2019, with over 95,000 units delivered during its first year in that market.
The Model 3 also set records in Norway and the Netherlands, listing in both countries not only as the top selling plug-in car but also as the best selling passenger car model in the overall market in 2019. The sales volume achieved by the Model 3 in 2019 (15,683) is the third largest in Norwegian history. The Model 3 also set a new record in the Netherlands for the highest registrations in one month (22,137) for any single plug-in vehicle in Europe. The Model 3 also was the top selling plug-in car in Canada, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Mexico.
As of December 2019[update], 448,634 Model 3 cars have been delivered worldwide. The Model 3 surpassed the Nissan Leaf in early 2020 to become the world's all-time best selling electric car, with more than 500,000 sold by March 2020.
As of April 2020[update], the Tesla Model 3 has four trims: Standard Range Plus RWD, Dual Motor AWD Long Range, Performance and the off-the-menu US$35,000 standard range, with EPA ranges of 250 miles (400 km), 322 miles (518 km), 322 miles (518 km), and 220 miles (350 km) respectively.
The Tesla Model X is a mid-size crossover SUV with a lightweight aluminum body. Model X deliveries started in September 2015. It is offered in 5-, 6- and 7-passenger configurations. The passenger doors are articulating "falcon-wing" designs that open vertically.
Production was rescheduled several times, from 2013 to late 2014, to the second quarter of 2015, to the third quarter of 2015. In August 2015, user groups estimated around 30,000 X pre-orders, compared to 12,000 for the S.
Deliveries of the Model X Signature series began on September 29, 2015. Model X sales totaled 2,400 units during the first quarter of 2016, rising to 4,638 in the second quarter of 2016. Global deliveries totaled 25,312 units in 2016, and 46,535 in 2017.
In September 2016, the Model X ranked as the top selling plug-in electric car in Norway. Previously, the Model S had been the top selling new car four times. Cumulative sales since inception totaled 106,689 units through September 2018. The United States is its main market with an estimated 57,327 units sold through September 2018.
In August 2013, Tesla trademarked the name "Model Y". In October 2015, Musk described a future "Model Y". In August 2017, Tesla announced that the Model Y would use the Model 3 platform.[better source needed]
In February 2018, Tesla announced that they would unveil Model Y production plans within the next 3–6 months and posted open positions for Model Y production and design. In May 2018, Musk said that the Model Y will be built on a platform that shares many components with the Model 3, and that the Model Y will be in production at the earliest in early 2020. In July 2018, Musk rescheduled the Model Y unveiling to be March 2019. In March 2019, Musk tweeted, "Model Y unveil event on March 14 at LA Design Studio" also adding that "the Model Y would be 10% bigger than the Model 3 so would cost 10% more".
The Model Y unveiling occurred on March 14, 2019. The car will have up to three rows of seats (up to 7 people), 66 cu ft (2 m3) of cargo space with the second and third rows folded, and will have a range of up to 300 miles (480 km).
As of January 2020, the Tesla Model Y is being manufactured at Tesla Factory in Fremont, CA. In the future, the Model Y is also planned to be built at Giga Shanghai (late 2020), and the yet-to-be-built Giga Berlin, newly announced in November 2019. Deliveries for the Model Y started on March 13, 2020.
Through a surprise reveal at the end of the event that introduced the Semi on November 16, 2017, Tesla unveiled the 2020 Roadster. Musk said that the new model will have a range of 620 miles (1,000 km) on the 200 kWh (720 MJ) battery pack and will achieve 0–60 mph in 1.9 seconds; it also will achieve 0–100 mph in 4.2 seconds, and the top speed will be over 250 mph (400 km/h). The vehicle will have three electric motors allowing for all-wheel drive, and torque vectoring during cornering and the SpaceX Package which will include SpaceX cold air thrusters that will increase the speed even more.
At the time, the base price was set at US$200,000 while the first 1,000 units, the Founder's series, would sell for US$250,000. Reservations required a deposit of US$50,000, and those who ordered the Founder's series paid the US$250,000 in full upon ordering. Those who made a reservation at the event were allowed a test drive with a driver in the prototype.
The vehicle's official announcement was at a November 16, 2017 press conference where two prototypes were shown. Musk confirmed that two variants would be available: one with 300 miles (480 km) and one with 500 miles (800 km) of range, and that the 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) time would be 5 seconds versus 15 seconds for a similar truck with a diesel engine. The Semi will be powered by four electric motors of the type used in the Tesla Model 3 and will include an extensive set of hardware sensors to enable it to stay in its own lane, a safe distance away from other vehicles, and later, when software and regulatory conditions allow, provide self-driving operation on highways. Musk also announced that the company would be involved in installing a solar-powered global network of the Tesla Megacharger devices to make the Semi more attractive to potential long-haul customers. A 30-minute charge would provide 400 miles (640 km) of range.
Musk initially said that Semi deliveries would start in 2019, but Tesla later announced that it was delaying production and delivery of the Semi until 2021.
The Cybertruck was unveiled on November 21, 2019, with production set for late 2021. Five days after the reveal, Musk tweeted that Cybertruck had more than 250,000 pre-orders, though customers only had to put down a $100 fully-refundable deposit.
There will be three versions of Tesla’s Cybertruck. The most expensive and best-equipped Cybertruck will have the ability to travel 500 miles on a full charge, reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in 2.9 seconds, travel a quarter mile in under 10 seconds, have a top speed of 130 mph (210 km/h) and tow 14,000 pounds (6,400 kg).
Tesla claimed that the Cybertruck's "Armor Glass" windows were virtually unbreakable, but two windows shattered when a Tesla executive threw a metal ball at them during the public unveiling. Many online critics made fun of the truck's angular design, and questioned whether pickup truck buyers will have interest in the Cybertruck. James Goodwin, chief executive of an Australian car safety organization, says that the angular design and steel construction of the Cybertruck may pose safety risks. The Cybertruck prototype that was unveiled lacked features such as side mirrors, windshield wipers, headlights, and brake lights that are needed to be street legal.
The Tesla Roadster is a battery electric vehicle (BEV) sports car, evolved from the Lotus Elise chassis, that was produced by Tesla Motors (now Tesla, Inc.) in California from 2008 to 2012. The Roadster was the first highway legal serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production all-electric car to travel more than 320 km (200 miles) per charge. It is also the first production car to be launched into orbit, carried by a Falcon Heavy rocket in a test flight on February 6, 2018.
There will be future cars that will be even more affordable down the road . . . With fourth generation and smaller cars and what not, we'll ultimately be in a position where everyone can afford the car.— Elon Musk at the Future Transport Solutions conference in Oslo, April 21, 2016
On July 20, 2016, Musk detailed his new master plan for Tesla. It includes more affordable cars produced in higher volume, solar-power roofs, mid-size vehicles, SUVs and pickup trucks, as well as the refinement of autonomous vehicles and the creation of a sharing economy, in which cars can be active while the owner is not using them. Tesla intends to build a minibus on the Model X platform. In May 2017, Musk indicated that he might favor a 10-12 passenger version of the Model X over a dedicated minibus design.
At the company's annual shareholder meeting in June 2018, Musk revealed Tesla's intention to enter a new market segment, offering a compact hatchback in "less than five years". He provided no details, and dodged a question about also producing a subcompact. Musk also put to rest hopes for a Tesla motorcycle, saying "we’re not going to do motorcycles". However, in November 2019 during the unveiling of the Tesla Cybertruck, Musk also unveiled a Tesla ATV that was capable of charging from the cargo bed of the Cybertruck.
In April 2019, Elon Musk announced Tesla is going to launch an unmanned taxi by the end of 2020. The company plans to have more than 1 million unmanned vehicles by this time.
In April 2015, the company unveiled its Powerwall home and Powerpack industrial battery packs, and quickly received orders valued at US$800 million. The two models included a 7-kilowatt-hour (25 MJ) wall-mounted unit and 10 kWh (36 MJ) unit. The company announced larger-scale configurations for industrial users in units of 100 kWh (360 MJ). The company planned to open source its patents for the entire range.
In September 2016, Tesla announced it had been chosen "through a competitive process" to supply Southern California Edison (SCE) with 27,000 hp (20 MW) power (and 80 MWh or 290 GJ energy) of battery storage. In May 2016, regulators had ordered SCE to invest in utility-scale battery systems to compensate local power supply after natural gas provider Southern California Gas leaked 1.6 million pounds (730 t) of methane into the atmosphere when a well ruptured at its Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility, closing it permanently.
In November 2016, American Samoa's island of Ta'u with a population of approximately 600 was converted to a solar and battery microgrid from diesel-based energy generation. In 2018, two microgrid projects were built in Samoa on the main island of Upolu: one at the Fiaga power station and one at the Faleolo International Airport.
After Hurricane Maria in September 2017, Elon Musk offered to work with Puerto Rico's government in rebuilding the island's electrical grid. In October 2017, Tesla brought 700 solar panels to the "Hospital del Niño," where the batteries helped bring care back to 3,000 patients who needed constant care.
In July 2017, Tesla won a contract to install the world's biggest grid-scale lithium battery in South Australia by promising installation within 100 days. The Hornsdale Power Reserve with total power capacity of 130,000 horsepower (100 MW) was connected to the grid on December 1, 2017.
In July 2019, Tesla unveiled Megapack, a containerized battery product for utility-scale projects. Each Megapack comes fully assembled from the factory with up to 3 MWh (11 GJ) of storage and 2,000 hp (1.5 MW) of inverter capacity.
In 2012, Tesla began building a network of 480-volt fast-charging Supercharger stations. As of December 2019[update], there are 1,716 Supercharger stations operated globally with over 15,000 superchargers. The Supercharger is a proprietary direct current (DC) technology that provides up to 340 hp (250 kW) of power. The navigation software in Tesla cars can recommend the fastest route for long-distance travel, incorporating possible charging delays.
Almost all Tesla cars come standard with Supercharging hardware. Model S and X cars ordered before January 15, 2017 received free unlimited supercharging. Model S and X cars ordered between January 15, 2017 and August 3, 2019 got 400 kWh (1,400 MJ) of free Supercharging credits per year, which provides a range of roughly 1,000 miles per year (1,600 km/a). Between August 3, 2019 and May 26, 2020, all Tesla Model S and X cars ordered came with free unlimited supercharging again. Model 3 cars do not come with free unlimited supercharging.
In December 2016, after a complaint sent to Musk via Twitter about abuse, Tesla started charging an "idle" fee (depending on percent occupancy of the Supercharger station) for vehicles that remain plugged into Superchargers after they are fully charged.
Destination charging location network
In 2014, Tesla discreetly launched the "Destination Charging Location" Network by providing chargers to hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, resorts and other full service stations to provide on-site vehicle charging at twice the power of a typical home charging station. On April 25, 2016, Tesla launched European destination charging, with 150 locations and more to be added later. Destination chargers worldwide totaled over 23,900 in mid 2019.
Destination chargers are installed free of charge by Tesla-certified contractors; the locations must provide the electricity at no cost to their customers. All installed chargers appear in the in-car navigation system.
In addition to its corporate headquarters, the company operates multiple large factories for making vehicles and their components. The company operates showrooms and galleries around the world.
Tesla was founded in San Carlos, California. Tesla's first retail stores were in Los Angeles, in Menlo Park, California and in Manhattan's Chelsea art district, followed by others in major US cities. In 2010, Tesla moved its corporate headquarters and opened a powertrain development facility in Palo Alto.
As of 2018, Tesla has service centers in 25 states, referring owners with shell damage to approved third-party body shops. In May 2020, after California's government had refused to let the Tesla factory reopen after a COVID-19 lockdown, Elon Musk said that he is going to move the company's headquarters from California to Texas or Nevada.
Tesla's first assembly plant occupies the former NUMMI plant in Fremont, California. It is known as the Tesla Factory. As of 2016, the plant was not highly automated—it was expected to produce some 80,000 cars with 6,000 workers compared to a "typical" plant that might produce 250,000 cars with 3,000 workers. The 370-acre (1,500,000 m2) site includes a 5,500,000-square-foot (510,000 m2) building complex.
In 2015, Tesla acquired Riviera Tool & Die (with 100 employees in Grand Rapids, Michigan), one of its suppliers of stamping items. They initially renamed the facility "Tesla Michigan", and subsequently refer to the facility as Tesla Tool and Die.[needs update] In 2017, Tesla acquired Perbix Machine Company,[where?] a manufacturer of automated manufacturing equipment, that had been an equipment supplier for over three years. In December 2017, Tesla acquired the factory automation firm Compass Automation of Elgin, Illinois, with expertise in automated assembly and inspection systems; by the end of 2018 the company was working exclusively for Tesla.
By 2015, Tesla also occupied a second factory in Fremont. The building is more than 500,000 sq ft (46,500 m2). The location is next to a SolarCity facility, a few miles from the original Fremont plant.
Giga Nevada—originally Gigafactory, and later Gigafactory 1—is located outside Reno, Nevada. As of January 2017[update], it occupied 1.9 million square feet (180,000 m2) with 4.9 million square feet (460,000 m2) of usable area across several floors. It produces Powerwalls and Powerpacks as well as battery cells in partnership with Panasonic. It also produces Model 3 battery packs and drivetrains. The factory received substantial subsidies from the local and state governments.
Giga New York is located in Buffalo, New York, on the site of a former Republic Steel plant. It is operated by Tesla's SolarCity unit. The factory is a US$750 million, 1.2-million-square-foot (0.11 km2) facility that directly employs 500 workers. Tesla partnered with Panasonic to assemble photovoltaic panel modules. Tesla received incentives to locate the factory in Buffalo through the Buffalo Billion program. As of August 2017[update], the factory added production of solar tiles for the Tesla Solar Roof. In January 2018, Tesla announced, after testing on employees' roofs, that it would begin installing the Tesla Solar Roof on customers' homes "within the next few months". Tesla announced Version 3 of the Solar Roof in October 2019, claiming that they achieved economic viability to be cost competitive for installations where a new roof is needed and residential solar power is desired. In March 2020, Tesla produced 4MW of Solar Roof in one week, enough for up to 1,000 homes (assuming 4kW per roof). However, the "overwhelming majority" of the solar cells produced at the factory were being sold overseas, rather than being used in Tesla's Solar Roof. In June 2020, Tesla began canceling Solar Roof orders after years of taking deposits.
For construction of Gigafactory 5 in the central United States Tesla picked Austin, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma, as finalists during May 2020. On 23 July, 2020 Tesla picked Austin, Texas as the site of Gigafactory 5. The new factory would build Tesla's Cybertruck and act as a site to build the Model Y small SUV for the East Coast of the United States.
Tesla's first "new design" store opened on November 16, 2012, in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, Ontario. As of March 2019[update], a total of nine Tesla stores/galleries operated in Montreal, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver.
Tesla opened its first European store in June 2009 in London. Tesla's European headquarters are in Amsterdam. A 62,000 sq ft (5,800 m2) European service center operates in Tilburg, Netherlands, along with a 77,650 m2 (835,800 sq ft) assembly facility that adds drivetrain, battery and software to the (imported) car body to reduce EU import tax.
In late 2016, Tesla acquired German engineering firm Grohmann Engineering in Prüm as a new division dedicated to helping Tesla increase the automation and effectiveness of its manufacturing process. After winding down existing contracts with other auto manufacturers, Grohmann works exclusively on Tesla projects. As of February 2018, Tesla is building a small research and development office in Athens, Greece.
In June 2014 Tesla announced, and again confirmed in November 2016, its long-term plans to build a car and battery Gigafactory in Europe. Several countries have campaigned to host. and in July 2018, it was reported that Tesla was exploring locating Gigafactory 4 in either Germany or the Netherlands. A location and plans to begin construction near Berlin were announced in November 2019. In 2020, after anti-Tesla protests and environmentalists' victory in the court, the car-maker was forced to temporarily stop preparations for the launch of a factory in Germany.
Showrooms and service centers operate in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. Tesla opened its first Japanese showroom in Tokyo, Japan, in October 2010. In South Korea, it opened two showrooms in March 2017 and a service center in late 2017. In August, 2017, Taiwan opened its first service center and showroom.
In July 2018, Tesla signed an agreement with Chinese authorities to build a factory in Shanghai, China, which is Tesla's first Gigafactory outside of the United States. The groundbreaking ceremony was held on January 7, 2019. The factory building was finished in August 2019, and the initial Tesla Model 3s were in production from Giga Shanghai in October 2019.
Tesla opened a showroom and a service center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2017 as the first expansion of Tesla in the Middle East. Five ultra-fast superchargers were also built between cities with a planned 50 destination chargers in the United Arab Emirates by the end of 2017. The Dubai Department of Economic Development stated that it will assist Tesla expansion across the United Arab Emirates as well as neighboring countries in the Middle East. One of the first Tesla customers was Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority which ordered 200 Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles that were added to Dubai Taxi Corporation's fleet. In May 2017 the service center and store in Amman Jordan was opened. In January 2020 a "pop-up" store in Tel Aviv Israel was opened and an R&D center.
In February 2020, several news sites reported that Tesla was negotiating with the Brazilian Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marcos Pontes to build a Gigafactory in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. The rumours were later confirmed by the Brazilian government. Brazil wants to have Tesla in the country, not only selling its cars but also producing them there. Tesla vehicles could then be exported to other nearby markets, such as Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Colombia, the Caribbean region, and even Mexico, a country with which Brazil has a free trade agreement. Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro stated on his Twitter account that he will be going to the United States in March to visit one of Tesla's facilities, hoping to finalize the deal.
Unlike many traditional manufacturers, Tesla operates as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM), manufacturing powertrain components for other automakers. Tesla has had partnerships with other auto manufacturers, such as Daimler and Toyota. It is partners with Panasonic in research, development and production of batteries and solar panels. Tesla also has a range of minor partnerships, for instance working with Airbnb and hotel chains to install destination chargers at selected locations.
Daimler AG and Tesla began working together in late 2007. On May 19, 2009, Daimler bought a stake of less than 10% in Tesla for a reported US$50 million. As part of the collaboration, Herbert Kohler, Vice-President of E-Drive and Future Mobility at Daimler, took a Tesla board seat. On July 13, 2009, Daimler AG sold 40% of its May acquisition to Aabar Investments PJSC. Aabar is an Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle. In October 2014, Daimler sold its remaining holdings for a reported US$780 million.
Tesla built electric-powertrain components for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell, an electric car with a range of 120 mi (200 km) and 214 lbf⋅ft (290 N⋅m) of torque. The 36 kWh (130 MJ) battery contained approximately 4,000 lithium-ion cells. 500 cars were planned to be built for trial in Europe beginning in September 2011.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED
Tesla produced and co-developed the Mercedes-Benz B250e's powertrain, which ended production in 2017. The electric motor was rated 134 hp (100 kW) and 230 pound force-feet (310 N⋅m), with a 36 kWh (130 MJ) battery. The vehicle had a driving range of 200 km (124 mi) with a top speed of 150 km/h (93 mph).
On May 20, 2010, Tesla and Toyota announced a partnership to work on electric vehicle development, which included Toyota's US$50 million future conditional investment in Tesla and Tesla's US$42 million purchase of a portion of the former NUMMI factory. Tesla cooperated on the development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support. In July 2010, the companies announced an agreement to develop a second generation compact Toyota RAV4 EV. A demonstrator vehicle was unveiled at the October 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Toyota built 35 of these converted RAV4s (Phase Zero vehicles) for a demonstration and evaluation program that ran through 2011. Tesla supplied the lithium metal-oxide battery and other powertrain components based on components from the Roadster. In August 2012, the production version was unveiled, with some battery pack, electronics and powertrain components being those used in the Tesla Model S sedan (also launched in 2012), The RAV4 EV had a limited production run which resulted in just under 3,000 vehicles being produced. The RAV4 EV left the market in 2014 and there are no known plans to revive the model. On June 5, 2017, Toyota announced that it had sold all of its shares in Tesla and halted co-operation, as Toyota had created their own electric car division.
On January 7, 2010, Tesla and battery cell maker Panasonic announced that they would together develop nickel-based lithium-ion battery cells for electric vehicles. Naoto Noguchi, President of Panasonic's Energy Company, said that the Japanese firm's cells would be used for Tesla's "current and next-generation EV battery pack." The partnership was part of Panasonic's US$1 billion investment over three years in facilities for lithium-ion cell research, development and production.
Beginning in 2010, Panasonic invested US$30 million for a multi-year collaboration on next generation cells designed specifically for electric vehicles. In July 2014, Panasonic reached a basic agreement with Tesla to participate in Giga Nevada. Tesla and Panasonic also collaborate on the manufacturing and production of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules at Giga New York in Buffalo, New York.
Lawsuits and controversies
Tesla, according to a count provided by the legal advocacy website PlainSite, was party to 620 lawsuits in June 2019. Ongoing cases include Musk's "Funding secured" tweet, CEO performance award, production numbers, the acquisition of SolarCity, and allegations of whistleblower retaliation.
"Funding secured" − $420 buyout proposal
On August 7, 2018, Elon Musk tweeted, "Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured." The tweet caused a furor on social media and in Tesla's investment circle. Tesla's stock price rose quickly after Musk's statement, but crashed after it became clear that Musk's statements were untrue. Musk did not have any funding secured for a possible buyout, and the $420 price was a marijuana reference Musk chose to amuse his girlfriend.
Musk settled fraud charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission over his false statements in September 2018. According to the terms of the settlement: Musk was removed from his chairman role at Tesla; Tesla and Musk paid civil penalties of $20 million each; two new independent directors were appointed to the company's board; and Musk agreed to have his tweets reviewed by Tesla's in-house counsel. On October 16, 2018, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entered a final judgment approving the terms of the settlement.
A civil class-action shareholder lawsuit over Musk's statements is pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. Tesla filed a motion to dismiss the case, but U.S. District Judge Edward Chen denied it in April 2020. The judge determined that Musk's tweets were false and misleading, and noted Musk's long-standing animosity towards short-sellers (such as tweeting weeks earlier "short burn of the century comin [sic] soon") as potential motive for the tweets.
Between October 17, 2018, and November 9, 2018, five derivative lawsuits were filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery against Mr. Musk and the members of Tesla's board of directors as then constituted in relation to statements made and actions connected to a potential going private transaction. These cases have been stayed pending resolution of the stockholder class action.
On June 4, 2018, a purported Tesla stockholder filed a putative class and derivative action in the Delaware Court of Chancery against Mr. Musk and the members of Tesla's board of directors as then constituted, alleging that such board members breached their fiduciary duties by approving the stock-based compensation plan. The complaint seeks, among other things, monetary damages and rescission or reformation of the stock-based compensation plan. The trial is set for June 2021.
Musk received the first portion of his stock options payout, worth more than $700 million, in May 2020.
Model 3 production numbers
In September 2018, Tesla disclosed that it was under investigation by the FBI regarding its Model 3 production figures. Authorities were investigating whether the company misled investors and made projections about its Model 3 production that it knew would be impossible to meet. In July 2017, Elon Musk tweeted "Looks like we can reach 20,000 Model 3 cars per month in Dec", but Tesla ended up producing only 2,700 Model 3s for all of 2017.
A stockholder class action lawsuit related to Model 3 production numbers was dismissed in Tesla's favor in March 2019.
In 2016, Musk urged investors to approve the SolarCity acquisition despite publicly recusing himself from involvement in the deal. Musk revealed a solar roof tile in October 2016 during an event to gain investor support for the acquisition, but the tile later turned out to be fake. Members of the Tesla skeptic group TSLAQ have cited Musk's solar roof tile reveal as a major point of contention and an impetus for organizing.
Between September and October 2016, shareholders filed seven lawsuits in the Delaware Court of Chancery challenging Tesla's acquisition of SolarCity. The consolidated lawsuit alleges that Elon Musk knew SolarCity was going broke before the acquisition, that he and the board of directors overpaid for SolarCity, ignored their conflicts of interest and breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the deal, and failed to disclose “troubling facts” essential to an analysis of the proposed acquisition. The lawsuit also alleges that SolarCity hid information from its auditors about two payments due to lenders that should have been used to determine SolarCity’s financial condition. Tesla's directors later settled the lawsuit for $60 million in January 2020, leaving Musk as the lone defendant in the case. The case was set for trial in March 2020, but has been delayed until "concerns regarding COVID-19 have abated".
Walmart solar panel fires
In August 2019, Walmart filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Tesla, claiming that Tesla's "negligent installation and maintenance" of solar panels caused fires at seven Walmart stores going back to 2012. According to the lawsuit, "Tesla had engaged in widespread, systemic negligence," and Walmart's inspections revealed numerous fire hazards associated with the solar panels, including hotspots, faulty connections, sharp points, exposed wires, and improper grounding. Walmart noted that it had received inspection reports in which Tesla itself identified 48 "action items" that reflected conditions where sites were "unsafe or potentially unsafe." Walmart reached a settlement with Tesla in November 2019, though terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
In June 2018, a Tesla employee named Martin Tripp leaked information that Tesla was scrapping or reworking up to 40% of its raw materials at the Nevada Gigafactory. After Tesla fired him for the leak, Tripp filed a lawsuit and claimed Tesla’s Security team gave police a false tip that he was planning a mass shooting at the Nevada factory. According to Bloomberg, Musk "set out to destroy" Tripp and Tesla’s PR department "spread rumors that Tripp was possibly homicidal and had been part of a grand conspiracy."
Also in June 2018, according to Reveal, a former safety official at Tesla filed a lawsuit alleging he was fired "in retaliation for reporting unsafe working conditions, such as chemical exposures and fires, and for refusing to go along with what he believed to be illegal practices."
In August 2018, a former Tesla security employee filed a whistleblower complaint accusing Tesla of improperly spying on workers, and ignoring or covering up complaints of "rampant theft and drug dealing" at the Nevada Gigafactory, including the alleged theft of more than $37 million worth of copper and other raw materials. The whistleblower later sued Tesla, claiming he was wrongfully fired from his job after filing the complaint.
In January 2019, another former Tesla security manager filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that the company illegally hacked employees' phones and spied on them, and failed to report illegal activities to the authorities and shareholders.
Outside of the courts, Tesla has been the subject of other public controversies, ranging from securities fraud allegations to product delays to workers safety complaints.
In September 2019, the SEC questioned Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn about Tesla's warranty reserves and lease accounting. Analysts have expressed concerns over Tesla's accounts receivable balance. Hedge fund manager David Einhorn has accused Elon Musk of "significant fraud", and publicly questioned Tesla's accounting practices, telling Musk in November 2019 that he was "beginning to wonder whether your accounts receivable exist." Tesla has used many "fancy accounting gimmicks" to show positive cash flow and quarterly profits,  and Bloomberg has questioned whether Tesla's financial reporting violates Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) reporting standards.
Battery swap fraud
From 2012 to 2014, Tesla earned more than $295 million in Zero Emission Vehicle credits for a battery-swapping technology that was never made available to customers. Staff at California's Air Resources Board were concerned that Tesla was "gaming" the battery swap subsidies and recommended eliminating the credits in 2013. Tesla originally claimed that the battery swap would be fully automated, and could be done in just 90 seconds, but they never released details of how it would actually work.
COVID-19 pandemic in the US
At the onset of and during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Elon Musk repeatedly downplayed the risks of COVID-19. In March 2020 Musk tweeted that "the coronavirus panic is dumb", and incorrectly predicted that new cases in the U.S. would be "negligible" by the end of April. On an earnings call in April 2020, Musk called state and local stay-at-home orders "fascist."
Later in May 2020, while Alameda officials were negotiating with the company to reopen the Fremont factory on the 18th, Musk defied local government orders by restarting production at the factory on the 11th, tweeting that he was doing so "against Alameda County rules." This act was in non-compliance with the governor's order for the state of California during the crisis: "Counties [emphasis added] can choose to continue more restrictive measures in place based on their local conditions, and the state expects some counties to keep their more robust stay at home orders in place beyond May 8." Tesla also filed a lawsuit against Alameda County on the 11th but later rescinded it after the Fremont factory was given approval to reopen. Tesla published its detailed plan for bringing employees back to work and keeping them safe, but within days of reopening at least six workers at the factory tested positive for the coronavirus and CNBC reported some employees continued to express concern over lax coronavirus precautions.
In June 2020, Tesla fired an employee who criticized the company for taking inadequate safety measures to protect workers from the coronavirus at the Fremont factory. Three more employees at Tesla's Fremont factory also say they were fired for staying home out of fear of catching COVID-19, despite Musk telling workers in May if "you feel uncomfortable coming back to work at this time, please do not feel obligated to do so.".
Environmental violations and permit deviations at Tesla's Fremont factory have increased dramatically since 2018 with the production ramp of the Model 3. Author Ed Niedermeyer warned that Tesla's "apparent disregard for environmental compliance has led to a pollution problem whose magnitude we may never fully understand."
In June 2019, Tesla began negotiating penalties for 19 environmental violations from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. The violations centered on Tesla Fremont's paint shop, where there have been frequent fires since 2014. Air quality inspectors found many potential fire risks at the facility, and cited Tesla for improper disposal of flammable materials. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also investigated Tesla for violations of the Clean Air Act, and fined Tesla for hazardous waste violations in April 2019, having found that Tesla failed to 'promptly clean up flammable paint and or solvent mixtures,' left two 55-gallon containers of hazardous waste open with 'no gasket or locking mechanism,' and violated air emission standards for three leaky transmission lines that the waste moved through.
Flawed battery design and fires
In June 2012, Tesla knew the battery cooling system in its Model S cars had a flawed design that made it susceptible to leaks, which could short the battery or cause a fire. Tesla continued to sell Model S cars with this flawed cooling system through late 2012, even as employees found these parts leaking on the production line.
In October 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began investigating Tesla's Model S and X vehicles for potential battery defects that could cause "non-crash" fires. The NHTSA launched the investigation after receiving a defect petition asking them to look into the "alarming number" of fires in Tesla vehicles that have occurred worldwide. Tesla released two over-the-air software updates in May 2019 that reduced the range in older Model S and X vehicles by as much as 50 miles. Tesla claimed the updates were "designed to improve battery longevity," but the NHTSA is investigating whether they were actually made because of the fires. According to consumer attorney Edward Chen, "Tesla is using over-the-air software updates to mask and cover-up a potentially widespread and dangerous issue with the batteries in their vehicles."
As of January 15, 2020, Tesla stock was the most-shorted in U.S. equity markets. Over 20% of its stock was shorted at that time, with many shorters losing large amounts of money as the stock price climbed much higher later in the year. TSLAQ is an informal and largely anonymous group of Tesla shorters and critics, mainly organized online.
Worker safety & rights
According to former employees at Tesla's Fremont factory, Tesla has systematically denied medical care to injured workers, forced injured workers to return to the production line without relief, and insisted that seriously injured workers be sent to the emergency room in a Lyft rather than call 911. An investigation by Reveal found that Tesla "failed to report some its serious injuries on legally mandated reports, making the company's injury numbers look better than they actually are." Their factory injury rates are worse than the industry average, despite Musk claiming otherwise.
From 2014 to 2018, Tesla's Fremont factory had three times as many Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations as the ten largest U.S. auto plants combined. According to the Reno Gazette Journal, Tesla barred OSHA officers from conducting a comprehensive inspection of the Nevada Gigafactory for more than two months in 2019, "even denying entry when inspectors showed up with a sheriff's deputy and a warrant signed by a judge." Former safety experts at Tesla believe that the factory was "extremely dangerous", and the risk of injury was too high. They believe the factory lacked adequate yellow lane markings and caution tape because "Elon does not like the color yellow", and cut back on other standard safety signals such as warning signs and warning beeps on forklifts when backing up, because Musk disliked those as well.
In September 2019, a California judge ruled that Musk and other Tesla executives have been illegally sabotaging employee efforts to form a union.
Tesla earned the worst score among the 32 major vehicle brands in J.D. Power's 2020 Initial Quality Study due to various problems reported by owners.
On April 20, 2017, Tesla issued a worldwide recall of 53,000 (~70%) of the 76,000 vehicles it sold in 2016 due to faulty parking brakes which could become stuck and "prevent the vehicles from moving".
On March 29, 2018, Tesla issued a worldwide recall of 123,000 Model S cars built before April 2016 due to corrosion-susceptible power steering bolts, which could fail and require the driver to use "increased force" to control the vehicle.
Crashes and fires
On October 1, 2013, a Model S caught fire after the vehicle hit metal debris on a highway in Kent, Washington. Tesla confirmed the fire began in the battery pack and was caused by the "direct impact of a large metallic object to one of the 16 modules within the Model S battery pack." On November 6, 2013, a Tesla Model S on Interstate 24 near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, caught fire after it struck a tow hitch on the roadway, causing damage beneath the vehicle. Tesla said that it would conduct its own investigation, and as a result of these incidents, announced its decision to extend its current vehicle warranty to cover fire damage.
On January 4, 2014, a Tesla Model S in Norway caught fire while charging at one of Tesla's supercharger stations and was completely destroyed. No one was injured.
On March 28, 2014, NHTSA announced that it had closed the investigation into whether the Model S was prone to catch fire, after the automaker said it would provide more protection to its battery packs. All Model S cars manufactured after March 6 have had the 0.25-inch (6.4 mm) aluminum shield over the battery pack replaced with a new three-layer shield.
A Model S driver died in a collision with a tractor-trailer on May 7, 2016, in Williston, Florida, while the vehicle was in autopilot mode. The driver is believed to be the first person to have died in a Tesla vehicle in autopilot mode. The NHTSA investigated the accident and concluded: "A safety-related defect trend has not been identified at this time and further examination of this issue does not appear to be warranted."
On May 8, 2018, two 18-year-olds, driver Barrett Riley and passenger Edgar Monserratt Martinez, died in a fire in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that started after crashing a Tesla Model S into a wall at 116 mph. Speed is believed to have been a factor in the crash. Less than two months before the crash, it was reported that Riley's parents had a limiter installed to limit the speed to 85 mph, but it was removed at another Tesla service visit without the parents' knowledge. The removal of the limiter and alleged defective battery pack formed the basis of a lawsuit against Tesla by the estate of Edgar Monserratt Martinez. The lawsuit was filed on January 9, 2019.
In March 2018, an Apple engineer had been killed in a crash in a Tesla Model X. Investigators say that the driver of the vehicle had his car in ‘self-driving’ mode and was using his phone to play games when the vehicle collided with the barrier in the middle of the freeway. Through investigation the National Transportation Safety Board found that the Tesla malfunctioned due to the system being confused by an exit on the freeway.
Model S suspension problems
In June 2016, the NHTSA announced that it was reviewing reports of suspension problems in Tesla Model S sedans. The NHTSA also said they were aware that Tesla had entered into a "troublesome" non-disclosure agreement with one Model S owner regarding the suspension issue. Journalist Ed Niedermeyer called this type of agreement "unheard of in the auto industry", and noted that a policy of demanding non-disclosure agreements for "goodwill" repairs would limit the number of defects Tesla owners reported to the NHTSA.
Maintenance costs, crash rates, and insurance costs
On June 4, 2017, the American Automobile Association raised insurance rates for Tesla owners following a report from the Highway Loss Data Institute. The report concluded that the Model S crashes 46% more often and is 50% more expensive to repair than comparable vehicles. Similarly, the Model X was concluded to crash 41% more often and to be 89% more expensive to repair than similar vehicles. As a result, AAA raised insurance rates on Tesla cars by 30%. Tesla said that the analysis is "severely flawed and not reflective of reality", however, Tesla failed to provide any contradictory numbers. Shortly thereafter, Russ Rader, the spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, confirmed the AAA's analysis and that "Teslas get into a lot of crashes and are costly to repair afterward".
Tesla has been criticized for repeatedly over-promising and under-delivering. Delivery dates for new vehicles and new vehicle features slipped on the Roadster, Model S, Model X and Model 3. Advanced technologies like the prospect of a large network of solar-powered supercharger stations (first installation was in 2012; only a few were solar-powered as of mid 2019) also lagged projections.
In early October 2017, Musk had predicted that Model 3 production would be up to 5,000 units per week by December. A month later, he revised that target to "sometime in March" 2018 due in part to difficulties with robots on the assembly line, but primarily due to problems with the battery module. An analyst with Cowan and Company, a public relations firm, made this comment: "Elon Musk needs to stop over promising and under delivering".
On September 24, 2018, Musk revealed on Twitter that Tesla will be building its own car carriers as the company is facing challenges due to logistics. Tesla is running into an acute shortage of car carrier trailers leading to a delay in the delivery. In mid-November, with end-of-year buyer tax credits expiring in a little more than six weeks, Musk announced that the company was aggressively ramping up delivery capabilities with trucking contracts and even outright purchase of some trucking firms to deliver as many cars as possible before the deadline.
In August 2015, two researchers said they were able to take control of a Tesla Model S by hacking into the car's entertainment system. The hack required the researchers to physically access the car. Tesla issued a security update for the Model S the day after the exploit was announced.
In September 2016, researchers at Tencent's Keen Security Lab demonstrated a remote attack on a Tesla Model S and controlled the vehicle in both Parking and Driving Mode without physical access. They were able to compromise the automotive networking bus (CAN bus) when the vehicle's web browser was used while the vehicle was connected to a malicious Wi-Fi hotspot. This was the first case of a remote control exploit demonstrated on a Tesla. The vulnerability was disclosed to Tesla under their bug bounty program and patched within 10 days, before the exploit was made public. Tencent also hacked the doors of a Model X in 2017.
In January 2018, security researchers informed Tesla that an Amazon Web Services account of theirs could be accessed directly from the Internet and that the account had been exploited for cryptocurrency mining. Tesla responded by securing the compromised system, rewarding the security researchers financially via their bug bounty program, and stating that the compromise did not violate customer privacy, nor vehicle safety or security.
Tesla's stated philosophy is not to make a profit on service. Tesla offers service at company-owned service centers and mobile technicians can also perform most inspections and repairs. In 2016, Tesla recommended to have any Tesla car inspected every 12,500 miles or once a year, whichever comes first. In early 2019, the manual was changed to say: "your Tesla does not require annual maintenance and regular fluid changes," and instead it recommends periodic servicing of the brake fluid, air conditioning, tires and air filters.
The first units for each new model revealed design and manufacturing flaws, including the Model S and the Model X. As the Tesla vehicle fleet grew, the number of service centers resulted in waiting periods for some owners. Auto experts view the service delays as insignificant, as owners accept the challenges of servicing a new type of car. Tesla does not provide service manuals except in jurisdictions that required them to do so.
At the June 2018 shareholder meeting, Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla will soon start to open its first body shops in the top ten U.S. metropolitan areas, stocking some body parts, potentially allowing for same-day service. As of June 2020, there are four Tesla-owned body shops in the US.
In response to state auto dealers associations lobbying to prevent Tesla from selling cars directly to the public, Tesla has lobbied in several states for the right to sell cars. In June 2017, Tesla made a "last-minute push near the end of the Albany legislative session to expand its sales force in New York." New York State Legislature bill A.8248/S.6600 would allow Tesla to operate 20 sales locations in the state, up from its current 5. Automotive dealers attacked the bill, arguing that it would hurt their business because Tesla does not sell through dealers. According to the New York Law Journal, "Tesla . . . has its own in-house lobbyists, according to disclosures filed with the state's lobbying entity." The bill did not get to the floor of either house.
Board of directors
In an April 2017 public letter, an investor group asked Tesla to add two new independent directors to its board “who do not have any ties with chief executive Elon Musk”. The investors wrote that “five of six current non-executive directors have professional or personal ties to Mr. Musk that could put at risk their ability to exercise independent judgement.” (Tesla's directors at the time included Brad Buss, who served as chief financial officer at SolarCity; Steve Jurvetson, a venture capitalist who also sits on the board of SpaceX; Mr Musk's brother, Kimbal; and Ira Ehrenpreis and Antonio Gracias, both of whom also invested in SpaceX.) The letter called for a more independent board that could put a check on groupthink. At first Musk responded on Twitter, writing that the investors "should buy Ford stock" because "their governance is amazing.” Two days later, he promised he would add two independent board members.
- Robyn Denholm, full-time Chairwoman of Tesla, Inc.; former CFO and Head of Strategy of Telstra (joined 2014) (Independent). As of March 2020, Denholm is the only Board member with automotive experience besides Musk. (Denholm served in finance and corporate reporting roles at Toyota Motor Corporation Australia from 1989–1996.)
- Elon Musk, Co-founder, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla; founder, CEO and CTO of SpaceX; former Chairman of Tesla, Inc.; former Chairman of SolarCity.
- Ira Ehrenpreis, General Partner at Technology Partners (joined 2007)
- Larry Ellison, Co-founder, Chairman and CTO of Oracle Corporation (joined December 2018) (Independent)
- Antonio J. Gracias, CEO and Chairman of the Investment Committee at Valor Equity Partners (joined 2007). Gracias has agreed not to stand for re-election when his term expires on June 11, 2021.
- Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper Fisher Jurvetson (joined 2009). Jurvetson has agreed not to stand for re-election when his term expires at the 2020 annual shareholder meeting (originally scheduled to be June 11, 2020, but rescheduled to September 2020).
- James Murdoch, former CEO of 21st Century Fox (joined July 2017) (Independent)
- Kimbal Musk, Co-founder of The Kitchen (joined 2004)
- Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. (joined December 2018) (Independent)
- Hiromichi Mizuno, former executive managing director and chief investment officer of Japan's Government Pension Investment Fund (joined April 2020) (Independent).
|May 8, 2015||Riviera Tool LLC||Stamping die systems used to form sheet metal parts||Unknown|||
|June 22, 2016||SolarCity||Provides solar energy services||2.6 billion|||
|November 2016||Grohmann Engineering||Stamping die systems used to form sheet metal parts||135 million|||
|November 7, 2017||Perbix||Designs automated manufacturing equipment||10.5 million
|December 2017 (Discovered)||Compass Automation||Designs, develops and integrates custom automation systems that help optimize production. ||Unknown|||
|May 2019||Maxwell Technologies||Manufactures and markets energy storage and power delivery solutions for automobiles||218 million
|October 1, 2019||DeepScale||Develops perceptual system technologies for automated vehicles||Unknown|||
|October 2, 2019 (Discovered)||Hibar Systems||Advanced automation solutions for small cell batteries through a mechanized pump injection system||Unknown|||
- US$37.5 million to K-12 STEM education in Nevada.
- Multiple contributions of solar power to areas recovering from disasters.
- 5 million Yuan to Chinese CDC to fight the Coronavirus outbreak.
- Battery electric vehicle
- List of automobile manufacturers of the United States
- List of Easter eggs in Tesla products
- List of electric cars currently available
- List of modern production plug-in electric vehicles
- List of production battery electric vehicles
- Plug-in electric vehicles in California
- Plug-in electric vehicles in the United States
- Karma Automotive
- Faraday Future
- Fisker Inc.
- Xpeng G3
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the better the performance, the worse the mileage. But there is one car that is way off the curve: the Tesla Roadster. This car is clearly based on a disruptive technology – it simultaneously offers great acceleration and high energy efficiency.
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"Tesla Motors, Inc." consisted of Eberhard, Tarpenning and Wright, plus an unfunded business plan, and they were looking for an initial round of funding to create a more advanced prototype than the AC Propulsion Tzero. While there was a basic corporation in place, Tesla hadn't even registered or obtained the trademark to its name and had no formal offices or assets. To save legal fees, we just copied the SpaceX articles of incorporation and bylaws for Tesla and I invested $6.35M (98%) of the initial closing of $6.5M in Series A funding. Eberhard invested $75k (approximately 1%).Alt URL
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In Q4, we delivered 63,359 Model 3 vehicles to customers in North America.
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In Q4, we delivered 28,425 Model S and Model X vehicles and 1,542 Model 3 vehicles, totaling 29,967 deliveries.
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When a car model is brand new or "completely redesigned," that can mean new parts, new systems—and new problems.
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Tesla, car timeline, 2008–present
|Compact executive car||Model 3|
|Mid-size Luxury car||Model S||Model S|
|Compact CUV||Model Y|
|Crossover SUV||Model X|