There are few companies in the world right now generating more buzz than Tesla, Inc. Founded in 2003 and based in Silicon Valley, Tesla is considered as much a tech behemoth as it is a car manufacturer, with its innovation in electric vehicles and clean energy currently unmatched. The famous face behind Tesla, its CEO and major shareholder, Elon Musk, aims to make affordable electric sportscars available to the masses. In 2020, Tesla surpassed the 1 million mark of electric cars produced and posted annual revenue of over $30m. Here are 4 interesting things you probably didn't know about the innovative company.
Like so many startups, Tesla has spent plenty of money in its time and come shockingly close to bankruptcy on several occasions. Raising cash through rounds of venture capital funding has been a consistent approach for the company, meaning that they've stayed afloat but have numerous stakeholders to please. Finances were particularly tight towards the end of 2013 when Tesla fell behind on the production of its Model S electric car. It's alledged the Palo Alto company only had 2 weeks' cash left in the bank, with Musk later admitting that they'd come close to insolvency.
Despite the entrepreneur being the face of the brand, Elon Musk is not one of the original founders of Tesla. The CEO first arrived on the scene in 2004, a year after Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning founded the company in response to the automotive industry's reliance on oil, leading its debut venture capital round and subsequently investing $6.5m of his own money. Elon Musk then officially joined Tesla (then called Tesla Motors), becoming its chairman of the board of directors, and, following a lawsuit in 2009, Musk - alongside Eberhard, Tarpenning, Ian Wright, and J. B. Straubel - are officially allowed to be called co-founders.
It's no secret that Google has been making moves into the automotive space for some time now. The multinational tech giant's main focus has been on developing the world's first fully-autonomous self-driving car, with co-founder Larry Page particularly vocal on this ambition. Google is also interested in electric vehicles, and Tesla's battery technology specifically has long been on its wishlist. Page and Elon Musk are good friends and it is rumored that the Google supremo has offered vast sums of money for Musk's company on several occasions. So far, Tesla has resisted the offer, but we should certainly watch this space.
Tesla Giga Nevada, also known as Gigafactory 1, is the highest-volume battery plant on Earth. The facility, located outside Reno, supplies the battery packs for all of the company's electric vehicles. The Gigafactory is unbelievably huge - to put it into perspective, the plant alone produces the equivalent of the world’s entire lithium-ion battery production.