Tesla Motors

Founded by Elon Musk, Marc Tarpening and Martin Eberhard in 2003

JB Straubel is CTO

Franz Von Holzhausen is Chief Designer

June 2006 revealed the Tesla Roadster to the public with a test drive by Arnold Schwarznegger who was Governor at the time.

Tesla Motors became a publicly traded company in June 2010.

How are Tesla automobiles different?

The Tesla Roadster EV

What is a Tesla?

The Tesla Model S EV

What’s a Tesla?



Tesla Model S, is Tesla Motors’ new, soon to be released family sports sedan.  It has received a lot of attention, due to its design, its passenger capacity, cargo space, and ground-breaking innovations.   It will go into production in Mid-2012 and is currently in Beta stage.  The few iterations of the car that exist in Beta are being taken to Tesla dealership/boutiques and shows on tour.  It is high demand and Tesla Motors has pre-sold its entire 2012 inventory and has already began pre-selling 2013 inventory.

In a not new, but rather, an idea bought back from the past, it offers seating four 7 via 2 fold and hide seats similar to the rear-facing seats found in the station wagon vehicles of the 60’s and 70’s.    If you’re feeling lonely, you’ll be pleased to know that the car also comes equipped with Google Voice to enable you to speak commands from the touch of your steering wheel.

Among its unique features is a touchscreen dashboard interface which consists of a 17” touch panel screen, akin to the Apple iPad.  Some journalists are calling it the “dashboard of the future.”   This “infotainment” panel will allow you to check the cars diagnostics, that is how it is charging or using its power.  You can be connected with your phone and have your contacts uploaded to the dash along with pertinent information such as address, contact photo, etc.  It offers navigations with a map that will optionally fill the screen in its entirety thus offering what we believe to be the largest GPS screen ever put into a vehicle.   This interface will be equipped with 3g or 4g access to provide internet connectivity while on the road.  Not that you can necessarily browse the web while driving.  We anticipate that that ability will be disabled while the car is in motion.  However, this connectivity will allow you to also access audio streams from the internet such as Pandora or Internet radio.  Along with this connectivity, you are able to check on your cars status to see how many miles of fuel you have remaining and ultimately you will be able to manage climate control while you are away from the vehicle.  The features of the dashboard can grow during the life of the car, especially since it will allow for third-party apps.  The car too sports some other think-out-of-the-box features like enabling automatic climate control or remote climate control from an iPhone. 

A Sales Manager, Adam Sussler at the Los Angeles Tesla Motors showroom/dealership suggested that ultimately the car may have the ability to learn your climate habits such that when the car learns that you turn on the heater because you want a certain temperature in the morning before you leave, and that you leave every morning Monday through Friday at 7:25am, that it will begin adjusting your climate control for you, in anticipation of your typical habits before you even get in your car.

The Telsa Model S is available with 3 types of battery packs that allow you to have a range of either 160, 230, or 300.  Stepping up to 230 costs an additional $10,000, while stepping up to the 300 mile range, costs an additional $20,000.  Tesla Motors is committing to manufacturing 5000 cars in 2012, while 20,000 cars will be produced a year thereafter, in 2013.  Tesla Motors is excepting delivery to begin in July 2012.  As of October 28th, the car is sold out for 2012.  The first 1000 cars in the US will be given to US adopters who wish to buy the “Signature” version of the car.  This is the only way to get one in 2012 since there are still spots available for these.  This Signature series is “well-equipped” per Tesla Motors, but how well equipped has not been disclosed as of yet.  All that is known for certain is that it will come with the 300 mile battery pack, which means, that at a minimum, it will cost around $77,400.  However, in a recent interview with Elon Musk, the CEO of Telsa Motors, he disclosed that it could get close to $100,000, although they are trying to keep that version below 6 digits.  If you want to get that version, then you have to order it either at a Tesla Motors shop, or online at http://www.teslamotors.com/models/design, but it comes at a price.  You’ll have to be willing to deposit $40,000 via bank wire.  If you wish to order a regular model you’ll have to deposit $5,000.  However, if for whatever reason, you change your mind, your deposit is fully refundable as long as you ask for it before you commit to your contract.  As a reservation holder, you would be contacted approximately 3 months before the production of your vehicle.  At that time, you may defer the date on which you vehicle enters production to a later date.  How much later, has not been disclosed.


The Roadster was Tesla’s first EV.  It is the first lithium-ion battery based production vehicle to travel more than 200 miles per charge.  The first production model was released in 2008.  Production is stopping in 2011, and will recommence in 2014.   The current version is the Roadster 2.5.  It can travel 240miles per charge.  It has over 7000 lithium-ion cells.

The Roadster is a 2-seater vehicle that has been compared to the Porsche Boxster.  It’s current iteration can do 0 to 60 in 3.7 or 3.9 seconds depending on which version you purchase.  It has a retail base price of $109,000.  It is a remarkable sports car.  It’s trunk space is limited, due to the 6,381 lithium-ion cells that reside in the back, but it will accommodate a full set of golf clubs.

If you examine the electric cars that are offered today, aside from what Tesla has produced and is currently working on, you’ll find, the Chevrolet Volt, and the Nissan Leaf.  The Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf are consumer vehicles with simple contemporary designs and limited ranges.   The Chevy Volt is not a true EV because it has an onboard motor who’s purpose is to recharge the batteries.  It averages 37mpg.  The Nissan Leaf on the other hand is a true EV.  It is all electric unlike the Volt.  However its range is limited to 75 miles.

So clearly there is another pure EV, and another that is (sort-of) an EV that still relies on gasoline.  So what makes the cars that Tesla Motors produces different?  First of all, Tesla Motors is the only company making solely electric vehicles.  They do not make any variation such as a hybrid.  Their goal is to only produce mass-market electric cars.  They are expert engineers at producing electric drivetrains.  In fact, their drivetrain design is so desirable, that Toyota and Daimler have relationships with them, and Toyota’s new 2012 RAV4 will be using Tesla’s drivetrain.  The speedometer on the RAV4 proudly boasts this: Powered by Tesla!  

Tesla Motors has incredible car designers on board that make cars that are highly desirable from the outside in.  They are innovators that think out of the box are doing new things, such as using large touchscreen infotainment panels instead of complex controls on their dashboard.


Tesla is a relatively new brand of automobiles made by Tesla Motors.  Tesla Motors, founded in 2003, designs zero-emission electric vehicle powertrain components, and zero-emission electric vehicles.   The vehicles they manufacture, will change how we fuel our automobiles.

You have to admit that this is one of those times, that a mature industry like the auto industry gets a refresh.  We are in the midst of a change that has the potential to alter the way we drive, the way we fuel, and in the process, make this planet a whole lot greener.  We’ve done a lot of damage since the invention of the fossil-fuel-based automobile, but hopefully, with time, we can undo what we’ve done and improve the quality of life for all living things on our planet.  Tesla Motors is helping to put us on that path.