Tesla Motors, Inc. is a Silicon Valley-based company that designs, manufactures and sells electric cars and electric vehicle power train components. Tesla Motors is a public company that trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the symbol TSLA. After 10 years, Tesla posted profits for the first time during the first quarter of 2013.
Tesla Motors gained widespread attention by producing the Tesla Roadster, the first fully electric sports car, followed by the Model S, a fully electric luxury sedan.
Tesla also markets electric powertrain components, including lithium-ion battery packs, to other automakers, including Daimler and Toyota. Tesla's CEO, Elon Musk, has said he envisions Tesla as an independent automaker, aimed at eventually mass-producing fully electric cars at a price affordable to the average consumer. Tesla Motors is named after electrical engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla. The Tesla Roadster uses an AC motor descended directly from Tesla's original 1882 design.
The Tesla Roadster, the company's first vehicle, is the first production automobile to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first production EV with a range greater than 320 km per charge. The Sport model accelerates 0 to 97 km/h in 3.7 seconds and, according to Tesla Motor's environmental analysis, is twice as energy efficient as the Toyota Prius. Since 2008 Tesla has sold more than 2,250 Roadsters in 31 countries through March 2012. Tesla began producing right-hand-drive Roadsters in early 2010 for the UK and Ireland markets, then expanded sales to right-hand-drive markets of Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Tesla stopped taking orders for the Roadster in the U.S. market in August 2011.
Tesla unveiled the Tesla Model S all-electric sedan on March 26, 2009 with an anticipated base price of US$57,400 before any government tax credit or subsidies. The Model S was to have three battery pack options for a range of up to 426 km per charge, but this was reduced to two, due to lack of demand for the shortest range vehicle. In October 2011, Tesla reached 6,500 reservations for the Model S and retail deliveries began in June 2012. The Model S is manufactured at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, an assembly plant formerly operated by NUMMI, a now defunct joint venture of Toyota and General Motors. Tesla purchased a stake in the site in May 2010 for US$42 million, and opened the facility in October 2010.
Tesla currently employs almost 3,000 full-time employees and is recruiting employees for positions in the headquarters in Palo Alto, California, at its European headquarters in Maidenhead, UK, and at an increasing number of sales facilities throughout North America and Europe.