You’ve probably heard of Tesla as an electric car manufacturer that made automotive history by showing the world that all-electric cars can indeed outperform their gasoline-powered rivals all the while being luxurious, sophisticated and practical.
Under the direction of its CEO, Elon Musk, Tesla has been one the most innovative car manufacturer in the past decade. Although Elon Musk has always been synonymous with Tesla, he did not found the company.
- Tesla was founded under the name of Tesla Motors back in 2003 by two engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, who were influenced by General Motor’s electric vehicle called the EV1.
- Named after the famous physicist, Nikola Tesla, the new company was originally funded by Eberhard and Tarpenning themselves. Later, they started getting external funding for their operations. This was when Elon Musk came aboard.
- Tesla’s first car was called the Roadster that came out in 2008. It had an electric powertrain and a 2-door coupe chassis from a Lotus Elise.
- Tesla managed to sell over 2400 units of the Roadster from 2008 to 2012 in 31 countries. This was impressive for an electric car at that time.
- Eberhard and Tarpenning left Tesla Motors in 2008, leaving the company in the hands of Elon Musk, who later became the Chief Executive Officer.
- “Motors” was dropped from Tesla Motors in February 2017 so the company now became Tesla.
- Having a net worth of $22.8 billion, Musk is currently the 54th richest person in the world.
- Musk was born in South Africa in 1971 but later moved to Canada for higher education.
- Other than Tesla, Elon Musk is also a CEO and co-founder of Space-X and Neuralink. He also co-founded PayPal.
- He has a Ph.D. in energy physics and aims to revolutionize technology like never before.
- His other company Space-X has aimed to send the first people to Mars by 2024.
- He regularly broadcasts his views and updates on his Twitter for people to hear directly from him.
- It has 3.19 million followers on Twitter and has a following of 108. Notable followings include Marques Brownlee, Rick and Morty, Mark Ruffalo, and The Boring Company.
- On its Instagram, it has 5 million followers and follows 29 accounts. Some of them are New York Magazine, GoodWood Festival of Speed, and Elliot Tebele.
- There is currently no Facebook Page for Tesla. Elon Musk deleted Tesla and Space-X’s Facebook pages after being challenged to do so by his followers on Twitter.
- The first generation Roadster was the first car that Tesla produced. With its body sourced from Lotus, it was aimed to be the world’s first electric sports car.
- It had an electric motor coupled to the rear axle producing 185 kW (248 hp) and 200 lb-ft (270 Nm) of torque. This may not sound much but was enough to launch the Roadster from 0-60 in 4 seconds.
- The low 0-60 time was possible because of the instant torque from the electric motors. To put that into perspective, the 0-60 time was same as a 2008 Mercedes Benz SL-65 AMG Black Series that had to make do with a twin-turbo 6.0l V12 to achieve this.
- It used a single-speed transmission, similar to what is found in almost all electric vehicles. This transmission also has the capability to simulate a conventional automatic by crawling when the brake pedal is not depressed.
- Even amidst all the performance, the build quality was poor which resulted in a lot of criticism and was discontinued in 2012.
- The second-generation Roadster is set to roll out in 2020 and it boasts a 0-60 time of a blistering 1.9 seconds. This would make the 2020 Tesla Roadster the quickest road car to have ever been produced.
- This was a second car produced by Tesla and unlike the Roadster before it, it did not outsource its chassis which was built in-house.
- Also unlike the Roadster, the Model S was a 4-door family sedan that provided luxury features with a better build quality.
- The first generation Model S, introduced in 2012, had a single electric motor producing 310 kW (416 hp) and 443 ft-lb (601 Nm) of torque.
- Later generations of the Model S upgraded to a Dual Motor setup. The most recent top of the line Model S is called the P100D where D stands for “Dual” motor.
- The P100D has two electric motors coupled to the front and rear axles. Their combined output is 568 kW (762 hp) and 730 lb-ft (989 Nm).
- The insane electric torque coupled with the all-wheel-drive factor of the P100D allows it to accelerate from 0-60 in just 2.28 seconds.
- The Model S really puts many higher priced supercars to shame especially when it won the MotorTrend’s 7th World’s Greatest Drag Race from the likes of Ferrari 488 GTB and the Porsche 911 Turbo S.
Model X and Model 3
- Tesla rolled out their first SUV called the Model X in 2015. Like the Model S, it also had a dual motor setup for the front and rear axles and was intended to be a practical car.
- The Model X most signature feature has to be its rear Falcon-Wing doors. They are hinged on the roof and open upwards like the Gull-Wing doors on a Mercedes SLS. Except that they are engineered to open in the tightest of spaces to improve practicality.
- The Performance version of the Model X, also called the P100D, has a combined output of 568 kW (762 hp). This is good for accelerating this 5531 lb SUV to 60mph in just 2.9 seconds.
- This makes the Model X P100D one of the two fastest accelerating SUV to currently exist. The other one being the significantly pricier Lamborghini Urus. Both of which are dead even in the quarter mile as well.
- Tesla revealed its compact sedan, called the Model 3 in 2016. It was aimed to be an affordable version of the Model S.
- Similar to the Model S, it had a 4-door chassis that provided the same level of excellent build quality in a slightly smaller package.
- It was originally set to be named the Model E but was abandoned due to Ford’s trademark.
- Unlike the Model X and Model S, the Model 3 is not much of a performance oriented car but does benefit from the instant acceleration thanks to its electric powertrain.
- When it comes to range, the Model S, Model X and Model 3 have 335, 289 and 310 miles respectively which is the best in business when it comes to EVs.
- You can charge your Tesla at home, using a conventional 3-pin socket, but it can take a while to fill up. The Model S takes around 20-30 hours to charge which can be inconvenient.
- To cater this, Tesla also sells Home charging points that can improve the rate your Tesla charges its batteries. The Home charging point takes around 3 hours to charge the Model S.
- However, these times are nothing compared to the 50 minutes to a full charge at Tesla’s Supercharging Stations.
- Supercharging Stations are Tesla’s version of a fuel station for an electric vehicle. Except that they provide a fast electric charge facility for your Tesla and are completely free of cost.
- The Supercharger Network is vast with over 11,000 stations worldwide and still growing for added convenience to Tesla owners.
- The Supercharger Stations are currently only compatible with Teslas. However, Elon Musk has made clear that other car companies can also use this technology to make electric vehicles more convenient for the public.
- Tesla has over 45,000 employees, each specified to one of the many operations carried out by the tech giant.
- Along with regular job openings like Product Support Engineer or Service Technician, Tesla also offers internship opportunities for University Students.
- The Internships include Automation Controls Engineering, Technical Writer Internship, IT Infrastructure internship and so on.
- Tesla has just released an update on their mobile app for iOS and Android. The new update will automatically detect your location and let you know about a nearby Supercharger station that isn’t fully occupied.
- Tesla’s latest Autopilot update improves vehicle detection in adjacent lanes. It would be useful for detecting cars especially in blind spots during lane changes.
- Model 3 production at Gigafactory 3 shall commence from the second half of 2019. The construction of this Tesla factory is rapidly under way and is soon expected to be fully functional.