At first, Tesla wasn’t taken seriously but led by its visionary CEO Elon Musk the company has become a multi-billion dollar enterprise with almost 5 billion dollars in equity, 23 billion in assets, and 7 billion dollars in revenue last year.
Enough with the introduction, let’s get to it here are 14 things you didn’t know about Tesla Motors.
#1 Elon Musk is not the founder of Tesla but he wanted in
Although, Elon Musk is the mastermind who turned Tesla and to be the multibillion-dollar giant it is today. He wasn’t the only person behind the idea. Tesla was started by Martin Eberhard and Marked Tabhening, and later Elon Musk, JB Straubel, and Ian Wright joined in.
As mentioned the company was the brainchild of Martin Eberhard and Marked Tappenning in the first place and they were tackling a problem Elon had a great interest in. So he joined the company in its early days.
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Because Elon didn’t quite agree with the strategy of the at the time CEO of the company. He sort of pushed him out and installed himself as CEO and company’s chief designer.
With his constant relentless innovation business prowess and charisma that made him one of the most popular and iconic figures of the 21st century.
He managed to transform what was a small project into what is seen today as the most in-car company in the world.
Remaining today from the original group aside from Musk himself is only JB Straubel who serves as the chief technical officer.
#2 Tesla Motors was the first car manufacturer to be launched from Silicon Valley
Silicon Valley has never exactly been the place to be if you’re an automaker. The place is for tech companies, and that’s what makes Tesla so extraordinary.
Tesla is not the conventional automaker and in some respects, you can say that what it’s doing is more in place at Silicon Valley than it would have been in Detroit or Michigan.
Despite human resource technology, the company lacked access to several important resources that you don’t get in the area. In comparison to North America, which to this day is still considered the place where cars get made.
#3 The Tesla Model S was the first premium electric sedan in the world
The model asked vehicle which Tesla launched in 2012, was the world’s first premium 100% electric vehicle despite having built it from the ground up.
Tesla did not compromise on one single feature when it made the Model S for the sake of technological innovation. The car is actually very competitive if we disregard it being electric.
The Model S is a comfortable full utility, family Sedan with room for 7 passengers, with the acceleration of a sports car, being able to go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under 5 seconds.
The car has a narrow artificial intelligence installed on itself. Which means that it is able to learn as it is used. It learns about the driver, about the roads, and its environment.
If one car learned something interesting, that knowledge is distributed to all other Tesla on the road. This is called swarm intelligence.
Because of its technical elegance, premium status, and of course technological breakthrough. The Model S was the first electric vehicle to win the renowned Motor Trend Car of the Year award in 2013.
It is also the valuated car by Consumer Reports and holds the first rank in terms of consumer satisfaction ratings.
#4 Tesla’s innovations are all open-source
In June 2014 Tesla went out on a limb and tore down its patent wall it used to have in the lobby of its headquarters.
From that time, on every Tesla innovation would be open for use by any innovator out there with a promise that the company wouldn’t initiate lawsuits against anyone who would use it in good faith.
In the post that Elon Musk put up at the time on the company’s blog, he said that:
“Tesla’s real competition wasn’t with the very small percentage of electric cars being produced by other automakers. But rather with the 100 million regular cars produced every year that are contributing to the demise of the environment. Therefore anyone is welcome to use the company’s technology to help the green movement achieve further progress”
It was a great PR (Public Relations) move and it also put Tesla in the right position against the big companies who would want to bury their patents in court. Which would have been a long and expensive process.
#5 The Tesla Model X is the most expensive basic Tesla model
Model X is the supercar of the Tesla brand at the moment with a price tag of 140k dollars. The Model X is not exactly a conventional SUV.
It’s basically a sports car with the body of an SUV and the interior of a rocket ship.
The Model X can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 3.2 seconds reaching a top speed of 155 miles per hour. It features a mind-blowing bioweapon defense system.
#6 The most expensive Tesla ever sold was an upgraded Model S
At 250,820 dollars this Model S upgraded by Tsportline is believed to be the most expensive tesla vehicle ever sold at least so far.
Above its 123k dollar baseline, the car has 82k dollar worth of upgrades including a dazzling 25k dollar, interior a carbon-fiber body kit, and $7,500 wheels.
#7 In October 2016 Tesla announced that all Tesla vehicles will be produced carrying self-driving hardware and technology
Right now, Tesla vehicles are packed with everything needed for full self-driving capabilities with 8 surround cameras providing 360-degree visibility at up to a range of 250 meters. 12 updated ultrasonic sensors that complement this vision.
A forward-facing radar that is capable of seeing through heavy rain, fog, dust and even the car in front of it. In order to process all this information, the computer inside the car is a breakthrough in automotive technology.
This resulting in way better Road decisions than a human could ever make. Despite the technology being in its early stages, Elon Musk thinks he’ll be at 100% autonomy in the next two years and 3 more for the government to allow self-driving cars everywhere.
At the current date multiple, Tesla’s are gathering data and learning how to drive themselves. Despite a few small incidents, the autopilot on Tesla is dramatically outperforming the average human driver. With Tesla’s goal being to get it to at least 10 times safer than driving it yourself.
In no time, you’ll be able to lay back and relax and enjoy the luxury of your Tesla cabin as it takes you to your destination.
#8 Tesla cars can have their systems updated over-the-air
In a smartphone manner, if you’re a proud owner of a Tesla vehicle, then whatever the company has new in terms of software your car will be receiving it whether it’s in your garage or you’re driving on the road.
This is certainly one of the many revolutionary things Tesla has brought through to our world. Because now a car being outdated is not really an option except in terms of hardware.
Tesla just announced Tesla Software Version 10.04 for their cars, let me walk you throught 9 Awesome Updates in Tesla Software Version 10.0.
But make sure that your Tesla’s electronic system will be as new as it gets without any effort of yours. That’s a luxury no other automaker has yet provided.
For example, a Tesla owner last year complained that there was a slight problem with the way the car was steering. So he reached out to the company and they told him to bring the car over the next day.
That night the Tesla engineers wirelessly went through all the data from the computer of his car and adjusted it remotely.
The next morning before the owner could drive it to the factory the car had already been fixed and was behaving as new.
#9 The car could be summoned to you or send over to make you money in the future
Tesla has just launched the first version of the summon application, which currently makes you able while driving your Tesla Model S or Model X to leave it in the driveway once you get home. And you can trust it to open the garage door, park itself, and close it back. You can also call for it in the morning.
Despite this being in the beta stage at this point the vision of the project is so you would be able to get in your car, the car would drive you to work you get out of the car and it goes on its way when you’re done the car comes back and picks you up.
One of the revolutionary things Elon Musk is considering is creating a network of Tesla’s where if you want, you could rent out your autonomous car when you’re not using it.
For example, when you get to work you could enable your car to be used by the network sort of like a Taxi or an Uber. While the driverless car picks up and delivers people to their destination on its own. It’s generating income for you once this is implemented the model 3 which costs roughly $40,000 could generate in excess of $20,000 per year on its own.
How incredible is that?
#10 Elon Musk admitted that the first Tesla Model the Roadster was a complete disaster
In May 2016, Tesla was holding its annual shareholder’s meeting, and during that meeting, Elon Musk opened up completely about his thoughts on the Tesla endeavor at its outset. He said:
“The first Tesla Model the Roadster was a failure”
In 2008 when the roadster was reviewed on top gear Jeremy Clarkson said:
“It was a barely running science experiment. But that it stood no chance at the Top Gear track. Which Tesla responded to by suing the show”.
Must also confess in the meeting, that his bet on the company when he first co-founded it was a mere 10% chance of survival. He also said:
“Their efforts were completely clueless but that they had a cause they wanted to serve in order to create a positive effect”.
Despite being a failure from the single product standpoint, the few customers they got at the beginning including celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger was what got them closer to a Model S and that in turn got them to Model 3.
#11 Tesla has a huge network of superchargers spread all over the world
So they’re making a play not only in the car industry but also on the energy as fuel side, although Tesla vehicles are intended to be charged at home just like a mobile phone.
There are 810 supercharger stations with 5195 superchargers spread everywhere in North America, Western Europe, and China.
Although that number might sound low right now, it’s rapidly increasing to support the demand for electric cars. The purpose of these supercharger stations is to aid those making long trips. Recharging your car will take as little as stopping at a gas station for coffee.
Lately, there have started to arise complaints from Tesla drivers that have been standing in queues at the supercharger stations which brings us to another innovation.
Musk announced that each station might come with a battery swap aisle? where you just drive in your battery is changed with a full one and off you go. The service will come at a premium. But it allows you to get 100% really fast.
#12 Tesla Model X is currently the safest car in the world right now
There’s been a lot of debate and controversy when 2 years ago the Tesla Model S achieved a record score of 5.4 out of 5. More than any other car ever tested.
You may be wondering how can they get more than a maximum number of points.
Well, when the NHTSA tests vehicle safety parameters, they look at all the available data and because the car is electric it cannot explode in the case of impact, unlike fossil fuel cars.
Also because the way the battery was designed it has a much lower center of gravity than the rest of the cars making it very unlikely to roll over.
With the introduction of the SUV model, Tesla pushed it even further adding a ton of features that have never been seen or heard of before, which increases the safety of the passengers.
#13 The Tesla Giga factory will be the 2nd largest building in the world from a footprint perspective
That’s right not only is the Giga factory being built in the middle of the Nevada desert. The biggest battery factory in the world it is also the 2nd largest when it comes to footprint, being only overtaken by the Boeing factory. That title goes to it easy.
The 5 billion dollar factory will be the biggest factory in the world, and above that, it will be the second-largest building.
That’s not even the most fascinating part the Giga factory will supply itself with all the energy it needs from 100% renewable sources using solar panels on its roof, as well as geothermal, and wind power. This Factory is so incredible.
The factory is designed to produce millions of lithium-ion batteries, more batteries annually than the entire human species produced ever. With the factory in place, Tesla will be able to increase its car production to 5 times for the current 100,000 cars per year to half a million.
6 thousand people will be working at the Giga Factory, with robots doing most of the manual work. What Tesla aims at is making its vehicles as affordable as possible through economies of scale.
#14 Elon Musk almost sold Tesla to Google at a certain point
In early 2013 Tesla Motors was close to going bankrupt. The Model S wasn’t selling enough there were several buyers complaining about the cars.
And the company was lacking access to capital and resort. So as Elon Musk put his staff on crisis mode he was negotiating a deal with his friends Google CEO at the time Larry Page to sell Tesla.
Before quitting, musk decided to give it one final push, the company went at full capacity to solve their deficiencies senior executives were fired, younger employees were promoted, and musk gathered staff from every department, and decided to make a relentless sales team out of them. He was quoted as saying:
“I don’t care what job you’re doing your new job is delivering cars”
Later in May of the same year, Tesla shocked everyone when it posted its first-ever quarterly profit. This is the type of situation that years from now someone will make a movie about and win awards “just saying”
The thing that excites us most about the future of the automobile industry is the self-driving part and the fact that the car becomes an autonomous asset that could generate revenue for you.