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Top 10 Tesla Motors Facts

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Sean Harris Named after the archetypal mad scientist, this company is turning its own 'crazy' ideas into reality. Welcome to WatchMojo Profiles, the series where we break down and explain well-known companies that might be on your radar. In this installment, we're counting down 10 fundamental facts you should know about Tesla Motors. Special thanks to our user Steffi for submitting the idea on our Interactive Suggestion Tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Named after the archetypal ‘mad scientist’, this company is turning its own ‘crazy’ ideas into reality. Welcome to WatchMojo Profiles, the series where we break down and explain well-known companies that might be on your radar. In this installment, we’re counting down 10 fundamental facts you should know about Tesla Motors.

#10: What Is Tesla Motors?
The Company

Tesla Motors, Inc. is an American automotive company that specializes in the manufacture of luxury electric cars. A forward thinking firm, they also make electric vehicle powertrain components and lithium-ion battery products, which are sold to other car companies, including Daimler and Toyota. Tesla Motors was founded in 2003, and has been steadily growing since then. As of June 2015, the company employs around 12,000 people.

#9: Who Created Tesla?
The Inventor

Tesla emerged out of California in the early 2000s. CEO Elon Musk later joined the original founders Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning in 2004 during the first round of funding. However, Nikola Tesla is likely the first name most would link with the brand. The Serbian inventor – born 1856, died 1943 - is still world famous for his work on alternating-current power, without which Tesla Motors wouldn’t be possible. With its name, the company pays homage to a hero of electric science.

#8: Who Currently Runs Tesla?

As of October 2015, Elon Musk was the CEO of Tesla. An international business magnate, he’s widely held as one of the leading visionaries of the twenty-first century. As well as Tesla, he’s CEO of commercial space travel company, SpaceX, he’s chairman of energy firm, SolarCity, and he’s also a co-founder of the internet banking service, PayPal. Musk has held roles at Tesla as CEO and ‘Product Architect’ ever since the 2008 financial crisis.

#7: How Much Is Tesla Worth?
The Financials

In general, Tesla Motors’ worth seems to be rising by the day. In the first quarter of 2013, it posted profits for the first time in its history, and figures have continued to rise. Share costs have skyrocketed from an initial $17, and have been resting above the $200 mark for some time. Currently, the company’s total worth is estimated between $25-30 billion, but in February 2015, Musk himself predicted that Tesla would be worth $700 billion by 2025.

#6: What Kind of Cars Does Tesla Make?
The Electric

As of October 2015, Tesla was built around four models. The Roadster was their first production vehicle, introduced in 2006, the recipient of countless awards, and built like a sports car. In 2012 came the Model S, a more family-friendly, sedan-like vehicle that was shipped worldwide in greater numbers in the years that followed. The Model X was announced in 2012, and first deliveries began in September 2015. Billed as a crossover utility vehicle, the X has a family car feel, with sports car features (including an $80,000 price tag). The Model 3 is scheduled for unveiling in 2016, with Tesla aiming for a more affordable $35,000 commercial cost and initial deliveries beginning late the next year.

#5: Do the Cars Possess Special Features?
The Safety

One of the major selling points for Tesla is that it manages to blend automotive functionality with cutting-edge aesthetics. The Model X, for example, has a panoramic windshield, double-hinged falcon doors, and an in-car HEPA filter that the company claims will bathe the cabin in medical grade air cleanliness. Beginning in 2014, the Model S also offers a pioneering autopilot mode, as well as an ultra-smart infotainment panel at the front of the car.

#4: Who Are Tesla’s Competitors?
The Rivals

As Tesla steadily proves that there is value in electric automobiles, similar startups are rapidly emerging to rival them. The Chinese company, NextEV, has promised to launch an electric supercar in 2016. California-based business, Faraday Future, offers competition a little closer to home as it plans to launch its first electric car in 2017. There’s also Renovo Motors, for those looking for an exceptionally high-end electric car. The classically styled Renovo Coupe from Renovo Motors claims a 0-60mph in 3.4 seconds, and a battery charge time of just 30 minutes.

#3: Where Can You Purchase a Tesla?
The Sales Model

Tesla is built around a fairly strict business plan of direct-to-consumer sales. Their cars are sold at a fixed price with no negotiation and no commissions, in order to allow their customers a sense of ease and security when making the purchase. However, their sales model is under consistent pressure from car dealerships that stand to make zero profit out of Tesla. In the US, the National Automobile Dealers Association has already blocked Tesla sales in some states.

#2: Has There Been Controversy Surrounding the Company?
The Recalls

Tesla’s history hasn’t always been as clean as the car it makes however, as product recalls, accidents, and in-house feuds have made past headlines. In 2009, technicians were sent out to 345 Roadsters to address a safety issue, and in 2010, 439 Roadsters were affected by another safety recall. There have also been various stories involving Tesla vehicles catching fire, usually linked with the lithium-ion batteries. And, in 2009, co-founder Martin Eberhard actually filed a lawsuit against Tesla, and CEO Musk, for slander. Eberhard was concerned that his role in the business was being downplayed, but the matter was eventually settled.

#1: What Is Telsa Motors’ Vision?
The Future

In terms of the immediate future, a $5 billion lithium-ion battery-making factory facility is currently being built in Nevada chiefly for Tesla. Once that’s finished, the Tesla production rate should rise, as should product performance. In turn, the company is aiming to offer their products at a more affordable price range within the next five years, beginning with the upcoming Model 3. The in-car gadgets are expected to continue to outperform their competitors, especially as Tesla works toward a fully autonomous, self-driving car in particular. In the future, our roads will be very different places.

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