Ian Wright (engineer) | Wikipedia audio article
Ian Wright (engineer) | Wikipedia audio article

Tesla, Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors, Inc.)
is an American automotive and energy company based in Palo Alto, California. The company
specializes in electric car manufacturing and, through its SolarCity subsidiary, solar
panel manufacturing. It operates multiple production and assembly plants, notably Gigafactory
1 near Reno, Nevada, and its main vehicle manufacturing facility at Tesla Factory in
Fremont, California. As of March 2019, Tesla sells the Model S, Model X, and Model 3 automobiles.
It is accepting reservations for the Model Y, Roadster (2020), and Semi vehicles. Tesla
also sells Powerwall and Powerpack batteries, solar panels, solar roof tiles, and some related
products. Tesla was founded in July 2003, by engineers
Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, under the name Tesla Motors. The company’s name
is a tribute to engineer Nikola Tesla. In early Series A funding, Tesla Motors was joined
by Elon Musk, J. B. Straubel and Ian Wright, all of whom are retroactively allowed to call
themselves co-founders of the company. Musk, who formerly served as chairman and is the
current chief executive officer, said that he envisioned Tesla Motors as a technology
company and independent automaker, aimed at eventually offering electric cars at prices
affordable to the average consumer. Tesla Motors shortened its name to Tesla in February
2017. After 10 years in the market, Tesla ranked
as the world’s best selling plug-in passenger car manufacturer in 2018, both as a brand
and by automotive group, with 245,240 units delivered and a market share of 12% of the
plug-in segment sales. Tesla vehicle sales in the U.S. increased by 280% from 48,000
in 2017 to 182,400 in 2018, and globally were up by 138% from 2017.==History==Tesla Motors was incorporated in July 2003
by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning who financed the company until the Series A round
of funding. The founders were influenced to start the
company after GM recalled all its EV1 electric cars in 2003 and then destroyed them.
Elon Musk led the Series A round of investment in February 2004, joining Tesla’s board of
directors as its chairman. Tesla’s primary goal was to commercialize
electric vehicles, starting with a premium sports car aimed at early adopters and then
moving into more mainstream vehicles, including sedans and affordable compacts.Musk took an
active role within the company and oversaw Roadster product design at a detailed level.
In addition to his daily operational roles, Musk was the controlling investor in Tesla
from the first financing round, funding $6.5M the Series A capital investment round of US$7.5
million with personal funds. Musk later led Tesla Motors’ Series B, $9M
of US$13 million, and co-led the third, $12M of US$40 million round in May 2006.
Tesla’s third round included investment from prominent entrepreneurs including Google co-founders
Sergey Brin & Larry Page, former eBay President Jeff Skoll, Hyatt heir Nick Pritzker and added
the VC firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Capricorn Management and The Bay Area Equity Fund managed
by JPMorgan Chase. The fourth round in May 2007 added another US$45 million and brought
the total investments to over US$105 million through private financing.==Strategy==
Tesla attempts to change the automotive industry by creating many innovative pieces that fit
together; this strategy was called “complex coordination” by Tesla investor Peter Thiel.
Its marketing, production, sales and technology strategies all are notably different from
its competitors. Tesla’s automotive strategy is to emulate
typical technological-product life cycles and initially target affluent buyers, and
then move into larger markets at lower price points. The battery and electric drivetrain
technology for each model would be developed and partially paid for through the sales of
earlier models. The Roadster was low-volume and priced at US$109,000. Model S and Model
X targeted the broader luxury market. Model 3 is aimed at a higher-volume segment. This
business strategy is common in the technology industry. According to a Musk blog post, “New
technology in any field takes a few versions to optimize before reaching the mass market,
and in this case it is competing with 150 years and trillions of dollars spent on gasoline
cars.” Tesla’s production strategy includes a high
degree of vertical integration (80% in 2016), which includes component production and proprietary
charging infrastructure. The company operates large factories to capture economies of scale.
Tesla builds electric powertrain components for vehicles from other automakers, including
the Smart ED2 ForTwo electric drive (the lowest-priced car from Daimler AG), the Toyota RAV4 EV,
and Freightliner’s Custom Chassis Electric Van. Vertical integration is rare in the automotive
industry, where companies typically outsource 80% of components to suppliers, and focus
on engine manufacturing and final assembly. Tesla’s sales strategy is to sell its vehicles
online and in company-owned showrooms rather than through a conventional dealer network.
Moving towards an e-commerce strategy, customers are able to customize and order their vehicles
online.Tesla’s technology strategy focuses on pure-electric propulsion technology, and
transferring other approaches from the technology industry to transportation, such as online
software updates. Tesla allows its technology patents to be used by anyone in good faith.
Licensing agreements include provisions whereby the recipient agrees not to file patent suits
against Tesla, or to copy its designs directly. Tesla retained control of its other intellectual
property, such as trademarks and trade secrets to prevent direct copying of its technology.Tesla
Human Resources VP Arnnon Geshuri committed to bringing manufacturing jobs “back to California”.
In 2015, Geshuri led a hiring surge about which he said: “In the last 14 months we’ve
had 1.5 million applications from around the world. People want to work here.” Geshuri
emphasizes hiring veterans, saying “Veterans are a great source of talent for Tesla, and
we’re going after it.”==Sales==
Tesla’s global sales since 2012 totaled over 532,000 units at the end of 2018, of which,
over 245,000 were delivered in 2018, up almost 138% from 2017. Year over year Tesla U.S.
vehicle sales from 2017 to 2018 increased by 280% from 48,000 to 182,400. As of October
2018, Tesla’s sales represented about 20% of the all-electric cars on the world’s roads,
according to Navigant Research. In July 2017, Tesla said their vehicles had traveled 5 billion
miles (8 billion km). In 2016 BYD Auto was the world’s top selling
plug-in car manufacturer with 101,183 units sold, followed by Tesla with 76,243. However,
Tesla revenues ranked first with US$6.35 billion, while BYD notched US$3.88 billion. Also in
2016, Tesla sold US$1 billion worth of cars in China, the world’s largest market for electric
vehicles, and in October of the following year it reached an agreement with the Chinese
government to build a factory in Shanghai. After ranking third by brand in 2017, behind
BYD and BAIC, Tesla ranked as the world’s best selling plug-in passenger car manufacturer
in 2018, both as a brand and by automotive group, with 245,240 units delivered, capturing
a market share of 12% of all plug-in cars sold globally in 2018, followed by BYD Auto
with 227,152 plug-in passenger cars delivered.In August 2015, Tesla launched a revamp of its
stores to include interactive displays focused on safety, autopilot, charging network and
motors. As of October 2016, Tesla operated about 260 galleries or retail locations in
the United States. In June 2016, Tesla opened its first store-within-a-store: a small outpost
within the Nordstrom department store at The Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles. In 2017,
Tesla opened retail locations in Dubai and South Korea.Foreseeing Germany as its second
market after the U.S. (and the largest in Europe), in 2016 Tesla stated the Dutch (Dienst
Wegverkeer) RDW-issued Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA) should be accepted as a legal
compliance document, with no need to seek specific national type of approvals in EU
member states. In 2017 Tesla had a US$52 million marketing budget and used a referral program
and word of mouth to attract buyers.===Production and sales by quarter===Tesla deliveries vary significantly by month
due to regional issues such as ship availability and registration. Tesla does not follow the
former auto industry standard of monthly reporting; GM and Ford changed from monthly to quarterly
sales reporting in 2018 and 2019. Some monthly sales are estimated by media.===US dealership disputes===Tesla operates stores and galleries—usually
located in shopping malls—in many U.S. states. However, customers buy vehicles only from
the Tesla website. The stores serve as showrooms that allow people to learn about the company
and its vehicles. Some galleries are located in states with restrictive dealer protection
laws that prohibit discussing price, financing, and test drives, as well as other restrictions.
Tesla’s strategy of direct customer sales and owning stores and service centers is different
from the standard dealership model in the global vehicle marketplace. Tesla is the only
automaker that sells cars directly to consumers; all others use independently-owned dealerships,
although many provide online configuration and financing. 48 states have laws that limit
or ban manufacturers from selling vehicles directly to consumers, and although Tesla
has no independent dealerships, dealership associations in multiple states have filed
lawsuits over Tesla’s sales practices. Countries other than U.S. do not protect dealers.
The Federal Trade Commission recommends allowing direct manufacturer sales, which analysts
believe would save consumers 8% in average vehicle price.In February 2019, Tesla announced
that it would shut down the bulk of its stores and begin to sell cars exclusively through
the internet. The next month, the company reversed its decision, saying in a government
filing that it would only close about half the number of showrooms it had originally
intended to.===Used vehicles===
Under a buyback program called the Resale Value Guarantee available in 37 U.S. states,
a Tesla Model S sold new before July 1, 2016 included the right to return it after three
years with reimbursement of 43% to 50% of its initial price. This reimbursement matched
the trade-in values of competitive German luxury cars of that age. In addition to maintaining
the resale value, Tesla hoped to secure a supply of used cars to refurbish and re-sell
with warranty. According to Automotive News, the profit margin on used car sales in the
U.S. is about triple that on new cars, and Tesla’s direct sales would allow them to capture
resale profits. Tesla ended the program in 2016, although they retained the Residual
Value Guarantee on leased vehicles.In May 2015, Tesla started selling refurbished Model
S cars in the U.S. and within a month sold 1,600 cars. As of July 2017, over 80 used
Model S and Model X cars were for sale, with either a four-year, 50,000-mile warranty or
a two-year, 100,000-mile warranty for vehicles above 50,000 miles. As of September 2015,
similar programs existed in Canada, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Britain,
Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.==Technology==
As a vertically-integrated manufacturer, Tesla has had to master multiple technology domains,
including batteries, electric motors, sensors, and artificial intelligence.===Batteries===Unlike other automakers, Tesla does not use
individual large battery cells, but thousands of small, cylindrical, lithium-ion commodity
cells like those used in consumer electronics. It uses a version of these cells that is designed
to be cheaper to manufacture and lighter than standard cells by removing some safety features.
According to Tesla, these features are redundant because of the advanced thermal management
system and an intumescent chemical in the battery to prevent fires. Panasonic is the
sole supplier of the cells for Model S, Model X, and Model 3 and cooperates with Tesla in
the Gigafactory 1’s ’21–70′ cells.In February 2016, Tesla battery cell costs were estimated
at US$200 per kWh. Tesla indicated later in 2016 that their battery cells cost less than
$190/kWh. Still later that year Argonne Labs estimated $163/kWh at a production rate of
500,000 packs per year. In the 2018 Tesla Shareholder meeting, Elon Musk stated battery
cell cost could be $100/kWh this year (2018). 2020 would bring $100/kWh Tesla battery packs
(as opposed to battery cell).The batteries are placed under the vehicle floor. This saves
interior and trunk space but increases risk of battery damage by debris or impact. The
Model S has 0.25 in (6.4 mm) aluminum-alloy armor plate. CTO Straubel expected batteries
to last 10–15 years, and discounts using electric cars to charge the grid (V2G) because
the related battery wear outweighs economic benefit. He also prefers recycling over re-use
for grid once they reach the end of their useful life for vehicles. Since 2008, Tesla
has worked with ToxCo/Kinsbursky to recycle worn out RoHS batteries, which will be an
integral part of all Gigafactories.===Motors===
Tesla makes two kinds of electric motors. A three-phase four-pole AC induction motor
with a copper rotor (by which the Tesla logo is inspired) is used in the Model S and Model
X, and permanent magnet motors are used in the Model 3 and Semi. Motors for the Model
S and Model X are made at Tesla Factory, while motors for Model 3 are made at Gigafactory
1.===Autopilot===Tesla Autopilot provides semi-autonomous driver
assist beginning in September 2014. Tesla replaced its sensors and software in 2016
(Hardware version 2, or “HW2”). As of 2017, Autopilot included adaptive cruise control,
lane departure warning, emergency braking, Autosteer (semi-automated steering), Autopark
(parallel and perpendicular parking) and Summon (recalling the vehicle from a parking place).
HW2 includes eight cameras and twelve ultrasonic sensors, in addition to forward-facing radar.
HW2.5 was released in mid-2017 that upgraded HW2 with a second GPU and, for the Model 3
only, a driver-facing camera.At the end of 2016, Tesla expected to demonstrate full autonomy
by the end of 2017, which is now expected in 2019. In April 2017 Musk predicted that
in around two years drivers would be able to sleep in their vehicle while it drives
itself.In April 2019, Tesla announced that all cars, excluding the Tesla Model 3, will
include autopilot moving forward.===Glass===
In November 2016, the company announced the Tesla glass technology group. The group produced
the roof glass for the Tesla Model 3 and for use in SolarCity roof tiles announced in October
2016. The tiles contain an embedded solar collector, and are one-third lighter than
standard roof tiles.==Vehicle models==As of January 2019, Tesla offers three car
models: the Model S, Model X and Model 3. The firm’s first vehicle, the first-generation
Tesla Roadster is no longer sold.===Production=======
Model S====Model S deliveries began on June 22, 2012.
The first delivery in Europe took place in August 2013. Deliveries in China began in
April 2014. First deliveries of the right-hand-drive model destined for the UK, Australia, Hong
Kong and Japan came in 2014. As of May 14, 2019, the Model S has three configurations:
the Model S Standard Range, the Model S Long Range, and the Model S Performance with EPA
ranges of 285 miles (459 km), 375 miles (604 km), and 345 miles (555 km) respectively. With an estimated 50,931 units sold in 2016,
the Model S ranked as the world’s best-selling plug-in car for the second year in a row.
As of September 2018, the Model S, with global sales of 250,000 units, ranks as the world’s
second best selling plug-in electric car in history after the Nissan Leaf (over 350,000
units).The United States is the world’s leading Model S market with an estimated 136,542 units
sold through September 2018. Norway ranked as the Model S largest overseas market as
of November 2016, with 11,802 new units registered. The Tesla Model S became the first electric
car ever to top the monthly sales ranking in any country, when the electric car achieved
first place in the Norwegian new car sales list in September 2013.In May 2010 Tesla purchased
a stake in what would become the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, for US$42 million,
and opened the facility in October 2010. For the European market, a final assembly plant
and European Distribution Center are part of the Tesla facilities in Tilburg, Netherlands.
Cars are built and tested in Fremont; then the battery pack, the electric motor and parts
are disassembled and shipped separately to Tilburg, where they are reassembled.Among
other awards, the Model S won the 2013 “Motor Trend Car of the Year”, the 2013 “World Green
Car”, Automobile Magazine’s 2013 “Car of the Year”, and Time Magazine Best 25 Inventions
of the Year 2012 award.====Model X====The Tesla Model X is a mid-size crossover
SUV with a lightweight aluminum body. Model X deliveries started in September 2015. It
is offered in 5-, 6- and 7-passenger configurations. Notably, the passenger doors are articulating
“falcon-wing” designs that open vertically. Production was rescheduled several times,
from 2013 to late 2014, to the second quarter of 2015, to the third quarter of 2015. In
August 2015, user groups estimated around 30,000 X pre-orders, compared to 12,000 for
the S.Deliveries of the Model X Signature series began on September 29, 2015. Model
X sales totaled 2,400 units during the first quarter of 2016, rising to 4,638 in the second
quarter of 2016. Global deliveries totaled 25,312 units in 2016, and 46,535 in 2017.In
September 2016, the Model X ranked as the top selling plug-in electric car in Norway.
Previously, the Model S had been the top selling new car four times. Cumulative sales since
inception totaled 106,689 units through September 2018. The United States is its main market
with an estimated 57,327 units sold through September 2018.====Model 3====The Model 3 (originally stylized as “☰”) is
Tesla’s third-generation car. The car was originally intended to be called the Model
E, but after a lawsuit from Ford that holds the trademark on “Model E”, Musk announced
on July 16, 2014 that the car would be called “Model 3” instead. The standard Model 3 is
expected to deliver an EPA-rated all-electric range of 220 miles (350 km), while the long
range model delivers 325 miles (523 km).On March 31, 2016, Tesla unveiled the car. Potential
customers began to reserve spots on March 31 with a refundable deposit. Tens of thousands
were reported waiting to reserve their spot. As of April 7, 2016, one week after the unveiling,
Tesla reported over 325,000 reservations, representing sales of over US$14 billion.
As of July 2017, Tesla reported about 500,000 reservations. Bloomberg News claimed “the
Model 3’s unveiling was unique in the 100-year history of the mass-market automobile.” Bloomberg
compared it to the 1955 Citroën DS that took in 80,000 deposits over 10-days at the Paris
Auto Show. Tesla expected to invest between US$2 billion
and US$2.5 billion in capital expenditures to support Model 3 production. Limited vehicle
production began in July 2017. The first 30 units were delivered at a special event on
July 28, 2017. Customer deliveries totaled 1,764 units in the U.S. in 2017. In June 2018
production reached 5,000 per week. In January 2019, Tesla announced it would cut its full-time
workforce by 7% – equal to about 3,150 employees – in order to reduce the cost of the Model
3 from $44,000 to $35,000. Musk explained that while the company had “made great progress,
our products are still too expensive for most people … There isn’t any other way.”The
Model 3 topped plug-in electric car sales in the U.S. in 2018, with an estimated all-time
record of 139,782 units delivered, after being the top-selling plug-in car in the country
for 12 consecutive months since January 2018, and marking the first time a plug-in car sold
more than 100,000 units in a single year. In addition, it was listed as the best selling
plug-in car in California in 2018 with 51,293 units. The Tesla Model 3 also topped global
sales of plug-in electric passenger cars in 2018 with 146,055 units delivered. Global
sales since inception totaled 198,719 units through March 2019.On February 28, 2019, Tesla
announced that they would begin to roll out the Standard Range base model starting at
$35,000. In January 2019, the Model 3 passed the Model S to become the top selling all-electric
car in the U.S. ever, and, the next month, also passed the Chevrolet Volt to become the
all-time best-selling plug-in electric car in the U.S. Since inception, about 164,000
Model 3 cars have been delivered in the U.S. through March 2019.The Tesla Model 3 comes
in 3 trims of the car. Standard Range Plus RWD, Dual Motor AWD Long Range and Performance
models.===Unveiled=======2020 Roadster====Through a surprise reveal at the end of the
event that introduced the Semi on November 16, 2017, Tesla unveiled the 2020 Roadster.
Musk said that the new model will have a range of 620 miles (1,000 km) on the 200 kWh battery
pack and will achieve 0–60 mph in 1.9 seconds; it also will achieve 0–100 mph in 4.2 seconds,
and the top speed will be over 250 mph (400 km/h). The vehicle will have three electric
motors allowing for all-wheel drive, and torque vectoring during cornering.At the time, the
base price was set at US$200,000 while the first 1,000 units, the Founder’s series, would
sell for US$250,000. Reservations required a deposit of US$50,000, and those who ordered
the Founder’s series paid the US$250,000 in full upon ordering. Those who made a reservation
at the event were allowed a test drive with a driver in the prototype.====Tesla Semi====The Tesla Semi is an all-electric Class 8
semi-trailer truck first mentioned in the 2016 Tesla Master plan. Production is expected
to begin in 2020. The vehicle’s official announcement was at
a November 16, 2017 press conference where two prototypes were shown. Musk confirmed
that the range would be 500 miles (800 km) and that the zero to 60 mph time would be
5 seconds versus 15 seconds for a similar truck with a diesel engine. The Semi will
be powered by four electric motors of the type used in the Tesla Model 3 and will include
an extensive set of hardware sensors to enable it to stay in its own lane, a safe distance
away from other vehicles, and later, when software and regulatory conditions allow,
provide self-driving car operation on highways. Musk also announced that the company would
be involved in installing a solar-powered global network of the Tesla Megacharger devices
to make the Semi more attractive to potential long-haul customers. A 30-minute charge would
provide 400 miles (640 km) of range.====Model Y====In August 2013, Tesla trademarked the name
“Model Y”. In October 2015, Musk described a future “Model Y”. In August 2017, Tesla
announced that the Model Y would use the Model 3 platform.In February 2018, Tesla announced
that they would unveil Model Y production plans within the next 3–6 months and posted
open positions for Model Y production and design. In May 2018, Musk said that the Model
Y will be built on a platform that shares many components with the Model 3, and that
the Model Y will be in production at the earliest in early 2020. In July 2018, Musk rescheduled
the Model Y unveiling to be March 2019. In March 2019, Musk tweeted, “Model Y unveil
event on March 14 at LA Design Studio” also adding that “the Model Y would be 10% bigger
than the Model 3 so would cost 10% more”.The Model Y unveiling occurred on March 14, 2019.
The car will have up to three rows of seats (up to 7 people) and will have a range of
up to 300 miles (480 km).===Discontinued=======
Roadster (2008)====The Tesla Roadster is a battery electric vehicle
(BEV) sports car, based on the Lotus Elise chassis, that was produced by the electric
car firm Tesla Motors (now Tesla, Inc.) in California from 2008 to 2012. The Roadster
was the first highway legal serial production all-electric car to use lithium-ion battery
cells and the first production all-electric car to travel more than 320 km (200 miles)
per charge. It is also the first production car to be launched into orbit, carried by
a Falcon Heavy rocket in a test flight on February 6, 2018.===Other concepts===
In 2016, Musk indicated he hoped to one day produce a car cheaper than the Model 3:
There will be future cars that will be even more affordable down the road . . . With fourth
generation and smaller cars and what not, we’ll ultimately be in a position where everyone
can afford the car. Musk wanted the first three models to spell
“SEX”, but Ford owns the trademark to “Model E”, so he settled for “S3XY” by making the
Model Y.On July 20, 2016, Musk detailed his new master plan for Tesla. It includes more
affordable cars produced in higher volume, solar-power roofs, mid-size vehicles, SUVs
and pickup trucks, as well as the refinement of autonomous vehicles and the creation of
a sharing economy, in which cars can be active while the owner is not using them. Tesla intends
to build a minibus on the Model X platform. In May 2017, Musk indicated that he might
favor a 10-12 passenger version of the Model X over a dedicated minibus design.At the company’s
annual shareholder meeting in June 2018, Musk revealed Tesla’s intention to enter a new
market segment, offering a compact hatchback in “less than five years”. He provided no
details, and dodged a question about also producing a subcompact. Musk also put to rest
hopes for a Tesla motorcycle, saying “we’re not going to do motorcycles”.In April 2019
Elon Musk announced Tesla is going to launch an unmanned taxi by the end of 2020. The company
plans to have more than 1 million unmanned vehicles by this time.==Battery products==
In April 2015, the company unveiled its Powerwall home and Powerpack industrial battery packs,
and quickly received orders valued at US$800 million. The two models included a 7 kilowatt-hour
(kWh) wall-mounted unit and 10 kWh unit. The company announced larger-scale configurations
for industrial users in units of 100 kWh. The company planned to open source its patents
for the entire range. Initial cells were made by Panasonic. When
production shifted to Gigafactory 1, Tesla expected costs to drop by 30%.In September
2016, Tesla announced it had been chosen “through a competitive process” to supply Southern
California Edison (SCE) with 20 MW power (and 80 MWh energy) of battery storage. In May,
regulators ordered SCE to invest in utility-scale battery systems after natural gas provider
Southern California Gas leaked 1.6 million pounds (730 t) of methane into the atmosphere
when a well ruptured at its Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility.In November 2016, American
Samoa’s island of Ta’u with a population of approximately 600 was converted to a solar
and battery microgrid from diesel-based energy generation. In 2018, two microgrid projects
were built in Samoa on the main island of Upolu: one at the Fiaga power station and
one at the Faleolo International Airport.After Hurricane Maria in September 2017, Elon Musk
offered to work with Puerto Rico’s government in rebuilding the island’s electrical grid.
In October 2017, Tesla brought 700 solar panels to the “Hospital del Niño,” where the batteries
helped bring care back to 3,000 patients who needed constant care.In June 2017, Hawaii’s
Kauai island received a large solar and battery installation, converting the island’s energy
generation to 97% solar.In July 2017, Tesla won a contract to install the world’s biggest
grid-scale battery in South Australia by promising installation within 100 days. The Hornsdale
Power Reserve with total capacity of 100 megawatts was connected to the grid on December 1, 2017.
As of January 2019, Tesla was in talks with the government of Greece to provide solar
and battery system for their islands with a proposed pilot on Limnos.In February 2019,
Tesla announced that it planned to acquire ultracapacitor energy storage manufacturer
Maxwell Technologies.==Charging=====Supercharger network===In 2012, Tesla began building a network of
480-volt fast-charging Supercharger stations. As of December 2018, there are 1,375 Supercharger
stations operated globally with 11,414 superchargers. The Supercharger is a proprietary direct current
(DC) technology that provides up to 120 kW of power, resulting in a full charge in around
75 minutes. Tesla cars can recommend the fastest route for long-distance travel, incorporating
possible charging delays.All Tesla cars come standard with Supercharging hardware. Model
S and X cars ordered after January 15, 2017 get 400 kWh of free Supercharging credits,
which provides a range of roughly 1,000 miles (1,600 km) per year. Cars purchased before
that date received free supercharging.In December 2016, after a complaint sent to Musk via Twitter
about abuse, Tesla announced that it will start charging an “idle” fee for vehicles
that continue to occupy charging stations after they are fully charged.===Destination charging location network
===In 2014, Tesla discreetly launched the “Destination
Charging Location” Network by providing chargers to hotels, restaurants, shopping centers,
resorts and other full service stations to provide on-site vehicle charging at twice
the power of a typical charging location. On April 25, 2016, Tesla launched European
destination charging, with 150 locations and more to be added later. Chargers are installed
free of charge by Tesla-certified contractors. All installed chargers appear in the in-car
navigation system.==Facilities==
In addition to its corporate headquarters, the company operates multiple large factories
for making vehicles and their components. The company operates showrooms and galleries
around the world.===United States===Tesla was founded in San Carlos, California.
Tesla’s first retail stores were in Los Angeles, in Menlo Park, California and in Manhattan’s
Chelsea art district, followed by others in major US cities. In 2010, Tesla moved its
corporate headquarters and opened a powertrain development facility in Palo Alto.====Factories====Tesla’s first assembly plant occupies the
former NUMMI plant in Fremont, California. It is known as the Tesla Factory. As of 2016,
the plant was not highly automated—it was expected to produce some 80,000 cars with
6,000 workers compared to a “typical” plant that might produce 250,000 cars with 3,000
workers. The 370-acre (16,000,000 sq ft; 1,500,000 m2) site includes a 5,500,000-square-foot
(510,000 m2) building complex.On April 1, 2019, Tesla reached a settlement with the
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its mishandling of hazardous waste
in 2017. Tesla allowed hazardous waste to accumulate on site without a permit beyond
the allowed 90 days; the EPA found Tesla failed to “promptly clean up flammable paint and
or solvent mixtures,” left two 55-gallon containers of hazardous waste open with “no
gasket or locking mechanism,” and violated air emission standards for three leaky transmission
lines that the waste moved through.In 2015, Tesla acquired Riviera Tool & Die (with 100
employees in Michigan), one of its suppliers of stamping items. In 2017, Tesla acquired
Perbix Machine Company, a manufacturer of automated manufacturing equipment, that had
been an equipment supplier for over three years.Tesla occupies a second factory in Fremont.
The building is more than 500,000 sq ft (46,500 m2). The location is next to a SolarCity facility,
a few miles from the original Fremont plant.Gigafactory 1 is located outside Reno, Nevada. As of January
2017, it occupied 1.9 million sq ft (180,000 m2) with 4.9 million sq ft (460,000 m2) of
usable area across several floors. It produces Powerwalls and Powerpacks as well as battery
cells in partnership with Panasonic. It also produces Model 3 battery packs and drivetrains.
The factory received substantial subsidies from the local and state governments. In August
2018, Karl Hansen, a former member of the company’s security team, filed a whistleblower
tip with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In the tip, he alleged that Tesla suppressed
an internal investigation into various criminal activities at the Nevada Gigafactory. Hansen
said that the company refused to tell the DEA about several employees who were allegedly
moving cocaine and crystal methamphetamine on behalf of a Mexican drug cartel. He also
said that the company tried to get him to not report a $37 million theft of raw materials.
Additionally, he said the company fired an employee who reported the theft, and gave
the reason that the employee was “not a Tesla team player.”The Gigafactory 2 is located
in Buffalo, New York on the site of a former Republic Steel plant. It is operated by Tesla’s
SolarCity unit. The factory is a $750 million, 1.2 million square foot facility that directly
employs 500 workers. Tesla partnered with Panasonic to assemble photovoltaic panel modules.
Tesla received incentives to locate the factory in Buffalo through the Buffalo Billion program.
As of August 2017, the factory added production of solar tiles for the Tesla Solar Roof. In
January 2018, Tesla announced, after testing on employees’ roofs, that it would begin installing
the Tesla Solar Roof on customers’ homes “within the next few months”.===Canada===Tesla’s first “new design” store opened on
November 16, 2012 in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, Ontario. As of May 2017,
eight Tesla stores/galleries operated in Montreal, Quebec City, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver.===Europe===Tesla opened its first European store in June
2009 in London. Tesla’s European headquarters are in Amsterdam. A 62,000 sq ft (5,800 m2)
European service center operates in Tilburg, Netherlands, along with a 77,650 m2 (835,800
sq ft) assembly facility that adds drivetrain, battery and software to the (imported) car
body to reduce EU import tax. Musk confirmed in June 2014 and November 2016 its long-term
plans to build a car and battery Gigafactory in Europe, which several countries have campaigned
to host.In late 2016, Tesla acquired German engineering firm Grohmann Engineering in Prüm
as a new division dedicated to helping Tesla increase the automation and effectiveness
of its manufacturing process. After winding down existing contracts with other auto manufacturers,
Grohmann works exclusively on Tesla projects.As of February 2018, Tesla is building a small
research and development office in Athens, Greece.In July 2018, it was reported that
Tesla was exploring building its first major European factory in Germany or the Netherlands.===Asia===Showrooms and service centers operate in Hong
Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. Tesla opened its first Japanese showroom in Tokyo, Japan, in
October 2010. In South Korea, it opened two showrooms in March 2017 and a service center
in late 2017. In August, 2017, Taiwan opened its first service center and showroom.====Gigafactory 3====
In July 2018, Tesla signed an agreement with Chinese authorities to build a factory in
Shanghai, China, which is Tesla’s first Gigafactory outside of the United States. The groundbreaking
ceremony was held on January 7, 2019.===Middle East===
Tesla opened a showroom and a service center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in 2017 as
the first expansion of Tesla in the Middle East. Five ultra-fast superchargers were also
built between cities with a planned 50 destination chargers in the United Arab Emirates by the
end of 2017. The Dubai Department of Economic Development stated that it will assist Tesla
expansion across the United Arab Emirates as well as neighboring countries in the Middle
East. One of the first Tesla customers was Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority which
ordered 200 Tesla Model S and Model X vehicles that were added to Dubai Taxi Corporation’s
Tesla opened a showroom in Sydney’s Martin Place in 2010, followed by a showroom and
service center in Melbourne in 2015.==Partners==
Unlike many traditional manufacturers, Tesla operates as an original equipment manufacturer
(OEM), manufacturing powertrain components for other automakers. Tesla has confirmed
partnerships with Daimler and Toyota. It also works with Panasonic as a partner in battery
and solar panel research and development. The company supplies battery packs for Freightliner
Trucks’ Custom Chassis electric van.===Daimler AG===
Daimler AG and Tesla began working together in late 2007. On May 19, 2009, Daimler bought
a stake of less than 10% in Tesla for a reported US$50 million. As part of the collaboration,
Herbert Kohler, Vice-President of E-Drive and Future Mobility at Daimler, took a Tesla
board seat. On July 13, 2009, Daimler AG sold 40% of its May acquisition to Aabar Investments
PJSC. Aabar is an Abu Dhabi government investment vehicle. In October 2014, Daimler sold its
remaining holdings.====Mercedes-Benz A-Class====Tesla built electric-powertrain components
for the Mercedes-Benz A-Class E-Cell, an electric car with a range of 120 mi (200 km) and 214
ft⋅lbf (290 N⋅m) of torque. The 36 kWh battery contained approximately 4,000 lithium-ion
cells. 500 cars were planned to be built for trial in Europe beginning in September 2011.====Mercedes-Benz B-Class ED====
Tesla produced and co-developed the Mercedes-Benz B250e’s powertrain, which ended production
in 2017. The electric motor was rated 136 PS (100 kW; 134 hp) and 310 N⋅m (229 lb⋅ft),
with a 36 kWh battery. The vehicle had a driving range of 200 km (124 mi) with a top speed
of 150 km/h (93 mph).====Smart cars====Smart ED2s have a 14 kilowatt-hours (50 MJ)
lithium-ion battery and a powertrain from Tesla.===Toyota===
On May 20, 2010, Tesla and Toyota announced a partnership to work on electric vehicle
development, which included Toyota’s US$50 million future conditional investment in Tesla
and Tesla’s US$42 million purchase of a portion of the former NUMMI factory. Tesla cooperated
on the development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support.
On June 5, 2017, Toyota announced that it had sold all of its shares in Tesla and halted
co-operation, as Toyota had created their own electric car division.====Toyota RAV4 EV====Tesla and Toyota announced in July 2010 an
agreement to develop a second generation of the compact Toyota RAV4 EV. A second generation
RAV4 EV demonstrator was unveiled at the October 2010 Los Angeles Auto Show. Toyota built 35
of these converted RAV4s (Phase Zero vehicles) for a demonstration and evaluation program
that ran through 2011. The lithium metal-oxide battery and other powertrain components were
supplied by Tesla. In August 2012, the production version RAV4 EV was unveiled; the battery
pack, electronics and powertrain components are similar to those used in the Tesla Model
S sedan launched in June 2012, and the Phase Zero vehicles used components from the Roadster.The
RAV4 EV had a limited production run which resulted in just under 3,000 vehicles being
produced. The RAV4 EV hasn’t been on the market since 2014 and there aren’t any known plans
to revive the model.===Freightliner===
Tesla supplies battery packs for Freightliner Trucks’ Custom Chassis electric van.===Panasonic===On January 7, 2010, Tesla and battery cell
maker Panasonic announced that they would together develop nickel-based lithium-ion
battery cells for electric vehicles. Naoto Noguchi, President of Panasonic’s Energy Company,
said that the Japanese firm’s cells would be used for Tesla’s “current and next-generation
EV battery pack.” The partnership was part of Panasonic’s US$1 billion investment over
three years in facilities for lithium-ion cell research, development and production.Beginning
in 2010 Panasonic invested US$30 million for a multi-year collaboration on next generation
cells designed specifically for electric vehicles.In July 2014, Panasonic reached a basic agreement
with Tesla to participate in Gigafactory 1.Tesla and Panasonic also collaborate on the manufacturing
and production of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules at Gigafactory 2 in Buffalo, New
In August 2015, Tesla partnered with Airbnb to provide destination chargers at certain
host houses, initially in California.===Liberty Mutual===
Tesla partnered with Liberty Mutual Insurance Company to offer an auto-insurance plan designed
specifically for its electric cars. The plan was made available to US customers In October
2017.==Lawsuits and controversies==From 2008 to 2018 there have been many lawsuits
filed by and against Tesla.===Securities Litigation Relating to SolarCity’s
Financial Statements and Guidance===On March 28, 2014, a purported stockholder
class action was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
against SolarCity and two of its officers. The complaint alleges violations of federal
securities laws and seeks unspecified compensatory damages and other relief on behalf of a purported
class of purchasers of SolarCity’s securities from March 6, 2013 to March 18, 2014. On March
8, 2018, the Court upheld the District Court ruling of dismissal and judgment in Tesla’s
favor. The case is concluded.===Securities Litigation Relating to the
SolarCity Acquisition===Between September 1, 2016 and October 5, 2016,
seven lawsuits were filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware by purported
stockholders of Tesla challenging the company’s acquisition of SolarCity. Following consolidation,
the lawsuit names as defendants the members of Tesla’s board of directors as then constituted
and alleges, among other things, that board members breached their fiduciary duties in
connection with the acquisition. The complaint asserts both derivative claims and direct
claims on behalf of a purported class and seeks, among other relief, unspecified monetary
damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs. The case is set for trial in March 2020.===Securities Litigation Relating to Production
of Model 3 Vehicles===On October 10, 2017, a stockholder class action
was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against Tesla,
two of its current officers, and a former officer. The complaint alleges violations
of federal securities laws and seeks unspecified compensatory damages and other relief on behalf
of a purported class of purchasers of Tesla securities from May 4, 2016 to October 6,
2017.===Litigation Relating to 2018 CEO Performance
Award===On June 4, 2018, a purported Tesla stockholder
filed a putative class and derivative action in the Delaware Court of Chancery against
Mr. Musk and the members of Tesla’s board of directors as then constituted, alleging
that such board members breached their fiduciary duties by approving the stock-based compensation
plan. The complaint seeks, among other things, monetary damages and rescission or reformation
of the stock-based compensation plan.===Securities Litigation related to Potential
Going Private Transaction===Between August 10, 2018 and September 6, 2018,
nine purported stockholder class actions were filed against Tesla and Elon Musk in connection
with Elon Musk’s August 7, 2018 Twitter post that he was considering taking Tesla private.
All of the suits are now pending in the United States District Court for the Northern District
of California. Although the complaints vary in certain respects, they each purport to
assert claims for violations of federal securities laws related to Mr. Musk’s statement and seek
unspecified compensatory damages and other relief on behalf of a purported class of purchasers
of Tesla’s securities. The hearing on the motion to dismiss is tentatively set for June
20, 2019.Between October 17, 2018 and November 9, 2018, five derivative lawsuits were filed
in the Delaware Court of Chancery against Mr. Musk and the members of Tesla’s board
of directors as then constituted in relation to statements made and actions connected to
a potential going private transaction. These cases have been stayed pending resolution
of the stockholder class action.===Settlement with SEC related to Potential
Going Private Transaction===On October 16, 2018, the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York entered a final judgment approving the terms of a
settlement filed with the Court on September 29, 2018, in connection with the actions taken
by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) relating to Elon Musk’s prior
statement that he was considering taking Tesla private. Without admitting or denying any
of the SEC’s allegations, and with no restriction on Mr. Musk’s ability to serve as an officer
or director on the Board (other than as its Chair), among other things, Tesla and Mr.
Musk paid civil penalties of $20 million each and agreed that an independent director will
serve as Chair of the Board for at least three years.==Product issues=====
Recalls===As of March 2018, Tesla had issued two product
recalls for the Roadster, six for the Model S, and two for the Model X.On April 20, 2017,
Tesla issued a worldwide recall of 53,000 (~70%) of the 76,000 vehicles it sold in 2016
due to faulty parking brakes that could become stuck and “prevent the vehicles from moving.”On
March 29, 2018, Tesla issued a worldwide recall of 123,000 Model S cars built before April
2016 due to corrosion-susceptible power steering bolts that could fail and require the driver
to use “increased force” to control the vehicle.===Crashes and fires===On October 1, 2013, a Model S caught fire
after the vehicle hit metal debris on a highway in Kent, Washington. Tesla confirmed the fire
began in the battery pack and was caused by the “direct impact of a large metallic object
to one of the 16 modules within the Model S battery pack.” On November 6, 2013, a Tesla
Model S on Interstate 24 near Murfreesboro, Tennessee, caught fire after it struck a tow
hitch on the roadway, causing damage beneath the vehicle. Tesla said that it would conduct
its own investigation, and as a result of these incidents, announced its decision to
extend its current vehicle warranty to cover fire damage.On January 4, 2014, a Tesla Model
S in Norway caught fire while charging at one of Tesla’s supercharger stations and was
completely destroyed. No one was injured.On March 28, 2014, NHTSA announced that it had
closed the investigation into whether the Model S was prone to catch fire, after the
automaker said it would provide more protection to its battery packs. All Model S cars manufactured
after March 6 have had the 0.25-inch (6.4 mm) aluminum shield over the battery pack
replaced with a new three-layer shield.A Model S driver died in a collision with a tractor-trailer
on May 7, 2016, in Williston, Florida, while the vehicle was in autopilot mode. The driver
is believed to be the first person to have died in a Tesla vehicle in autopilot mode.
The NHTSA investigated the accident and concluded: “A safety-related defect trend has not been
identified at this time and further examination of this issue does not appear to be warranted.”On
May 8, 2018, two 18-year-olds, driver Barrett Riley and passenger Edgar Monserratt Martinez,
died in a fire in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that ensued after crashing a Tesla Model S
into a wall while driving at the speed of 116 mph in a 25–30 mph zone. Previously,
Broward County court records say Riley was driving a 2014 Tesla on March 3 when he got
ticketed for going 112 mph in a 50 mph zone. Speed of the vehicle traveling is believed
to have been a factor in the crash. Less than two months before the crash, it was reported
that Riley’s parents had a limiter installed to prevent the vehicle from reaching over
85 mph, but it was removed at another Tesla service visit without the parent’s knowledge.
The removal of the limiter and alleged defective battery pack formed the basis of a lawsuit
against Tesla by the estate of Edgar Monserratt Martinez. The lawsuit was filed on January
9, 2019.===Maintenance costs, crash rates, and insurance
costs===On June 4, 2017, the American Automobile Association
raised insurance rates for Tesla owners following a report from the Highway Loss Data Institute.
The report concluded that the Model S crashes 46% more often and is 50% more expensive to
repair than comparable vehicles. Similarly, the Model X was concluded to crash 41% more
often and to be 89% more expensive to repair than similar vehicles. As a result, AAA raised
insurance rates on Tesla cars by 30%. Tesla said that the analysis is “severely flawed
and not reflective of reality”, however, Tesla failed to provide any contradictory numbers.
Shortly thereafter, Russ Rader, the spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety,
confirmed the AAA’s analysis and that “Teslas get into a lot of crashes and are costly to
repair afterward”.===Delays===
Tesla has been criticized for repeatedly overpromising and underdelivering. Delivery dates for new
vehicles and new vehicle features slipped on the Roadster, Model S, Model X and Model
3. Advanced technologies like the prospect of a large network of solar-powered supercharger
stations (first installation was in 2012; only two were solar-powered as of late 2014)
also lagged projections.In early October 2017, Musk had predicted that Model 3 production
would be up to 5,000 units per week by December. A month later, he revised that target to “sometime
in March” 2018 due in part to difficulties with robots on the assembly line, but primarily
due to problems with the battery module. An analyst with Cowan and Company, a public relations
firm, made this comment: “Elon Musk needs to stop over promising and under delivering”.On
September 24, 2018, Musk revealed on Twitter that Tesla will be building its own car carriers
as the company is facing challenges due to logistics. Tesla is running into an acute
shortage of car carrier trailers leading to a delay in the delivery. In mid-November,
with end-of-year buyer tax credits expiring in a little more than six weeks, Musk announced
that the company was aggressively ramping up delivery capabilities with trucking contracts
and even outright purchase of some trucking firms to deliver as many cars as possible
before the deadline.===Hacking===
In August 2015, two researchers said they were able to take control of a Tesla Model
S by hacking into the car’s entertainment system. The hack required the researchers
to physically access the car. Tesla issued a security update for the Model S the day
after the exploit was announced.In September 2016, researchers at Tencent’s Keen Security
Lab demonstrated a remote attack on a Tesla Model S and controlled the vehicle in both
Parking and Driving Mode without physical access. They were able to compromise the automotive
networking bus (CAN bus) when the vehicle’s web browser was used while the vehicle was
connected to a malicious Wi-Fi hotspot. This was the first case of a remote control exploit
demonstrated on a Tesla. The vulnerability was disclosed to Tesla under their bug bounty
program and patched within 10 days, before the exploit was made public. Tencent also
hacked the doors of a Model X in 2017.In January 2018, security researchers informed Tesla
that an Amazon Web Services account of theirs could be accessed directly from the Internet
and that the account had been exploited for cryptocurrency mining. Tesla responded by
securing the compromised system, rewarding the security researchers financially via their
bug bounty program, and stating that the compromise did not violate customer privacy, nor vehicle
safety or security.===Servicing===
Tesla offers service at their service centers. If a center is not available, mobile technicians
can perform most inspections and repairs. Tesla recommends to have any Tesla car inspected
every 12,500 miles or once a year, whichever comes first. The first units for each new
model revealed design and manufacturing flaws, including the Model S and the Model X. As
the Tesla vehicle fleet grew, the number of service centers resulted in waiting periods
for some owners. Auto experts view the service delays as insignificant, as owners accept
the challenges of servicing a new type of car.Tesla does not provide service manuals
except in jurisdictions that required them to do so.At the June 2018 shareholder meeting,
Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla will soon start to open its first body shops in the top ten
U.S. metropolitan areas, stocking some body parts, potentially allowing for same-day service.==Lobbying activity==
In June 2017, Tesla made a “last-minute push near the end of the Albany legislative session
to expand its sales force in New York.” New York State Legislature bill A.8248/S.6600
would allow Tesla to operate 20 sales locations in the state, up from its current 5. Automotive
dealers attacked the bill, arguing that it would hurt their business because Tesla does
not sell through dealers. According to the New York Law Journal, “Tesla . . . has its
own in-house lobbyists, according to disclosures filed with the state’s lobbying entity.” The
bill did not get to the floor of either house.==Board of directors==
As of December 2018, the Tesla board of directors consists of:
Robyn Denholm, Chairman of Tesla, Inc. CFO and Head of Strategy of Telstra
Elon Musk, CEO and Product Architect of Tesla; founder, CEO and CTO of SpaceX; Chairman of
SolarCity Brad W. Buss, Former CFO of SolarCity; former
CFO of Cypress Semiconductor Corp Ira Ehrenpreis, General Partner at Technology
Partners Larry Ellison, Co-founder, Chairman and CTO
of Oracle Corporation Antonio J. Gracias, CEO and Chairman of the
Investment Committee at Valor Equity Partners Steve Jurvetson, Managing Director, Draper
Fisher Jurvetson Kimbal Musk, Co-founder of The Kitchen
James Murdoch, former CEO of 21st Century Fox
Linda Johnson Rice, CEO and Chairman of Johnson Publishing Company
Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Walgreens
Boots Alliance, Inc.A group of investors asked Tesla in a 2017 public letter to add two new
independent directors to its board “who do not have any ties with chief executive
Elon Musk”. The investors wrote that “five of six current non-executive directors have
professional or personal ties to Mr. Musk that could put at risk their ability to exercise
independent judgement.” The letter called for a more independent board that could put
a check on groupthink. At first Musk responded on Twitter, writing that the investors “should
buy Ford stock” because “their governance is amazing.” Two days later, he promised
he would add two independent board members.==Acquisitions==
Riviera Tool LLC – Riviera Tool is a manufacturer of stamping die systems used to form sheet
metal parts. The acquisition was announced on May 8, 2015. Riviera Tool LLC was acquired
for an unknown price. SolarCity – SolarCity provides solar energy
services to homeowners, businesses, government, and non-profit organizations. The acquisition
was announced on June 22, 2016. The acquisition price was US$2.6 billion.
Grohmann Engineering – Grohmann Engineering is a German engineering company based in Prüm.
The acquisition was announced in November 2016. The price was US$135 million.
Perbix – Perbix designs automated manufacturing equipment. The acquisition was announced November
7, 2017. It was an all-stock acquisition for about US$10.5 million.
Maxwell Technologies – Maxwell Technologies manufactures and markets energy storage and
power delivery solutions for automobiles. The planned acquisition was announced February
4, 2019. If completed, it will be an all-stock acquisition for $218 million.==Philanthropy==
$37.5 million to K-12 STEM education in Nevada. Multiple contributions of solar power to areas
recovering from disasters.==See also==
Battery electric vehicle List of automobile manufacturers of the United
States List of electric cars currently available
List of modern production plug-in electric vehicles
List of production battery electric vehicles Plug-in electric vehicles in California
Plug-in electric vehicles in the United States NIO
RAESR Rivian
Faraday Future Byton
Fisker Inc. Polestar
Xpeng G3

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