The Evolution Of Tesla Cars Over The Years

One among just a very few of the American car companies to go public alongside Ford and GM, Tesla’s history may be rather short, but it has already proved to be quite awesome. The stock of the car manufacturer has already gone through the roof and is continuing on the trend. Let’s look at how Tesla cars have evolved over the years.

Although Elon Musk is now seen as the face of the company, Tesla was actually founded by Martin Eberhard and Mark Tarpenning in July 2003. The company was short of cash for the first few years. It was only when Elon Musk took over the reins of the company that things began to change for the better.

After Musk became the Chairman of the Board in February 2004, the company was able to raise $13 million for the development of Tesla Roadster through a round of funding led by him. The company raised a further $40 million, also through an initiative led by Musk.

On July 11, 2005, a production contract was signed with Lotus to manufacture complete cars minus the powertrain. These would later on be known as Tesla Roadsters.

Tesla introduced its Roadster model on July 29, 2006. The model was unveiled at a special invite-only event at the Santa Monica airport. Tesla became a car manufacturing company officially after this. The car has evolved significantly over the past ten years and many auto enthusiasts now dream of owning it.

Roadster to S to X from side view

Between all this, Tesla went through significant upheaval in leadership. Tesla was in a difficult position at the end of 2007, having run out of cash and needy of a new leadership. Ze’ev Drori, a successful high-tech entrepreneur, became the company’s CEO and president.

Under Drori, the company laid off 10 percent of its staff, and the company became profitable. However, Drori was not to last even a year at Tesla.

Musk succeeded Drori as Tesla’s CEO in October 2008. Drori became Vice Chairman but soon went on to leave the company in December. By this time, Musk had put $70 million of his own money into the company.

The first 2,250 models of the Tesla Roadster were sold between 2008 and 2012, although it was panned by BBC’s Top Gear. This even led to a libel case, which was ultimately won by Top Gear.

Roadster to S to X from front view

Tesla’s Model S, a model Tesla is well known for, was unveiled on June 30, 2008. The price of this seven-seater family vehicle starts at $50,000. The vehicle has a sporty look but is still reasonably priced for the masses. The company has since focused on developing vehicles at prices affordable for the masses.

The company unveiled its first SUV and AWD vehicle, Tesla X, on February 9, 2012. The delivery was initially expected late into 2013. The production vehicle will include the spectacular gullwing-type doors highlighted in the concept.

Tesla announced in the middle of 2014 that they would be developing their Model 3, promised at an even more affordable price of $35,000. However, the model is still in the works and there is no word as of yet as to when the car is going to be released.

Model S from concept to production

The latest innovation Tesla is working on is the “D” model, which stands for dual motor. The company introduced three new models of S cars early in 2015 – S 60D, S 85D, and S P85D. Visually, these three models are almost same as the original S model, but there are plenty of differences under the hood.

The S P85D model goes from 0 to 60 in 3.2 seconds. The company has further improved this. The time has been trimmed down from 3.2 seconds to 3.1 seconds, and this update has been made available to the customers via a free software released by the company.

Tesla is not only focusing on building fast cars, but also creating a better world. So now, the company has gone beyond building cars and is at work on solar energy. Tesla plans to bring an end to the need for expensive grid power with solar energy as a viable alternative.

The first product from Tesla of this kind will be Powerwall Home Battery, a huge battery designed to store solar energy for home use.

[Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images]