Tesla Inc. (usually shortened simply to Tesla) was founder in 2003 by a group of engineers in Silicon Valley, California and they were joined the following year by the present CEO, Elon Musk. The company name was inspired by the inventor, Nikola Tesla, who patented the Alternating Current (AC) induction motor in 1888.
In 2008, Tesla launched the Tesla Roadster, a two-seater sports car that set a new standard in electric vehicles. While only 2400 were built, the Roadster was notable for being the first street-legal electric car to use lithium-ion battery cells and the first electric car to have a range of more than 300km. Production of the Roadster ceased in 2012.
The next model launched by Tesla was its first sedan, the Model S, which became available in 2012. With room for five passengers (with the option of an additional third-row rear-facing seat for two children) and more than 1.8 cubic metres of storage, the Model S combined the comfort and utility of a family sedan with the acceleration of a sports car.
In late 2014, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled two dual-motor all-wheel drive configurations of the Model S that further improved the vehicle’s handling and performance. The 85D featured a high-efficiency motor at the front and the rear, giving the car unparalleled traction control in all conditions. The current top-of-the-range Model S P100D has a range of 500km at highway speeds and accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 2.7seconds.
A sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Model X, was added to the range in 2016. Tesla claims the Model X is the safest, fastest and most capable SUV ever built. Its most eye-catching feature is its two, rear ‘Falcon Wing’ doors that open out and up to provide unrestricted access to the second and third row seats.