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Tesla Corporation (formerly Tesla Motors) was founded in 2003. It is an American multinational company located in Palo Alto, California. It specializes in electric vehicles, lithium-ion battery energy storage and solar panel manufacturing (through its subsidiary SolarCity). As of June 2018, Tesla sold Tesla Model s, model x, model 3, Powerwall and PowerPack batteries, solar panels, solar roof tiles and related products.

Elon Musk, chief executive, said he sees Tesla as a technology company and an independent car manufacturer that aims to eventually offer electric vehicles at a price that ordinary consumers can afford. Its founders, Martin Eberhard and Marc tarpenning, were appointed by Nikola Tesla, an electrical engineer and physicist.

The company's model s was the world's best-selling plug-in electric vehicle in 2015 and 2016. Global sales of models reached a milestone of 200000 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2017. In September 2015, the company released model x, a crossover suv. Model 3 was released in July 2017. Tesla's production exceeded 300000 in February 2018.

Tesla operates a number of production and assembly plants, particularly gigafactory 1 near Reno, Nevada, and its main automobile manufacturing plant, Tesla plant in Fremont, California. Gigafactory mainly produces batteries and battery packs for Tesla cars and energy storage products.

The company was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc tarpenning, although it also considers Elon Musk, JB Straubel and Ian Wright as co founders. After GM recalled and destroyed the EV1 electric vehicle in 2003, the founders were influenced by the founding of the company.

Eberhard and tarpenning funded the company until round a. In February 2004, musk led round a financing, joined the board of directors, served as the chairman of the board of directors and held the post of operation. At the time, Mask was Tesla's controlling investor, providing the vast majority of personal funds for the $7 million 500 thousand financing. The co-founder, Martin Eberhard, was Tesla's original chief executive until his resignation was requested by the board in August 2007. Later, Eberhard was named "President of technology" and finally left the company in January 2008 with co-founder Marc tarpenning, who served as CFO and then as the vice president of electrical engineering of the company until 2008.

Tesla started with sports cars for early adopters, then mainstream and mass market vehicles, all of which "are driving the development of electric vehicles.".

Tesla signed a roadster production contract with lotus group on July 11, 2005 to produce "glider" (complete vehicle without power assembly). Roadster uses an AC motor directly from Nikola Tesla's original 1882 design.

Tesla Roadster (2008) is the first mass-produced vehicle using lithium-ion batteries, and also the first electric vehicle with a range of more than 200 miles (320 km) per charge. From 2008 to March 2012, Tesla sold more than 2250 roadsters in 31 countries. Tesla stopped accepting roadster orders in the U.S. market in August 2011.

In December 2012, Tesla hired nearly 3000 full-time employees. At the end of 2016, Tesla hired more than 30000 employees (25000 in the United States) after acquiring grohmann and SolarCity.

Musk also led Tesla's round B investment of $13 million, and co led the third round of $40 million in May 2006. Tesla's third round includes investments by prominent entrepreneurs including Google co founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. The fourth round of financing in May 2007 increased by another $45 million.

At the end of 2007, Tesla hired Michael marks and then ze'ev Drori to replace Eberhard as CEO. Drori temporarily restored the company's profitability, reducing its staff by about 10%. In October 2008, musk became chief executive and fired 25% of Tesla's employees. In December, the fifth round of financing increased by another $40 million to avoid bankruptcy.

By January 2009, Tesla had raised $187 million and delivered 147 vehicles. Musk himself has invested $70 million. In May 2009, Daimler acquired less than 10% of Tesla's equity for $50 million, saving Tesla money again. Toyota provided a similar amount in 2010.

In June 2009, the U.S. Department of energy approved Tesla to obtain $465 million in low interest loans from the $8 billion high-tech automobile manufacturing loan program in 2007. Funding came from 2010 to support the engineering and production of model s and the development of commercial powertrain technology.