Origins of the Tesla company
Origins of the company Tesla
In its early days, Tesla surprised with its atypical positioning. The company defined itself as a manufacturer of electric vehicles, at a time when the idea did not interest the public or industry. Since then, the brand has managed to make the concept desirable and even competitive.
In doing so, they succeeded in transforming a niche market into a compelling segment of the global automotive industry.
What is the origin of the Tesla brand ?
L'company Tesla was founded in 2003 by two American engineers, Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard. It was originally called Tesla Motors before being renamed Tesla, Inc. in 2017. Beyond its wording, the brand name pays tribute to the famous inventor and engineer Nikola Tesla.
This branding choice helps to emphasize the importance of electricity and innovation to the company.
As a reminder, Tesla played a major role in the development of alternating current and the democratization of electricity. He was also an outstanding engineer and prolific inventor until his death in 1943. So, this tribute is really relevant and well deserved.
The American manufacturer, for its part, also takes advantage of this association to cultivate your image as an electric pioneer.
According to Martin Eberhard, the intention with Tesla Motors was to create a technology company in the automotive sector. It would take care of the software, but also for the engine and the battery. Believing in the concept, Tarpenning and Eberhard embarked on the Tesla adventure as CFO and CEO respectively.
They were based in San Carlos before moving to Palo Alto, California.
The two co-founders were also the only employees until the integration of Ian Wright a few months after the company's creation. In February 2004, the three completed an initial fundraising of $7.5 million. Elon Musk has contributed $6.5 million to this Series A. He then joined the company as PCA (chairman of the board).
Who owns Tesla ?
Tesla is an publicly traded company. As a result, the notion of owner is not really appropriate. This concept can nevertheless be as a majority shareholder.
In this case, it is aboutElon Musk. The American billionaire held 18.9% of the carmaker's shares in November 2019 and ranked ahead of :
- Public Investment Fund (9.18%);
- Baillie Gifford & Co (7.46%) ;
- Capital Research & Management Co. (5.68%);
- The Vanguard Group, Inc. (4.32%);
- Fidelity Management & Research LLC (2.77%);
- Jennison Associates (2.24%);
- BlackRock Fund Advisors (1.99%);
- Larry Ellison (1.66%);
- SSgA Funds Management, Inc. (1.63%).
All of these investors own a portion of the company's equity. The boss of SpaceX however, stands out for its commitment from the first fund raising in 2004. It also organized the second round of financing. In addition, the entrepreneur was regularly involved in private financing long before the listing on Wall-Street.
Thus, he has continued toincrease its shares.
For the third round, Elon Musk collaborated with VantagePoint Venture Partners. This event was marked by the entry into the capital of big names in Silicon Valley as Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google), Jeffrey Skoll (eBay) … Finally, Tesla issued 13.3 million euros in new shares’common shares on Nasdaq in June 2010, for $226 million.
Where Tesla cars are produced ?
L'Tesla company has several operating sites the United States, China, Germany and the Netherlands. These production units are intended to supply the American, Asian and European markets. However, not all of them are dedicated to electric cars.
Some of them are focused on the batteries, the engines or the related activities (photovoltaic cells, superchargers).
In addition, other plants are only planned for assembly such as the Tilburg site (Netherlands). The car production infrastructure is currently located in the :
- Factory in Fremont, California (Model S, X, 3 and Y) ;
- Shanghai Gigafactory, China (Model 3 and Y);
- Gigafactory in Austin, Texas (Model Y and Cybertruck);
- Gigafactory in Berlin, Germany (Model 3 and Y).
The Berlin and Austin plants However, may not reach the announced production capacity until at least 2022. Indeed, both of these production lines were expected to be fully operational during 2021. However, construction has been delayed due to the health crisis.
As a result, a Model 3 or Y delivered will probably come from Fremont or Shanghai in the medium term.
To differentiate them, it is enough to consult the vehicle identification number (VIN). This identifier appears on the registration certificate, invoice and windshield. The car comes from the United States, if the code starts with 5 YJ.
Chinese cars, on the other hand, will display the characters LRW at the beginning of the identifier.
Who makes Tesla batteries ?
The Tesla batteries are so far manufactured by Panasonic, LG or CATL. Indeed, the Californian brand is not yet able to produce its own cells. It must therefore order these components from its partners.
Tesla's involvement with batteries is limited to installing the cells received from these suppliers.
In general, it is quite easy to distinguish Panasonic products from LG/CATL. The first player supplies exclusively the Fremont factory. The American models will therefore be equipped with its NCA batteries (Nickel – Cobalt – Aluminium). On the other hand, LG and CATL both operate in Shanghai.
In this case, it will be necessary to pay attention to the battery pack associated with the clean vehicle.
At United States, batteries are manufactured in the Gigafactory in Reno, Nevada co-managed by Tesla and Panasonic. The latter produces NCA cells on site. They will be assembled in battery packs before being shipped to the Fremont production facility.
The California factory will handle the final assembly of the brand's electric models.
At China, LG provides NCM cells (Nickel – Cobalt – Manganese). They are currently working on long-range batteries. CATL offers, for its part, NCM (Nickel – Cobalt – Molybdenum) LFP cells (Lithium Iron Phosphate). Relatively more affordable, these components are intended for Standard Range Plus battery packs. Both compositions have a satisfactory range.
In addition, models designed in Shanghai receive a very good reputation among users.
Why choose Tesla ?
L'company Tesla is without doubt the precursor to the modern version of the all-electric car. It therefore benefits from a significant lead over the competition. This advantage is reflected in the deployment of a set of services tailored to clean vehicles.
Tesla is a leading manufacturer of batteries, and this allows it to explore a wide range of innovative formulas in this segment.
Most of the time, users focus on the virtuous aspect of zero-emission cars. So they are willing to do concessions on design, comfort, performance, etc. Since its creation, Tesla has sought to develop models that are both eco-friendly, comfortable and dynamic.
This effort is really appreciated by motorists. On the service side, the brand provides access to :
- A vast network of superchargers;
- Charging stations for the home;
- Regular updates and system upgrades;
- Rich and scalable connectivity;
- Comprehensive maintenance services;
- Advanced technologies (Autopilot, Full Self-Driving, etc.).)
Many drivers are also enthusiastic about the Tesla acceleration capacity and especially the starting performance of Tesla's electric motors. Indeed, the models of the brand often show impressive times to reach 100 km/h in standing start. There is even a function created for this purpose, called Ludicrous (literally: ridiculous).
Finally, individuals and businesses alike can benefit from various financial benefits with a focus on zero-emission models. They are primarily used to avoid the ecological malus. On the other hand, the State provides a wide variety of subsidies and tax benefits to acquire this type of vehicle.
Buyers can save money, switch cars and reduce their climate impact.
Why Tesla is innovative ?
Despite the appearances, Tesla is a consistent company and true to itself. The original idea was to introduce new technologies in the automotive sector and thus contribute to the energy transition. Over time, the areas explored have evolved, but the principle has remained the same.
Powerwall aims, for example, to bring expertise from all-electric cars to the home.
Even Elon Musk is showing a certain amount of constance by making polemical statements and outlandish ideas. In any case, innovation often comes from this propensity to push the limits and consider the unusual. The company is aiming to replace lithium with silicon in the future, despite the associated technical challenges.
Nickel will also be preferred to Cobalt. In addition, it aims to achieve :
- To produce in-house its power cells ;
- To improve the range of its models by 14%;
- To multiply by 5 the storage capacity of its battery packs;
- To gain at least 5 times more power ;
- To divide the price of a kilowatt hour by 2.
As a company, Tesla is also proving its ability to innovate by fully exploiting the functioning of the carbon economy. The company has in fact been loss-making since its inception until 2020. In addition to traditional fundraising, it has been supported in large part by the sale of its CO2 credits.