In 2003, a Silicon Valley startup called Tesla Motors came up with an ambitious plan that would transform the auto industry. Founders Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning set out to redefine the electric car. Cars that everyone would want— affordable, environmentally friendly and fast. Their master plan started with a low volume of expensive but alluring electric sports cars.
In 2004, well-known entrepreneur and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk invested millions of his own money and eventually became CEO. In less than 10 years, Tesla released the groundbreaking Roadster, Model S and Model X, all paving the way for its first affordable electric car, the Model 3. By 2016, Musk and Tesla looked unstoppable.
Over the next year, the company struggled to simply make cars. Tesla was plagued by manufacturing woes, financial losses, a controversial SolarCity acquisition and volatile decision making from its CEO. On top of that, some say Elon Musk was distracted by other projects like the Boring Company and Hyperloop One, was scrutinized for smoking pot on the Joe Rogan Experience, and tweeting that he was taking Tesla private for $420, which led to a SEC lawsuit.
Elon Musk says growing Tesla from the Roadster to Model 3 was a “hell of a ride,” and he took Wall Street along with him. Here’s the wild story of how Tesla started an EV revolution.
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How Elon Musk Took Tesla To Hell And Back With The Model 3