A group of Silicon Valley engineers in 2003 founded Tesla Motors with the motive to prove that the Electric Vehicles can also be a better option. Initially, Tesla Motors, Inc., an American company was incorporated by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, who played important roles for the development of the company during its initial periods. Then after, Elon Musk joined Tesla’s Board of Directors as the Chairman, who led Series a round of investment in February 2004. The name Tesla Motors was given after the name of Electrical Engineer and Physicist Nicola Tesla. From initial phase, the main focus of Musk was to create an affordable mass market electric vehicle which was a long-term strategic goal of Tesla Motors. Musk was awarded with the Global Green 2006 product design award and also the 2007 Index Design award for Tesla Roadster, designed by him.
After Series A, Musk also led Series B and the company also begins its third round in May 2006 & fourth round in May 2007 in co-operation with multiple investors like, Compass Technology Partners, SDL Ventures, Valor Equity Partners, Google co-founders Sergey Brin & Larry Page, former eBay President Jeff Skoll, Hyatt heir Nick Pritzker, the VC firms Draper Fisher Jurvetson and as well as many private investors.
In December 2007, Ze’ev Drori became CEO & President of the company and became Vice Chairman in October 2008 but then left the company on December, who fired a number of key personnel from the company after its performance review. As according to Musk, the company was forced to reduce the workforce by 10% to lower its burn rate which has gone out of control in 2007. The fifth round was begun in February 2008. The company had delivered 147 cars, by January 2009. To achieve its goal, company raised funds from different sources including both Governments as well as from Private institutions. Tesla repaid the loans in May 2013. Tesla Motors was the first car company who fully paid-off the government loan.
In August 2009, the company announced its overall corporate profitability of amount US$1 million on revenue of US$20 million for the month of July 2009. The profitability has been arises from the improved gross margin on 2010 Roadster. The company announced an US$82.5 million round to step up the retail expansion, in September 2009. On July 11, 2005 Tesla Motors signed a production contact with Group Lotus to produce “Gliders” (complete cars minus powertrains). As the contract ran through march 2011, but they extended the deal to continue the production of electric Roadster through December 2011 with a minimum number of 2,400 units. From June 2010 to March 31, 2010, the company sold a total of US$12.2 million zero emission vehicle credits to other automakers, including Honda.
Tesla Motors, Inc., has been designing, manufacturing and selling electric cars and electric vehicle powertrain components. Each model of its production has become the attention seeker in the market every time. The first widespread attention seeking production of the company was Tesla Roadster and then after that Model S, Model X and other expected products which are under its development phase.
Tesla Roadster was the initial production of the Tesla Motors, the first fully electric sports car with the use of litium-ion battery cells and also was the first highway-capable all-electric vehicle in mass production. This vehicle was the first mass production Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) to travel for more than 200 miles per charge. The Tesla Roadster can accelerate from zero to 60 mph (97 km/h) in under 4 seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph (201 km/h). The prototypes of this model were introduced to the public in July 2006.The first "Signature One Hundred" set of fully equipped Roadsters sold out in less than three weeks. The award has also been received for this model as “Best Inventions 2006-Transportation Invention.
Tesla Motors, Inc., production as second vehicle was Model S, a fully electric luxury sedan. The original code-name of this model was “Whitestar”. Model S offers the awareness and alertness expected from the world’s best sports cars while providing the ride quality of a sedan. Tesla’s advanced electric powertrain delivers thrilling performance. Unlike the internal combustion engine with hundreds of moving pieces that spark, pump, belch, and groan, the Tesla motor has only one moving piece: the rotor. This model travels 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds without hesitation and without a drop of gasoline, equipped with 85 kilowatt-hour battery and a high performance drive inverter. Model S sets the bar for electric driving range and is offered with three battery options, each delivering unprecedented range. This model was the 2nd or 3rd-best-selling electric car worldwide in 2013 and the price of this model is $71,070.
"Model S is a remarkably important car. This car shows that it can be done and it will be done." – Chris Paine, Director
Model X is designed to blend up the best of the Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) with the benefits of a minivan, as an electric car. This model of the company is a family vehicle with a performance roots. The electric powertrain delivers instant torque for confident lane changes, even when loaded with seven adults and all their gear. Performance of Model X is accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in less than 5 seconds. It provides an incredible driving range powered by a 60kWh or 85 kWh battery and will be dual motor all-wheel drive. The prototype design of Model X was unveiled on February 9, 2012. Production begins in 2014. The price of this model in $60,000.
The Tesla Motors “yet-to-be-name model” or “third-generation car” is a proposed electric car to be manufactured by the company. The codename of this model was given Tesla Bluestar. As per the planning of the company, this third generation vehicle will be of low price & of high volume and also will have more distinctive style. This model will be 20% less than the Model S.
There are many manufacturers of electric cars other than Tesla Motors, Inc. like Toyota, Nissan, Fishker Automotive, Spark Electric Vehicles, Lightning Car Company, Zenn Motors and many more.
Here is the list of few other electric cars of various automobile manufacturing companies with their price range available in market (as these all price are before any rebates and tax credits) along with their few special features:
- BYD e6: Price of this model is $52,000 and this model is only available to Fleet buyers in US. Its other features are 62 MPGe with 200 kilometers (122 miles) and of 5 seats 2nd-best-selling electric car in china in 2013.
- Cadillac ELR: This pretty, luxurious, plug-in hybrid electric car’s price is $75,000 with 82 MPGe (battery) & 31 MPG (gas), 37 miles on battery (+ gas range) and of 4 seats.
- BMW i3: This model is BMW’s first 100% electric car, as this is the lightest electric car in market with carbon fiber body. The price of this model is $41,350 / €34,950 (Germany). As it provide the smooth & sweet drive with 81-100 miles and is of 4 seats.
- BMW i8: It is the most expensive car in today’s market as its price is $135,700/€126,000 (Germany) with 81-100 miles and is of 4 seats.
- Chevy spark EV: This model is thelow-priced100% electric car which is only available in California and Oregon. This is the first car on the market that uses the SAE Combo Fast Charging system. Its price is $27,495 with 119 MPGe, 82 miles & 4 seats feature.
- Chevy Volt: This is the 2nd-best-selling electric car in the world in 2013 which is one of the most widely acclaimed electric cars in the market. Its price is $34,185 with 98 MPGe (battery), 37 MPG (gas), 38 miles on battery (+gas) and of 4 seats feature.
- Fiat 500e: The price of this model is$31,800. This model is only being produced in extremely limited quantities for the California market. It has 115 MPGe, with 87 miles & 4 seats capacity with cool styling.
- Bolloré Bluecar: This model is low-price, simple electric car and it is only available France. Price of this model is €12,000 + €80/mo battery (France). It is 16th-best-selling electric car in Europe in 2013 with 250 kilometers (155 miles) and 4 seats feature.
- Ford C-Max Energi: This car is the most efficient plug-in hybrid car in the market. This model is only available in US but still, it was the 8th-best-selling electric car in the world in 2013. The price of this model is $32,950. It has features like 100 MPGe on battery, 43 MPG on gas with 21 miles on battery (+ gas range) and it seats up to 5 people which is preferable for large families.
- Ford Fusion Energi: This model was the 9th-best-selling electric car in the world in 2013. This model offers competition to Chevy Volt, its sister, the C-Max Energi and the Toyota prius plug-in. The price of this model is $38,700, with the features like 100 MPGe on battery, 43 MPG on gas, 21 miles on battery (+gas range) and is of 5 seats.
Above, I have just mentioned few most popular models and which are available in today’s market with their price and features, according to the report of February, 2014.