Tesla Motors is an American company that designs, manufactures, and sells electric cars and electric vehicle powertrain components for vehicles from other automakers (for instance, lithium-ion battery packs). Named after electrical engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla, Tesla Motors was founded by Elon Musk, Martin Eberhard, Mark Tarpenning, JB Straubel, and Ian Wright.
The company first gained widespread notice following the production of the first fully electric sports car, the Tesla Roadster. Tesla sold 2,250 Roadsters between 2008 and 2012. In 2009, Tesla unveiled its second vehicle, the Model S, a fully electric luxury sedan. Subsequent models include the Tesla Model X (unveiled in 2012) and an as yet unnamed “third-generation” car. Musk, who is chairman and CEO, has stated that he envisions Tesla as an independent automaker that aims to eventually offer electric cars at prices affordable to average consumers.
Tesla operates as an original equipment manufacturer and it has partnerships with Daimler and Toyota (to which it supplies powertrain components.) Tesla Motors is a public company that trades on the NASDAQ stock exchange under the symbol TSLA. The first quarter of 2013 was the first time in its ten year history that Tesla posted profits.