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Elon Musk is one of the world’s richest men. As CEO of Tesla, he has made the company the world’s largest automaker by capitalization. Yet Tesla hasn’t always been an automotive giant and Musk hasn’t even always been its CEO.
Tesla was founded as Tesla Motors in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Not long after, PayPal co-founder Musk joined the team, contributing millions of his own money, as well as convincing some powerful Silicon Valley types to invest. By 2007, Tesla Motors had over $105 million (¥11.5 billion) in investments.
Tesla Motors’ first project was the Roadster, a fully electric sports car that ran on the same standard lithium-ion batteries found in rechargeable devices. Released in 2008, the Roadster was hailed as a feat of engineering.
Despite this, Tesla Motors had financial problems, though these were solved with a $465 million (¥50.1 billion) loan from the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009.
In 2012, Tesla Motors released the Model S, the best-selling plug-in electric car of the time. Not long after, the firm introduced Supercharger stations (now called Tesla Stations), which quickly charge Tesla car batteries for free. (Jasmin Hayward)
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This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.