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Tesla, Inc. timeline

Explore the electrifying journey of Tesla Inc.! 🚗⚡ Dive into our visual timeline highlighting major milestones and groundbreaking products. Download your free timeline now!

Jul 28, 2017

10 min read

Last updated on March 12, 2024

Discover the electrifying journey of Tesla Inc. with our Tesla timeline, a visual chronicle of the company’s major milestones and ground-breaking products. Crafted using the Office Timeline PowerPoint add-in, this timeline celebrates the manufacturers’ achievement in electrical propulsion as well as the numerous advancements made in the field of self-driving cars.

Join us as we explore Tesla’s evolution from a boutique car brand to a trailblazer in the electric vehicle (EV) industry.

Tesla Inc. Timeline

Tesla company milestones

  • July 2003: Tesla is founded                         
  • April 2004: Series A funding. Elon Musk chairman             
  • February 2005: Series B: Elon Musk injects $13 million
  • May 2006: Series C: $40 million
  • November 2007: Ze’ev Drori becomes CEO and President
  • October 2008: Musk succeeds Drori as CEO
  • November 2008: Tesla raises $40 million in debt-financing
  • 2009: Strategic partnership with Daimler AG
  • June 2009: Tesla takes $465 mil loan from the DOE
  • June 2010: Tesla goes IPO at $17 per share
  • October 2008: Tesla Factory opens in Fremont, CA
  • March 2014: New Jersey bans sales of Tesla cars
  • June 2014: Tesla open-sources its patents
  • March 2015: New Jersey’s ban is reversed
  • February 2017: Tesla Motors renamed to Tesla Inc.
  • February 2017: Tesla ranked as the #1 American car brand
  • August 2018: Musk announces plans to take Tesla private at $420 a share
  • September 2018: SEC charges Musk with securities fraud
  • September 2018: Musk steps down as Tesla chairman and pays a $20m fine        
  • March 2019: Production at Shanghai factory commences
  • December 2020: Tesla joins S&P 500
  • October 2021: Tesla valuation reaches $1 trillion
  • December 2021: Tesla HQ moved to Texas
  • March 2022: New Tesla factory opens near Berlin

Tesla product milestones

  • March 2008: The Roadster enters production
  • June 2008: Model S announced
  • February 2012: Model X unveiled
  • June 2012: Model S officially released   
  • June 2013: Battery swap station announced
  • April 2015: Powerwall announced
  • September 2015: Model X released
  • October 2015: Autopilot introduced for Model S
  • December 2015: Model S sales reach 100,000 units
  • March 2016: Model 3 is unveiled
  • July 2017: Official release of Model 3
  • February 2019: Modely Y unveiled
  • November 2019: Cybertruck unveiled
  • December 2020: Model 3 becomes best selling EV worldwide
  • November, 2023: Cybertruck enters production
  • December 2023: Model Y becomes best selling EV worldwide

Origins of Tesla

The story of Tesla, Inc. (originally Tesla Motors) begins in 2003, with two American entrepreneurs: Marc Tarpenning and Martin Eberhard. Eberhard had a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, while Tarpenning had a Bachelor’s in Computer Sciences.

Eberhard’s newly discovered passion for sports cars led them to invest in a boutique-level EV company named AC Propulsion, and the two coopted PayPal founder Elon Musk into the business in 2001. Thus, Tesla Motors, the company with the goal of developing robust, beautiful and zero emission electric vehicles was born.

The Roadster – Tesla’s first EV

Tesla’s first completely electric car – the Roadster – was announced in 2006, and the prototype achieved an unprecedented autonomy of 245 miles (or 394 km) on just one charge. In addition to the range, the Tesla Roadster went from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in under 4 seconds and was capable of top speeds of 125 mph (200 km/h). The only drawback was the hefty price tag of $109,000, which kept Tesla’s first EV in the luxury item range.

In 2008, around the time when the first Roadsters were delivered to their new owners, Eberhard and Tarpenning parted ways with Tesla and Elon Musk became CEO. Tesla went public in 2010 and the IPO helped secure $226m in funding.

Other Tesla models, solar panels and more

The production of Roadsters was ceased in 2012, and Tesla focused their attention on its more recent EV, the Model S Sedan, which came with major overhauls and various customization options. Supercharging stations began to appear around the US and Europe, offering quick charging services at zero cost to Tesla owners. In 2015, Model S was succeeded by Model X, an SUV built on a car chassis and marketed as a crossover EV. Its success was moderate, mainly due to the cost still being considerably high.

The demand for an affordable electric car eventually pushed Tesla to develop Model 3, which entered production in 2017. It was an instant success and instantly became the company’s bestselling model. Boasting a range of 353 miles (568 km) and an original price tag of around $35,000, the Model 3 surpassed the EV champ at the time – the Nissan Leaf – to become the bestselling electric vehicle of all times.

In addition to the EV production, Tesla had also branched out into the solar energy industry, with the acquisition of the solar panel manufacturer SolarCity in 2016. The 2017 rebranding as Tesla, Inc. aimed to show they’re no longer a ‘one trick pony’. Tesla, Inc. released a new EV in 2020 dubbed Model Y which had many parts in common with the popular Model 3. Model Y became even more popular than its predecessor and in 2023 it became the new bestselling electric car in the world. November 2023 is also when the new fully electric pickup truck from Tesla entered production.

Tesla history: Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s have a look at some of the most frequently asked questions about Tesla Inc. and its history.

About the Tesla, Inc. timeline

The Tesla timeline is free to download and was created using Office Timeline, a powerful and easy to use add-in for PowerPoint that can help you create amazing visuals for your next presentation at the touch of a button. Check out the free 14-day trial to test all its features firsthand.

Eddy is Co-Founder & Chief Product Officer for Office Timeline, building a user-friendly but powerful app that makes timelines, Gantt charts and roadmaps directly in PowerPoint.

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