Tesla Motors (often shortened to Tesla) is an American automaker and energy storage company co-founded in July 2003 originally by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, with JB Straubel, Elon Musk and Ian Wright, and is based in Palo Alto, California. The company specializes in electric cars and their powertrain components and also produces battery charging equipment.
Tesla first gained widespread attention following its production of the Tesla Roadster, the first electric sports car, in 2008. The company's second vehicle, the Model S, an electric luxury sedan, debuted in 2012. In Q1 2013, Tesla released its stock profits for the first time from its NASDAQ ticker symbol. Global sales for the Model S passed 100K units in December 2015, three and a half years after its introduction, and it was the world's best-selling plug-in vehicle that year. As of October 2016, it ranks as the world's second-best-selling plug-in overall after the Nissan Leaf. The car was then followed by the Model X, a crossover SUV. Tesla's next vehicle is the Model 3, which was unveiled in March 2016 and is slated for release in 2017 with a price at US$35,000 before any government incentives. As of 30 September 2016, Tesla has sold more than 163,000 cars worldwide since delivery of its first Roadster in 2008. Musk, the CEO, has said that he envisions Tesla Motors as an independent automaker, aimed at eventually offering electric cars at prices affordable to the average consumer.
Tesla manufactures equipment for home and office battery charging, and has installed a network of high-powered Superchargers across North America, Europe and Asia. The company also operates a Destination Charging program, under which shops, restaurants and other venues are offered fast chargers for their customers.