Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tesla Motors In Business Week

In "A Carmaker With Silicon Valley Spark", Business Week tells the interesting story of a "different" car company. They claim that Tesla Motors is attempting to become the first successful auto manufacturer startup since Chrysler, which was founded in 1925. The entire piece is worth a read, especially if you're as into Tesla's Roadster as I am (and here, and here). Here are a few of the interesting tidbits:
  • Elon Musk, a PayPal founder who sold to eBay for $1.5 billion, is Tesla's chairman and main financier.
  • Tesla uses tactics other startups employ, such as limiting the cash pay to its 250 employees but giving them all stock options to compensate.
  • Tesla outsources a ton of work that goes into its cars, while focusing on core technologies such as the battery, computer software, and a proprietary motor.
  • Tesla is using lithium ion batteries in its cars, the same kind that are used in laptop computers. The cost of the batteries makes up 20% of the total cost of its Roadster, but the cost is expected to fall (and has recently been falling about 8% annually).
  • Tesla is planning to build a roughly $60,000 5-passenger sedan and a $30,000 passenger car.
  • Tesla has created a division called Tesla Energy to market and sell its energy storage technology. Think Nordic is its first customer.
  • Tesla is considering an IPO for next year. Hey, even if I can't afford a Roadster, I might be able to pick up a few shares!

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