This is a completely revised edition of my 2015 book, Tesla Motors. I’ve updated every section, and added new chapters about Model X, Model 3, Tesla Energy and the SolarCity acquisition.
In 14 years of existence, Tesla has achieved many amazing feats. The most trusted sources in the auto industry have called its Model S the most advanced, safest and best-performing car ever built - and it doesn’t use a drop of gasoline. Tesla changed the way the public perceives electric vehicles, and that was only the beginning. It went on to redefine the automobile itself, and now aims to do the same to the energy industry. Tesla has sparked a new wave of innovation comparable to the internet and mobile computing revolutions, and unleashed forces that will transform every aspect of society. The automobile is such a pervasive influence in our lives that redefining how it is designed, built, driven and sold will have sweeping effects in unexpected areas. In this history of the 21st century’s most exciting startup, Charles Morris begins with a brief history of EVs and a biography of Tesla’s driving force, Elon Musk. He then details the history of the company, told in the words of the Silicon Valley entrepreneurs who made it happen. There are many fascinating stories here: Martin Eberhard’s realization that there were many like himself, who loved fast cars but wanted to help the environment and bring about the post-oil age; the freewheeling first days, reminiscent of the early internet era; the incredible ingenuity of the team who built the Roadster; Tesla’s near-death experience and miraculous resurrection; the spiteful split between the company’s larger-than-life leaders; the gloves-off battles with hostile media such as Top Gear and the New York Times; and the media’s ironic about-face when the magnificent Model S won the industry’s highest honors, and naysayers became cheerleaders overnight. And the story is just beginning: Tesla has breathtakingly ambitious plans for the future. Charles conducted personal interviews with two Tesla founders, Marc Tarpenning and Ian Wright, and two members of the AC Propulsion team who were instrumental in the development of the Roadster, Tom Gage and Paul Carosa. He cites over 300 secondary sources, with links to a wealth of further reading. As Senior Editor of Charged, the magazine of the electric vehicle industry, Charles Morris is one of the world’s most respected authorities on electromobility. His daily blog posts, which cover every facet of the EV scene, number over 3,000, including hundreds of articles about Tesla. The previous edition earned 47 Amazon reviews, with an overall score of 4.6 stars. Highlights: “I thought I already knew everything there was to know about Tesla. I was really surprised by the detail and the depth of research that the author has put in while writing this book.” “Really liked this book, great insight, well researched.” “Excellent short history of the company and the men who created it.” “Very thorough and a fun and exciting read.” “Definitely a page turner.” “Any auto enthusiast should read this book.” “Recommended for anybody interested in disruptive technologies.” “Clearly written, accessible for all readers.” “Packed with very interesting information.” “Excellent read. Plenty of supporting references as well.” “This book made me want to go out and buy one.” “The author obviously knows his stuff! The book is very intelligently written, well researched and humorous in places.” “Great, entertaining, informative read.” “The author managed to cover all bases (technical, busines and legal) and keep it easy and fun to read.”