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December 15, 2022updated 11 May 2023 11:42am

What is Tesla?

The company behind one of the best-selling electric cars in history.

By Tech Monitor

Tesla is a US company involved in car manufacturing and energy, best known for its electric cars. The company is also known for specialising in solar panels and Lithium-ion battery energy storage.

The company was first founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhand and Marc Tarpenning, who had the vision of starting both a motoring and tech firm. The company is named after famed physicist Nikola Tesla, with the Roadster model actually using an AC motor which was directly descended from the scientist’s original 1882 design.

Tesla sign
Image: Shutterstock

The company first gained attention following the 2008 release of the Tesla Roadster, the very first electric sports car. Following the Roadster was the Model S, a sedan, which has since become one of the world’s best-selling plug-in electric cars. As of 2021, the Model 3 is now the best selling plug-in electric car in the world, followed by the Wuling HongGuang Mini EV and the Tesla Model Y.

In 2010, the company was the first automaker to go public since Ford in 1956. Listing on the NASDAQ, the company raised $226 million.

Who owns Tesla?

Elon Musk is the largest and the majority shareholder of Tesla, as well as being the CEO. The other executives own less than 1% of the company’s stock.

As of early December 2022, Musk owns 446.2 million shares valued at around $87 bn, which is roughly 14% of TSLA stock. However, Musk is in the process of selling Tesla shares as part of the financing of his agreement to purchase Twitter in late 2022.

Other major investors in Tesla include Vanguard Group (6.75%), Blackrock (5.44%), and Slate Street (3.16%).

Why is TSLA stock falling?

Tesla’s share price has plummeted over the last year from a peak of $400.59 to a current low of around $147.5. The drop is largely because investors have been squeamish about Musk running both Tesla and Twitter. Additionally, Musk has also sold parts of his stake in Tesla in order to finance the deal to purchase the social media giant, fuelling the drop.

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