Tesla is an exciting company that produces amazing products lead by a charismatic genius. There are many interesting facts about the company, its products, and its people. Here are some incorrect myths, and misconceptions anyone but a true insider may not know the truth about. To keep things simple we have provided the statements in "true or false" format.
Tesla is a Startup Company
The startup company that began making electric cars in 2003 was called Tesla Motors, Inc. That company no longer exists. Tesla Motors was rolled up into Tesla the holding company in early 2017. By the time that happened, Tesla Motors was already a 14-year-old company and is now about to turn 15. Tesla, Inc. is currently one of the largest American companies by market valuation. The company had over 40,000 employees prior to its recent downsizing. It does not fit any definition of "startup company." Tesla was in the car business before Apple was in the phone business.
Elon Musk Founded Tesla
Elon Musk was not one of the two original founders of Tesla. The two founders of Tesla Motors, Inc. are Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. Neither is involved in Tesla anymore. Musk joined the company in 2004. Initially, he was the money guy who worked with Tesla on its initial big financing. He was also its first Chairman of the Board. Elon Musk has played a massive role in Tesla. Founder is not one of those roles.
The Tesla Model 3 is Tesla's Third Vehicle
False - The four vehicles Tesla has sold commercially in order are; The Roadster, The Model S, The Model X, and the Model 3.
Tesla's Model S Is "The Safest Car In the World"
The Tesla Model S is a VERY safe vehicle. Elon Musk is entitled to his opinion that the car is the safest in the world, but what do the folks who test cars say? In 2013 NHTSA conducted its routine tests and the Model S performed splendidly. Musk has been accused of exaggerating the stellar results, but there is no need to. It did well. The first problem with relying on NHTSA tests is that it does not perform the most rigorous safety testing in America. IIHS does. In IIHS testing, the Model S failed to match the Good results now common on a key crash test. Tesla was given an unusual second chance. Again it was ranked near the bottom of its group and narrowly missed earning the lowest score of Poor.
In an analysis of real-world crashes, the Model S has an unusually high frequency and cost of repairs. Though these are not direct indicators of how safe a car is, crash frequency is certainly an indicator.
No Driver Has Ever Died In a Tesla
There was a time when this was true and Elon Musk mentioned it during that period. There was also a time in every car model's existence when this is true. Right up until the first fatality. Both occupants and also drivers have been killed in Tesla vehicles. Tesla cars have also been involved in accidents that killed innocent people. One of the most recent fatalities, just to provide one example, was a single-vehicle crash that killed an Apple employee in a Model X that was operating on Autopilot.
Tesla's Affordable Model 3 "Starts at $35,000"
This is a myth that Tesla worked hard to create. No Tesla Model 3 has ever been delivered at $35,000, and almost a year after it first went on sale and was first delivered to new owners, Tesla still has not scheduled a car to be built at that price. Most Model 3 cars sell between $55K and $59K. The newest trim announced will sell in the $80K range when fully optioned.
How'd you do on the test? If we've missed any myths or misconceptions, please feel free to let us know in the comments below.