April 14, 2024

Image for article titled The history of Elon Musk's Tesla: 11 major moments

Photo: Rebecca Cook (Reuters)

A prototype of the Lotus-based Tesla Roadster was first revealed by Tesla in July 2006, before deliveries began two years later; the first recipient of the Roadster was Musk in February 2008. By the next month, regular production was up and running

The Roadster was Tesla’s first-ever electric vehicle — or product in general — and was a major “milestone for the company and a watershed for the new era of electric vehicles,” according to then-CEO Ze’ev Drori. Drori took over as chief executive in 2007, after Musk pushed for Eberhard to step down.

Tesla sold 2,450 Roadsters for $109,000 each until the line was discontinued in January 2012. Known celebrity buyers include actors such as George Clooney and Matt Damon, musicians like Michael “Flea” Balzary of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Will.i.am., and former California governor and movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Tesla is set to unveil a second-generation Roadster by the end of the year, with production scheduled for 2025, according to Musk. He’s boasted that it will have “rocket technology” used by his other venture, SpaceX.

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