Tesla Motors was founded in July 2003 by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning. The company’s name is a tribute to the well-known inventor and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla.
Tarpenning bought the domain name TeslaMotors.com on April 23, 2003. Faraday was the alternative name choice for Tesla Motors selected by Eberhard. Ian Wright was Tesla’s third employee, joining a few months later.The team went to raise US$7.5 million in series A funding in February 2004 from various investors, including Elon Musk, who contributed the vast majority at $6.5 million and joined the company as chairman of the board of directors. The rest, as they say, is history.
In February 2017, Tesla Motors shortened its name to simply Tesla and the company upgraded its domain name from TeslaMotors.com to the exact brand match Tesla.com. Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, revealed that he invested $11 million to buy Tesla.com in February 2016 from its previous owner. The new domain matches the vision and image of the company – Tesla produces a lot more than just cars now.
“Buying Tesla.com took over a decade, $11M & amazing amount of effort. Didn’t like TeslaMotors.com even when we were only making cars.”