|The following is taken from the book Owning Model S Chapter 1:|
Elon Musk often captures the headlines, but considerably less has been written about how Model S came to be. Many people believe that Elon started Tesla Motors and he is acknowledged as a co-founder of the company, but in reality he didn’t join until 2004. Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning started the original company in 2003 in San Carlos, California to mass-produce AC Propulsion’s tzero concept car, powered by Lithium-ion batteries.
Upon joining Tesla Motors, Elon set out to transform the company into something much greater. In 2006 Elon wrote:
...the overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and- burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy...”
The goal (at least for Elon) was not to build a successful car company per se, but to prove to the large auto markers that it was possible to create a successful, sustainable, electric car company, thereby spurring them to en- ter the market more aggressively than they would otherwise do.