The founders were influenced to start the company after GM recalled all its EV1 electric cars in 2003 and then destroyed them.

Tesla was founded in July 2003, by engineers Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, under the name Tesla Motors. The company's name is a tribute to engineer Nikola Tesla.

Elon Musk led the Series A round of investment in February 2004, joining Tesla's board of directors as its chairman.

The Total Annual Revenue of Tesla corporation in 2008 was 15 mil. US$.

The Total Annual Revenue of Tesla corporation in 2009 was 112 mil. US$.

On May 20, 2010, Tesla and Toyota announced a partnership to work on electric vehicle development, which included Toyota's US$50 million future conditional investment in Tesla and Tesla's US$42 million purchase of a portion of the former NUMMI factory.

The Total Annual Revenue of Tesla corporation in 2010 was 117 mil. US$.

The Total Annual Revenue of Tesla corporation in 2011 was 204 mil. US$.

Tesla's global sales since 2012 totaled over 532,000 units at the end of 2018, of which, over 245,000 were delivered in 2018, up almost 138% from 2017.

Model S deliveries began on June 22, 2012.

Tesla's first "new design" store opened on November 16, 2012 in the Yorkdale Shopping Centre in Toronto, Ontario. As of May 2017, eight Tesla stores/galleries operated in Montreal, Quebec City, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver.

The Total Annual Revenue of Tesla corporation in 2012 was 413 mil. US$.

The first Tesla Model S delivery in Europe took place in August 2013, at Tesla Store in Oslo.

In August 2013, Tesla trademarked the name "Model Y".

The Total Annual Revenue of Tesla corporation in 2013 was 2,013 mil. US$.

First deliveries of the right-hand-drive model destined for the UK, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan came in 2014.

The Tesla Model S Deliveries in China began in April 2014.

Musk announced on July 16, 2014 that the car would be called "Model 3" instead.

Tesla Autopilot provides semi-autonomous driver assist beginning in September 2014.

The Total Annual Revenue of Tesla corporation in 2014 was 3,198 mil. US$.

In April 2015, the company unveiled its Powerwall home and Powerpack industrial battery packs, and quickly received orders valued at US$800 million.

In May 2015, Tesla started selling refurbished Model S cars in the U.S. and within a month sold 1,600 cars.

In August 2015, Tesla launched a revamp of its stores to include interactive displays focused on safety, autopilot, charging network and motors.

Model X deliveries started in September 2015.

Deliveries of the Model X Signature series began on September 29, 2015.

In October 2015, Musk described a future "Model Y".

The Total Annual Revenue of Tesla corporation in 2015 was 4,046 mil. US$.

In 2016 BYD Auto was the world's top selling plug-in car manufacturer with 101,183 units sold, followed by Tesla with 76,243.

The Tesla Semi is an all-electric Class 8 semi-trailer truck first mentioned in the 2016 Tesla Master plan. Production is expected to begin in 2020.

In February 2016, Tesla battery cell costs were estimated at US$200 per kWh.

On March 31, 2016, Tesla unveiled the car (Model 3).

As of April 7, 2016, one week after the unveiling, Tesla reported over 325,000 reservations, representing sales of over US$14 billion.

In June 2016, Tesla opened its first store-within-a-store: a small outpost within the Nordstrom department store at The Grove shopping mall in Los Angeles.

On July 20, 2016, Musk detailed his new master plan for Tesla. It includes more affordable cars produced in higher volume, solar-power roofs, mid-size vehicles, SUVs and pickup trucks, as well as the refinement of autonomous vehicles and the creation of a sharing economy, in which cars can be active while the owner is not using them.

In September 2016, the Model X ranked as the top selling plug-in electric car in Norway.

In September 2016, Tesla announced it had been chosen "through a competitive process" to supply Southern California Edison (SCE) with 20 MW power (and 80 MWh energy) of battery storage.

As of October 2016, Tesla operated about 260 galleries or retail locations in the United States.

Norway ranked as the Model S largest overseas market as of November 2016, with 11,802 new units registered.

In November 2016, the company announced the Tesla glass technology group.

In November 2016, American Samoa's island of Ta'u with a population of approximately 600 was converted to a solar and battery microgrid from diesel-based energy generation.

In 2017, Tesla opened retail locations in Dubai.

The Total Annual Revenue of Tesla corporation in 2016 was 7,000 mil. US$.

Tesla ranked third by brand in 2017, behind BYD and BAIC.

In 2017 Tesla had a US$52 million marketing budget and used a referral program and word of mouth to attract buyers.

Customer deliveries of the Tesla Model 3 totaled 1,764 units in the U.S. in 2017.

As of May 2017, eight Tesla stores/galleries operated in Montreal, Quebec City, Calgary, Toronto and Vancouver.

In May 2017, Musk indicated that he might favor a 10-12 passenger version of the Model X over a dedicated minibus design.

In July 2017, Musk standard Model 3 was expected to deliver an EPA-rated all-electric range of 220 miles (350 km), while the long range model was estimated to deliver 325 miles (523 km).

As of July 2017, over 80 used Model S and Model X cars were for sale, with either a four-year, 50,000-mile warranty or a two-year, 100,000-mile warranty for vehicles above 50,000 miles.

As of July 2017, Tesla reported about 500,000 reservations.

The first 30 units were delivered at a special event on July 28, 2017.

In August 2017, Tesla announced that the Model Y would use the Model 3 platform.

Through a surprise reveal at the end of the event that introduced the Semi on November 16, 2017, Tesla unveiled the 2020 Roadster.

The Tesla Semi official announcement was at a November 16, 2017 press conference where two prototypes were shown.

The Total Annual Revenue of Tesla corporation in 2017 was 11,759 mil. US$.

Tesla ranked as the world's best selling plug-in passenger car manufacturer in 2018, both as a brand and by automotive group, with 245,240 units delivered, capturing a market share of 12% of all plug-in cars sold globally in 2018, followed by BYD Auto with 227,152 plug-in passenger cars delivered.

In February 2018, Tesla announced that they would unveil Model Y production plans within the next 3–6 months and posted open positions for Model Y production and design.

In June 2018, the production of the Tesla Model 3 reached 5,000 per week.

As of September 2018, the Model S, with global sales of 250,000 units, ranks as the world's second best selling plug-in electric car in history after the Nissan Leaf (over 350,000 units).

The Total Annual Revenue of Tesla corporation in 2018 was 21,461 mil. US$.

As of January 2019, Tesla was in talks with the government of Greece to provide solar and battery system for their islands with a proposed pilot on Limnos.

In January 2019, Tesla announced it would cut its full-time workforce by 7% – equal to about 3,150 employees – in order to reduce the cost of the Model 3 from $44,000 to $35,000.

In February 2019, Tesla announced that it planned to acquire ultracapacitor energy storage manufacturer Maxwell Technologies.

In February 2019, Tesla announced that it would shut down the bulk of its stores and begin to sell cars exclusively through the internet.

On February 28, 2019, Tesla announced that they would begin to roll out the Standard Range base model starting at $35,000.

The Model Y unveiling occurred on March 14, 2019.

On April 1, 2019, Tesla reached a settlement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over its mishandling of hazardous waste in 2017.

In April 2019, Tesla announced that all cars, excluding the Tesla Model 3, will include autopilot moving forward.

As of May 14, 2019, the Model S has three configurations: the Model S Standard Range, the Model S Long Range, and the Model S Performance with EPA ranges of 285 miles (459 km), 375 miles (604 km), and 345 miles (555 km) respectively.