NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Electric car manufacturer Tesla Motors (TSLA) has gained significant interest from consumers with each new model of its car that it releases. But investors may be surprised to find that the company has proven to have a reach far beyond automobiles.
Tesla is also know for its energy innovation, its design and its technological endeavors. The company, founded in 2003 in Silicon Valley by a group of engineers that included CEO Elon Musk, was named after Nikola Tesla, who in 1888 patented the AC induction motor that Tesla's sports car powertrain was built around.
The Tesla Roadster, introduced in 2008, was the first all electric sports vehicle. Musk oversaw the product design of the Roadster. It was the first production car to use lithium-Ion battery cells. Next, came the Model S, a fully electric luxury sedan which has a range of 265 miles, equal to about 89 mile per gallon. In 2015, Tesla introduced the Model X, a full-size crossover utility vehicle with functional Falcon Wing Doors.
In addition to its 2015 releases, Tesla unveiled Powerwall, a home battery that stores excess power produced by solar panels for later use. This power source can also charge the battery inside a Tesla car. Tesla, along with its partner Panasonic, is currently constructing a $5 billion 'gigafactory' in Nevada. The factory will provide Tesla's growing collection of models with lithium-ion batteries. Next up for the California-based company is its Model 3 vehicle, a more affordable electric car starting at about $35,000. Tesla Motors went public on June 29th, 2010, and the stock is up nearly 1,300% since it began trading 5 years ago.