Tesla Motors was founded sixteen years ago this upcoming July 1st. The man behind the company is none other than revolutionary genius Elon Musk, although he didn't found the company himself.
Born in Pretoria, South Africa, Musk traveled to Canada, where he studied at Queen’s University, following that up with studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He walked away from school with an undergraduate degree in economics and a bachelor's degree in physics. His achievements include the creation of Paypal, Space X, and, of course, joining the electric car manufacturer, Tesla.
And it is this company that has made leaps and bounds in the electric car industry and although there have been setbacks over the years, he and his company have held their head up high and their faces set on taking on all adversity.
In quick succession and in a relative amount of short years, Musk and Tesla have brought the world many vehicles and have launched plans for more. But over the course of all this success, there has been a fair amount of controversy in the press concerning Musk himself and the company he built. But how can we separate fact from fiction? How can the public know what is true and which stories are nothing more than myth?
Join us as we take a look at some of the most outrageous myths concerning Elon Musk and Tesla and some facts that they probably don’t want you to know.
20 MYTH: THE EMISSION OF C02
It's no doubt that the automotive industry was turned on its ear when Tesla's vehicles were first introduced. Here was a vehicle that operated solely on electric power and what probably deterred most in the automotive industry was the vehicle's ability to function without the use of a combustion engine. So, of course, there were going to be a lot of jealous critics out there. And one theory that these critics conjured up was that the car still isn't as green as it promised because the emission of CO2 is still very prevalent while the cars are being manufactured. Well, at least there isn't any CO2 while the cars are being driven! I mean, come on, people!
19 FACT: SOMETHING WENT TERRIBLY WRONG WITH THE SELF-DRIVE TESTS
Of course, we can't always be a fly on the wall when these huge companies like Tesla are running their tests and experiments. But like many things on the internet or that get passed from mouth to mouth, these little bits of insider information have a way of getting lost in translation. And as they get lost along the way, they get distorted. Tesla was, at one point, testing their self-driving tech and there were reports that an incident occurred on location, but the company was quite silent about it. The only things to feed the rumor were the comments released afterward by the company that eluded to the fact that Tesla wouldn't be moving forward with their self-driving option as quickly as expected.
18 MYTH: UNFRIENDLY TESLA CAR BATTERIES?
Many have criticized even Tesla's batteries, claiming that they are not a friend to the environment. But we must say that this couldn't be more of a stretch fabricated by those who aren't happy with the company for other reasons altogether. What those reasons are, we can't say, but what we can say is that batteries, in general, are highly recyclable and Tesla batteries are no exception. The interesting thing about these batteries is that when they can no longer power a vehicle, they still have about 80% of normal battery power and, therefore, are still capable of powering other devices.
17 FACT: HORSEPOWER IS BASED ON HOW MUCH POWER IS LEFT
Now, even we can admit that there are drawbacks to these vehicles, no matter how much of a fan most of us are. There are drawbacks even to the greatest cars ever produced, so the Tesla vehicles are no exception to this rule. Yes, Teslas are very impressive, especially when looking at the specs and levels of power they are capable of reaching, but that power is based on the battery power brought on by the electrical charge. If this charge isn't present or if the batteries lose power, of course, the vehicle will lose it's maximum capabilities. But let's say, equally, if there's something wrong with a standard vehicle's combustion engine, it too will drop below its maximum power.
16 MYTH: TESLA'S CAR BATTERIES HAVE A SHORT LIFESPAN
This is a myth of epic proportions, as we know that the batteries have a decently long life. These batteries can go on to be used for a plethora of other functions after they've done their time in a really epic Tesla vehicle. But it is untruthful to say that they have a short lifespan, as (mostly) they work for quite a long period of time. But of course, this is all relative, as their expectancy should be based on batteries in general and not at all on human expectations. The batteries last a long while as far as batteries go but do last for less time than, say, a standard car battery would. But what many don't understand is that a car battery in a standard vehicle does a lot less work.
15 FACT: "BRICKING"
Firstly, bricking refers to an electronic device that has been considered useless because of corrupted software. And it was quite a few years back that a Tesla Roadster was used in conjunction with this term after a Roadster owner parked his vehicle that was low on charge for a considerable amount of time—over two months—and neglected to charge it. When he wanted to use the vehicle again, it was no longer chargeable. He posted this on social media being highly critical of the company and thus the "bricking" term caught on. But many have come to the defense of Tesla, claiming that it comes down to negligence, because everyone knows that a battery should never be left uncharged for long periods of time.
14 MYTH: TESLA WILL FAIL
People really shouldn't underestimate Elon Musk's (and Tesla's) ability to overcome. They have proven time and time again that they won't stay down. And even the unfortunate appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience wasn't enough to take the company down, when there were many who thought the company would fold shortly after, with some people actually giving the company a few short weeks left to exist. The reality here is that the company has done well and for good reason. The innovations that they have brought forth are unmatched by any company producing electric vehicles, so these rumblings are definitely the stuff of myth.
13 FACT: AN INCIDENT OF SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION
And what is any company without some unfortunate situations every now and again? Controversial situations happen to many that are in the public eye and they aren't reserved only for huge companies like Tesla. Celebrities go through such situations, as well, and they overcome them just as quickly (some quicker than others, of course). But unfortunately, there was an incident in which a Tesla vehicle, specifically a Model 3 actually ignited in traffic all of a sudden. Now, this occurrence was unfortunate, but this has definitely happened many times to other standard vehicles, as well.
12 MYTH: THE FUTURE OF THE EV DEPENDS ON TESLA
This is actually quite a myth because there are in fact many other companies working in that field, some of which have long tenures working with and producing combustion-engine vehicles—but more on them shortly. Let's take a brief second to state the need for the media to single out certain brands simply because they get the most attention right off the bat. Tesla enjoyed success after a few short years of designing and preparing to launch their vehicles. And of course when we say they, we predominantly mean Elon Musk, as he is the single driving force behind that company and without him, we feel that the company would fold.
11 FACT: THERE ARE OTHER EV COMPANIES
Interestingly enough, there are quite a number of electronic-vehicle producers out there, including BMW, Chevrolet, Fiat, Ford, Girfalco, Honda, Hyundai...and the list goes on and on. In actual fact, there are even electric motorcycles out there, particularly the company Zero Motorcycles and the incredible amount of work they've done. As for Tesla, there were rumblings that they were working on an electric bike of their own, but those rumors were nipped in the bud quite quickly by Musk himself when he stated that Tesla was halting any and all plans for a motorcycle in the near future. (Maybe one day, though.)
10 MYTH: MUSK HALTED SELF-DRIVING OUT OF FEAR
Fear is a pretty broad term. Rumblings like this one here are always accompanied by a great deal of propaganda; ulterior motives can be seen running through such rumors if one looks closely enough. It's more than natural to feel fear and for a great many number of reasons. We're sure that a man like Musk will have any number of rational fears and if he warns against something, he has good reason to warn against it because he certainly has done his research. But there is some truth to this myth; he doesn't fear the self-driving option, he's merely being careful—for his consumers, his company and for himself, as he will not release new technology unless it's positively ready for distribution.
9 FACT: CHARGING TAKES A TAD LONG
Here's one we've got to give to the "haters" out there. Yes, charging can take a tad long, but what else is to be expected? Here's an idea: while your Tesla is charging, read a book—a real book, one that's made of paper and took a lot of work to write. There are epic books out there by writers of the past and newer books available by great, emerging writers of the present and the future. And if you don't like paper books and want to be as futuristic as your Tesla, there are an equal amount of e-books out there. So go ahead, there are many to chose from—and let your Tesla charge.
8 MYTH: ELON MUSK HAS BEEN "CONTACTED"
This one's pretty funny, but according to many out there, the only way a man can achieve all he's achieved and created as much as he's created is if he's been contacted by some aliens from another planet! People don't like to give credit where credit's due anymore, it seems. If an actor's the center of attention in Hollywood, then he's in cahoots with some sort of organization that's enabling him and only him to succeed. And of course, if a man or woman is smarter than most others in the room, then he has definitely been aboard a mothership. It's pretty ridiculous that this society can't recognize genius without getting suspicious.
7 FACT: TOO EXPENSIVE
This, unfortunately, is quite true—but at the same time, this is something that Elon Musk is actually quite aware of. He has spoken on this issue many times and yes, he does consider it to be an issue. He feels that if the vehicles would be more affordable to one and all, the company would only do that much better and there would be many more types of vehicles available to the public, as well. But the materials it takes to produce Tesla vehicles are quite expensive, as is the process, so that explains the astronomical price of these cars. But Musk has also gone on record as saying that he plans to remedy this issue and make Tesla vehicles available to all classes in the economic spectrum.
6 MYTH: THE MAINSTREAM IS TESLA'S ONLY CHANCE AT SURVIVAL
This is a myth of epic proportions, as well, as we find that Tesla has received little or no support from the mainstream. Yes, they have been taking up space on social media like an elephant would in a crowded room—but let us ask you this: when was the last time you saw a Tesla being showcased in some Hollywood film the way the vehicles in The Fast and the Furious films are? That's right, never! And if there is a film out there, or rather a TV show, then it hasn't achieved that much attention for the brand. Tesla achieved all the attention it has by the quality of their product and consumer reactions alone and we'd say that that's a lot of attention, regardless.
5 FACT: THEY DID SUFFER ON THE MARKET
This, too, is quite true. There was a definitive dip in the market for Tesla, especially after Elon Musk's appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience. And especially because the news hit the media, a few days prior to his appearance, that the company VP decided to walk away from Tesla (but more on that later). But once again, we'd like to call your attention that Tesla is the big dog in the room and all eyes are on Tesla, so any change in the economic spectrum will definitely be noticed here before any other company or organization. These dips happen a lot more than you would think and to all companies out there.
4 MYTH: MUSK IS AFRAID OF ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
It's no surprise to any of you—or rather, it shouldn't be—that Elon Musk has made his point quite clear on artificial intelligence. He has spoken out on the subject at many intervals in the last few years but unfortunately, there are many in the media that have run rampant with his statements, using those statements to make it seem as though his comments come from a place of fear rather than understanding. Elon Musk is a very intelligent man and if he warns the public of the dangers of trusting artificial intelligence, then maybe we would do well to listen. After all, he's been testing his theories for years, and only he can attest to the validity of his claims.
3 FACT: MUSK'S APPEARANCE ON THE JOE ROGAN PODCAST
Joe Rogan has made a living from his comedy and his ability to be a well-versed color commentator for the UFC. But over the last few years, his podcast has become one of the most successful podcasts around. His guests include actors, writers, musicians, and, of course, game-changers like Musk himself. But Rogan can also be considered a shrewd journalist, as he is an expert at the game of making his guests feel comfortable and opening up about things that they maybe should have kept to themselves. It's no question that Musk's appearance on the show was a PR mistake, as he definitely got a little too comfortable and in the process, he may have disclosed a little too much information that didn't come across all that well.
2 MYTH: TESLA IS IN FINANCIAL PERIL
No, Tesla is not in financial peril, despite what you've read in your social media news feed. These are extensions of the actual truth that can be found only if you look at the right sources. Yes, the company suffered a significant dip in the market, as we've stated, but by no means does that mean that the company is gearing up to file for Chapter 11. That's not at all how it works. Companies like this dip and rise and this happens as often as the tide comes in and draws back out, so no attention should be given to this mistaken viewpoint on a very successful company despite some serious red ink on their books.
1 FACT: THE DEPARTURE OF TESLA'S VP
Before Elon Musk was to make his fateful appearance on the infamous Joe Rogan podcast, his longtime Vice President of Operations decided to leave the company. So much mystery surrounded this occurrence that many actually started to question the direction and future of the company. Even Musk appeared to be a tad lost on the podcast and seemed decimated by the loss of the VP, but perhaps there were other reasons for his sudden appearance. Basically, when a company's success is based on one man—Musk, in this case—it rarely matters who leaves the team, as the company was taken into the stratosphere by him and only him.
Sources: Wikipedia, NY Times, CleanTechnica, and Washington Post.