Founded by a significant investment by ELON MUSK ($328M net worth) currently Chairman of Tesla and SolarCity as well as founder of Zip2, SpaceX, PayPal and the Musk Foundation.
on HISTORY When "I first rode in an early prototype car called the T-Zero from AC Propulsion over three years ago. Although it was very primitive from an automotive standpoint, the T-Zero convinced me that the technological pieces were in place to make an electric car without compromises."
on SALES HYPE "We have 100 collector's edition cars for sale for $100,000 up front deposit for purchase and only a few units are left. The buyers are a who's who of Silicon Valley, Hollywood and Forbes 400 members. Next year's Academy Awards will see a lot of Tesla Roadster's being driven. Compared to the Roadster, the Prius is a gas-guzzling hog!"
on STRATEGIC PLANS "an ultra low cost model is not currently in our plans...Tesla will be co-marketing sustainable energy products... we will be offering a modestly sized and priced solar panel from SolarCity...will generate about 50 miles per day of electricity... If you travel less than 350 miles per week, you will therefore be energy positive"
on BATTERY TALK "The Tesla Lithium-Ion battery pack is actually non-toxic and landfill safe...there are almost 7000 individual cells. If some of them fail early, the effect on your range is tiny. The cells are arranged in blades, so if a large number of cells in one blade fail for whatever reason, we can just replace the blade. As we optimize the battery pack costs over time, which is a big research area for Tesla, I expect the cost of the pack to drop considerably...as battery prices drop and capacity increases, I think we will one day see truck batteries with a 2000-mile transcontinental range."
For a complete energy source to wheel efficiency analysis check out Tesla's white paper: http://teslamotors.com/media/white_papers.php