Who is Tesla's REAL Founder? Elon Musk Exposes the CRAZY Backstory

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Special thanks to the following for permission to use their material:
0:08 Elon Musk image used with permission courtesy of U.S. Air Force Academy
0:19 Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley. Check out Part I of their interview with Elon Musk here
1:17 Original Tesla roadster on Hoovies Garage
1:23 Martin Eberhard interview courtesy of
3:15 Original Tesla Roadster footage used with permission from: Rover_Nut on Flickr
6:33 Elon Musk image used with permission courtesy of the U.S. Air Force Academy

Thumbnail source:
Elon Musk image: Used with permission courtesy of U.S. Air Force Academy
Martin Eberhard image: Nicki Dugan, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

0:08 Mark Zuckerberg image: Anthony Quintano from Honolulu, HI, United States, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Jeff Bezos image: Daniel Oberhaus, CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons
0:16 Martin Eberhard image: Nicki Dugan, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
0:25 Elon Musk image: Maurizio Pesce from Milan, Italia, CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Background image: Tumbenhaur, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Elon Musk image: OnInnovation CC-BY ND 2.0 via Flickr
JB Straubel image: RudolfSimon, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons
Mark Tarpenning image: LinkedIn
Ian Wright image: LinkedIn
3:53 Tesla Motors Inc., Copyrighted free use, via Wikimedia Commons
4:03 Timothy Watkins image sourced from Valor Equity Partners
4:12 Credits: Klima- und Energiefonds, Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) via Flickr
4:17 3:17 Spencer Thomas, Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr
4:36 Argonne National Laboratory, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
4:45 Michael Marks image sourced from Celesta Capital
4:48 Image of Ze’ev Drori sourced from Alamy (Newsthink is a registered client)
4:53 Elon Musk image: JD Lasica from Pleasanton, CA, US / CC BY (
6:10 Elon Musk image: Used with permission courtesy of U.S. Air Force Academy
6:34 Elon Musk image: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Articles and interviews referenced:
0:10 BBC interview with Elon Musk
0:27 CNBC interview with Martin Eberhard and Mark Tarpenning
1:50 Ashlee Vance biography on Elon Musk
4:59 2008 Newsweek article with Martin Eberhard
5:19 2008 Fortune article with Elon Musk


  1. While not a fan of Mr Musk, it is even more difficult to be sympathetic to Mr Eberhard.

  2. I was fortunate to personally invest heavily in "Tesla" back in 2019, before the huge increase in share value. As part of my due diligence ( I worked in the Investment Industry) my friends and I did a very "in depth" investigation of the history of Tesla. (We follow a Top Down approach.) We pieced together a timeline of what happened from when Tesla Motors was launched in 2003, right through how the main company personnel were brought on board. How it was funded and by whom. It paints a clear picture of what happened and Musk is totally correct.

    Tarpenning and Eberhard registered the company but had NO MONEY. Nothing except some ideas. They were looking to buy/bring in AC Propulsion, an EV company that had already made EV prototypes. But, no dosh. They didn't really have the right connections either, to get money. So they brought in Ian Wright (a Kiwi working in Silicon Valley) Essentially, he arranged a couple of small investors, plus Elon Musk. Musk liked the basic concept of an EV but was concentrating on SpaceX. He was still flush with his Pay Pal money and "invested" $3 to 6 million to allow Tesla Motors to actually do some things with AC P. ACP wasn't interested and Eberhard and Tarpenning started heading off on a tangent and Musk realised they didn't really have a clue re external design and 6 MONTHS later, almost a year after first being registered, brought in JB Straubel. Now this was the 5 that effectively started Tesla Motors. Without all 5, Tesla would never have got off the ground.

    In a Court case, Musk established that all 5 would be credited with being Tesla Motors Co-founders.

    Eberhard shortly after "did the dirty" on Ian Wright and effectively, forced him out. He had other interests so moved on. Strange how we don't hear much about that part!

    The situation with bringing in Lotus for their body was all Eberhard and later Musk berated himself for going along with it. It was a nightmare and eventually Musk realised he needed to get more involved if he wanted it to be a success.

    Eberhard and Tarpenning wanted the next car to be a bigger, more powerful sports car but Musk said "Noooo". A family sedan should be next if they wanted to making EV's a viable option for everyday transport for humanity. (The model S)

    He removed Eberhard and so the Tesla legend began.

    They bought in Fisker as a design consultant for Model S who then proceeded to effectively "steal" the designs for S and instead, designed his own car called Fisker. Musk fired him when they thought his car designs were not good enough. Luckily he was never given the technical specs of the internal car. He was a car designer, not an engineer and completely cocked up internal cooling systems and other important aspects, meaning his Fisker cars always had problems and bombed out. Musk bought in Franz von Holzhausen who is responsible for all the rest of the Tesla vehicles. So it began…

  3. Could you do a video on starship? Most other videos are really complicated. Also I really like the formate you do. Tanks and keep up the good work. Always look forward to your new videos !

  4. Damn, looks like Cindy is doing well. That YouTube money allowed her to buy a Tesla Model S.

  5. Dear Cindy. I tried to hold back and not tell you this but I just couldn't hold it in.
    You look so lovely to me in the lighting of your Tesla.

    You only show brief views of yourself and you are definitely NOT a computer generated voice as some may suspect.. It's like you are too perfect to be real! You really are REAL and a person to be very much admired.

  6. "the reason why he is the richest man in the world" ~ as if Tesla would've been in its current state if it weren't for musk persistence.

    you can clearly see that he tried to build from start again and failed as he was not capable of doing what musk was able to do.

  7. Elon is a complete as***hole to eberhard. He claim to invest in a shell company but that's not true. Cuz eberhard had already had a plan and business. Mark conspired to Out throw eberhard

  8. 5:54 small mistake in your narration Cindy. The image in the video says "No IP… " as in no intellectual property but you said "no IP address"

  9. Amazing how this story is repeated on a set schedule. At critical moments when the oligarchs are trying to buy on the cheap immediately before TESLA revenue, news technolog and earnings are about to explode. It would be interesting if the SEC would investigate this weird media sources seem to repeat these stories at specific intervals. Would be interesting to investigate the investment strategies of those financing this repeated "news". Did they short and buy Puts immediately before repeating their stories? Are they buying after covering Puts and then buying stock and Calls?

  10. No need for magnesium. All you have to do is date me and I will bore you into a deep sleep. Lol

  11. Wait a minute: Eberhard is responsible for production issues of the model 3? How does that work?