Elon Musk reveals what Tesla would have been called if the company hadn't bought the rights to the 'Tesla' name

  • Elon Musk said Tesla‘s alternate name was “Faraday,” later used by the electric vehicle startup Faraday Future.
  • According to Musk, the rights to the “Tesla” name were purchased for $US75,000 in 2004.
  • Musk also said the automaker had to wait over 10 years and pay $US11 million to purchase the rights to use “Tesla.com” as its web address.
  • Tesla is named for the Serbian-American engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla, whose inventions and discoveries include the rotating magnetic field, which made possible the alternating-current motor used in many electric vehicles.

Tesla may have used a name later adopted by a competitor if it hadn’t been able to buy the rights to the “Tesla” name, CEO Elon Musk said on Saturday via Twitter.

According to Musk, the alternate name for the automaker was “Faraday,” later used by the electric vehicle startup Faraday Future, which was founded in 2014.

“Tesla history trivia: we didn’t actually come up with the Tesla Motors name. Bought trademark off Brad Siewert for $US75k in late 2004. He’d originally filed for it in 1994. Our alternative name was Faraday, which was used by a competitor several years later,” Musk said.


Read more: Elon Musk broke one of Tesla’s biggest Autopilot rules in a TV interview

Musk also said the automaker had to wait over 10 years and pay $US11 million to purchase the rights to use “Tesla.com” as its web address. Tesla had previously used “Teslamotors.com” as its web address.

“Buying Tesla.com took over a decade, $US11M & amazing amount of effort. Didn’t like teslamotors.com even when we were only making [cars],” he said.

Tesla is named for the Serbian-American engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla, whose inventions and discoveries include the rotating magnetic field, which made possible the alternating-current motor used in many electric vehicles.

Have a Tesla news tip? Contact this reporter at [email protected].

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