What Does the Name “Tesla” Mean? How Do You Pronounce It?

Tesla Motors (usually just called Tesla) is an American electric car company based in San Carlos, California. You’ve probably heard of the company or its famous CEO, Elon Musk.

Where Did the Name Come From?

The name Tesla refers to the inventor Nikola Tesla, a Serbian futurist, electrical engineer, and all-around scientific genius. Born in 1856 in Croatia, Tesla would later move to the United States, where he designed and developed numerous electronic inventions.

The first Tesla Motors car, called the Roadster, used an AC motor based on one that Nikola Tesla originally patented in 1888. As an homage to Tesla, the founders of Tesla Motors decided to name their company after him:

Tesla’s engineers first designed a powertrain for a sports car built around an AC induction motor, patented in 1888 by Nikola Tesla, the inventor who inspired the company’s name. The resulting Tesla Roadster was launched in 2008. Accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and achieving a range of 245 miles per charge of its lithium ion battery, the Roadster set a new standard for electric mobility. Tesla would sell more than 2,400 Roadsters, now on the road in more than 30 countries.

Source: TeslaMotors.com

How Do You Pronounce Tesla?

It’s pretty simple. In American English, it is pronounced with two syllables:


To pronounce the full company name, simply add the word motors. The pronunciation of Tesla doesn’t change:

Tess-La Mo-Tehrz
(ˈtɛslə ˈmoʊtərz)

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