Elon oversees the company's product strategy -- including the design, engineering and manufacturing of electric vehicles and battery products for consumers. He helped design the ground-breaking Tesla Roadster, for which he won an Index and a Global Green award. In October 2008, he took on the additional responsibility of overseeing daily operations as the company was ramping up Roadster production and accelerating the development of its second vehicle, Model S.
Elon launched Tesla's regional sales and service centers across two continents and in May 2009 secured a $50 million investment and strategic partnership from Germany's Daimler. He spearheaded a successful cost-down program that enabled Tesla to achieve profitability in July 2009. He guides development of the Model S, the all-electric family sedan that is produced at the Tesla Factory in Northern California.
Elon has been fascinated by electric cars for two decades. After earning bachelor's degrees in physics and business from the University of Pennsylvania, he worked briefly on ultracapacitors at Pinnacle Research in Silicon Valley to understand their potential as an energy storage mechanism for EVs. He planned to do graduate studies at Stanford in materials science and applied physics but put school on hold to start Internet companies Zip2 and PayPal. In addition to his Tesla duties, he leads SpaceX,where he oversees the development and manufacturing of advanced rockets and spacecraft for missions to and beyond Earth orbit.
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