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elon musk
People Facts

Elon Musk Facts

Elon Reeve Musk was born on June 28, 1971, in Pretoria, South Africa to father Errol and mother Maye Musk.

In 1989 he moved to Canada and from 1992 lived in United States after receiving a scholarship from The University of Pennsylvania.

In 1995, created his first IT company Zip2. Sold it in 1999 for $307 million.

In 1999, he wanted to make online payments easier so he founded a company that is now known as PayPal. He sold it to eBay in 2002. for $1.5 billion.

PayPal Chief Executive Officer Peter Thiel, left, and founder Elon Musk, right, pose with the PayPal logo at corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., Oct. 20, 2000. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
PayPal founders Peter Thiel and Elon Musk (right)

In 2004 he wanted to make serial production of electric cars, so he invested $70 million in Tesla Motors and became the chairman of the board of directors. Tesla Motors made a series of electric super-cars which were pretty expensive, but Musk used earned money to further invest in electric vehicles and in early 2016. Tesla unveiled their $35,000 Tesla Model 3 electric car intended for mass production.

Elon Musk in front of the Tesla model S

In 2015, Tesla Motors unveiled its new product called Powerwall, a wall-mounted lithium ion battery that charges using electricity generated from solar panels, or from city power system when utility rates are low, and can provide 7-10 kWh of electric power. Any excess amount of power can be stored in batteries for later usage.

SolarCity is yet another of Musk’s companies. He is not the founder, but he is a shareholder since 2003 when he invested $10 million in the company. SolarCity provides homes, companies and governments with electric power generated with solar panels. In 2008, the company built solar-powered electric systems for British Motors and eBay to power their headquarters and servers.

He founded SpaceX in 2002, because he was fascinated by an ambitious idea of reducing space transportation costs to enable people to colonize Mars. In 2006 Musk invested over $100 million in the company to boost the development. Grasshopper and Falcon 9 are experimental launch vehicles that are able to make vertical landings and vertical takeoffs, meaning we could be able to re-use space transportation vehicles in near future.

Elon Musk / SpaceX

As it wasn’t enough, in 2013 he published a blog post about a new type of transportation called Hyperloop. It is a high speed solar powered transportation system driven by induction motors and air compressors. It should transport people from San Francisco to Los Angeles in 30 minutes covering the distance of 614.44 km (381.8 miles).

Hyperloop concept
Hyperloop concept

In early 2015, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies (HTT) signed an agreement to begin construction of the first full-scale test track in 2016  in the town of Quay Valley, CA, and complete the construction by 2017 – accepting passengers by 2018.

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