Is Elon Musk Related to Tesla? The Truth Behind the Name


Tesla is one of the most innovative and successful companies in the world, producing electric vehicles, battery products, and solar energy products. The company is led by Elon Musk, a visionary entrepreneur and billionaire who also founded SpaceX, Neuralink, and The Boring Company. But is Elon Musk related to Tesla, the company’s namesake and the legendary inventor of the alternating current induction motor? This article will explore the connection between Elon Musk and Nikola Tesla, and how the company got its name.

Who was Nikola Tesla?

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American electrical engineer and inventor who lived from 1856 to 1943. He is best known for his contributions to the development of the alternating current (AC) electricity system, which is widely used today. He also invented the Tesla coil, the induction motor, the radio, the remote control, and many other devices. He held more than 700 patents and was involved in a famous rivalry with Thomas Edison over the use of AC or direct current (DC) electricity.

Tesla was a visionary and a genius, but also a misunderstood and underappreciated figure in his time. He died alone and in debt in a New York hotel room, leaving behind many unfinished projects and mysteries. He is now regarded as one of the greatest inventors and scientists of all time, and a source of inspiration for many innovators and entrepreneurs.

How did Tesla get its name?

Tesla, the company, was founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning, two engineers who wanted to create a high-performance electric sports car. They named the company after Nikola Tesla, as a tribute to his work and legacy in electrical engineering. They also wanted to use the Tesla unit of magnetic flux density as a measure of the power of their electric motors.

Eberhard and Tarpenning were later joined by Elon Musk, who became the lead investor and chairman of the company in 2004. Musk had made his fortune from the sale of PayPal, an online payment company he co-founded, to eBay in 2002. He shared the vision of Tesla’s founders and became the driving force behind the company’s growth and innovation. He became the CEO and product architect of Tesla in 2008, and remains the largest shareholder and the public face of the company today.

Is Elon Musk related to Nikola Tesla?

There is no evidence to suggest that Elon Musk is related to Nikola Tesla by blood or ancestry. They are connected only by the name of the company and their common interest in technology and innovation. However, Musk has expressed his admiration and respect for Tesla, and has said that he is an inspiration for him and many other entrepreneurs.

In 2010, Musk said in a statement: “Nikola held more than 700 patents and remains an inspiration to me personally and to many entrepreneurs and inventors—both in Silicon Valley and around the world. Without his vision and brilliance, our car wouldn’t be possible. If he were alive today, I’m sure Nikola Tesla would be a very happy Roadster customer and a passionate advocate of electric vehicles.”

Musk has also donated $1 million to the Tesla Science Center, a museum dedicated to Nikola Tesla, in 2014. He also named one of his sons Xavier, which is similar to the middle name of Nikola Tesla, Xaver. However, Musk has also said that he is a bigger fan of Thomas Edison than Nikola Tesla, because he admires Edison’s practicality and perseverance


Elon Musk and Nikola Tesla are not related, but they are both icons of technology and innovation. Tesla, the company, is named after Nikola Tesla, the inventor, as a homage to his work and legacy. Elon Musk, the CEO, is inspired by Nikola Tesla, but also by Thomas Edison and other pioneers. Together, they represent the past, present, and future of electric power and transportation.