19th Century Immigrant Shapes Our Future

Nicola Tesla was born in the territory of the former Austrian Empire in Europe. The physicist and engineer quickly developed into one of the most influential inventors of all time. Much of his discoveries and fundamental research have shaped the world of electricity into what we know it as today. Energy, magnetism, and alternating current were his predominant interests, but he also tried practical things in life and invented the first wireless remote control. The discovery of the alternating current made Tesla immortal as many of today’s power grids would be inconceivable without his transformers. Now, many years after his death, Tesla’s work came to spotlight again. Electric car pioneer Tesla was responsible for this. The American carmaker started a car revolution that has only just begun.

Early Days of Nicola Tesla

The inventor moved to the United States from the Austrian Empire. At the age of 29, he set foot in New York with no money, but just two days after his arrival, he had already found his first job. Tesla worked in the company of his future rival Thomas Alva Edison. Sadly, after a few months, Tesla gave up again as his salary did not meet his expectations, and he went on to found his own company. He soon applied for the first patents. Although his first company went bankrupt soon after, the immigrant didn’t lose heart this time. Tesla’s second attempt at business worked better.

Breakthrough Innovations

Tesla was interested in a variety of technical fields and submitted patent after patent. After a lecture on multi-phase alternating current at the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the American industrialist George Westinghouse became aware of Tesla and turned into his most important supporter. Tesla’s groundbreaking innovations were the basis for the power war that later broke out between Westinghouse and Edison. Tesla maintained a costly lifestyle throughout his life and financed it with his inventions. But he showed less interest in the practical implementation, because he always wanted to explore new things. However, despite the lack of practicality, some of Tesla’s inventions live on to this day.

The car manufacturer Tesla Motors also maintains this attitude. The US billionaire Elon Musk owns the car company and drives the development of his enterprise as rapidly as Tesla did a long time before him. However, the car company had to fight for the naming rights first. The name dispute only ended after an agreement with a Czech company called Tesla Holding eleven years ago. A lot has happened since then. While the traditional car industry initially ridiculed Musk, it has long since recognized that the signs of the times point to vehicle electrification. Many big car companies have radically changed their strategy and are also relying on the development of electric cars now.


Nikola Tesla was once an impoverished immigrant, but today he is considered one of the most brilliant inventors. Nikola Tesla’s successors laughed at first, but nobody laughs anymore. Just as Tesla’s alternating current prevailed over Edison’s direct current, history now seems to be repeating itself for electric cars. Electric car innovation is about to change the world forever.

KMME 2021