Born in 1856, Nikola Tesla has become one of the most well-known inventors, engineers and physicists of all time, pioneering the design of AC electricity supply systems, induction motors, radio communication devices, X-ray experiments, and countless other projects.
His name has been adopted by the Silicon Valley auto-manufacturer Tesla Motors, who continue to work on the foundations laid by the great scientist decades ago to create efficient electric vehicles for public use.
With new carbon emission targets being specified by the EU this month, the electric car is beginning to look like a real viable alternative for commuters across the world. Where previously speed and longevity had been significantly restricted in electric vehicles, Tesla Motors are pushing the boundaries in this engineering field to deliver high performance cars that promise to have a much smaller environmental impact than conventional petrol and diesel engines.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Tesla Motors is the manufacturer behind Consumer Reports top-rated car. In a climate of recession where green technology companies traditionally struggle, stocks in Tesla's Model S are rocketing, doubling in the last month alone.
In the first quarter, the Model S sold faster than its three most popular rivals, the Mercedes S Class, the BMW 7 Series and the Audi A8, turning this electric underdog into a serious competitor in the luxury car market.
Tesla Motors have recently accounced plans to triple the number of charging stations in the US and Canada by the end of the year, making electric-powered travel much easier and more efficient. Tesla promises that the increased number of stations will make coast-to-coast journeys a possibility, finally banging a nail in the coffin of electric vehicle dissenters.
Tesla cars are so popular that China has started pouring investments into electric car engineering and are planning to produce their own electric vehicles to rival the Tesla in the next few years.
With anxieties about global warming and carbon emissions on the rise and fuel prices going through the roof, it looks like it might be time for other vehicle manufacturers to start following in Tesla's pioneering footsteps.