They came *this* close to a deal...Excerpts from a new book that is coming out next month have revealed that Google almost bought Tesla in 2013, when the company was going through a tough period soon after the Model S came out but before all the kinks were ironed out and it had the traction that it has now with buyers (the company is now selling everything they can make, with waiting lists, but back then they had trouble turning some pre-orders into real sales). “If we don’t deliver these cars, we are f---ed,” Musk told the employees, according to a person at the meeting. “So I don’t care what job you were doing. Your new job is delivering cars.”
As Musk put the whole company in crisis mode, firing some senior executives and promoting the most promising young employees to turn things around, he also went to see Larry Page, co-founder and CEO of Google to negotiate a sale. They apparently reached agreement on the general terms, which would have been 6 billion dollars, including a promise to invest 5 extra billion in Tesla factories to help bring the more affordable Model 3 to market (this probably includes a few billions for the battery Gigafactory), and Elon Musk would've stayed at Tesla, working under Page, for 8 years to make sure that happened (his goal from the start has always been to make an affordable electric car).
But we'll probably never find out what the Tesla-Google EV would be like because before deal could be finalized, Tesla's fortune turned, Model S started flying off the shelves, and the next quarter the company turned its first profit, removing the need of a sale to Google.
So Tesla was almost sold for 6 billions in 2013, and now it is worth 26 billions dollars in the stock market. Not bad for 2 years...
This near-sale to Google is interesting because I've recently looked at some of the reasons why I think Tesla might be sold at some point, though the company I had in mind was not Google, it was Apple. You can read about it here: 9 reasons why I think Apple might buy Tesla.