Watching it makes it seem almost unreal.

Tesla is known across the globe as the world's foremost electric vehicle maker. In fact, aside from a number of growing brands in China, Tesla really is the only successful electric-only automaker in the world. Moreover, it's making EVs for many countries across the globe.

It's crazy to think that it wasn't very long ago that Tesla entered the market as a niche automaker with little chance of success. Tesla starting making expensive electric sports cars in small batches, not long before a time that the U.S. headed deep into recession, and traditional automakers struggled. Some only survived thanks to government bailouts.

Today, the Tesla Model 3 is the best-selling EV of all time, passing vehicles that have been on the market for much longer, such as the Nissan LEAF. The Model Y electric crossover is anticipated to join the Model 3, selling in huge numbers across the globe. It wasn't that long ago that Tesla's vehicles weren't selling very well, it was on the verge of bankruptcy, and it looked like the Silicon Valley automaker may not weather the storm. 

The situation has been looking up for Tesla over the last year or so, with five consecutive quarters of profits, impressive production and delivery numbers, and expansion around the world. Keep in mind, all of this has unfolded between 2006 and 2020, while many legacy automakers have been around for 100 years or so. The animated graphic below shows Tesla's growth much better than any words on a page. 

 

As you can see, just this July, Tesla passed Toyota as the most valuable automaker in the world by market cap. Interestingly, the electric automaker is still small and doesn't sell nearly as many vehicles as many of the massive companies it has passed. And, some would argue, Tesla has just begun. 

The U.S.-based electric car maker is now building cars at a new factory in China, building another factory in Germany, and yet another in Texas. Tesla CEO Elon Musk continues to insist that demand for its vehicles is high, and it's production constrained. If this is true, and it remains so, it's hard to fathom Tesla's future growth when its manufacturing capacity grows exponentially.

What do you think? Will Tesla's future be bright? Will the growing competition stifle the electric automaker? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.