Editor's Blog

Elon Musk and the electric car metanarrative

Last week was a great one for Elon Musk. Morgan Stanley published a glowing report about Tesla’s growth potential in the lithium-ion battery market. Consumer Reports named the Model S the top car of 2014. And  Musks’s personal value topped $1 billion thanks to the electric car-maker’s skyrocketing stock price.

Elon Musk is no oracle or hero. But you have to hand it to him for helping change the metanarrative about electric cars.

The electric car has been a borderline laughingstock, especially when partisan politics is on the line. The story has been GM crushing the EV1, range anxiety, and unattractive, low-performance cars that wouldn’t have been built without government subsidies.

But Musk is above the “green energy” political fights. His car company paid back its DOE loan early. He’s said that continuing to burn fossil fuels at the rate we do is “the world’s dumbest experiment,” but he’s no environmental activist. He’s a billionaire entrepreneur who sells unconventional cars. And most importantly, people seem to love those cars.

 

-- Mike Orcutt

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