Taxpayer Subsidies Helped Tesla Motors So Why Does Elon Musk …

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Taxpayer Subsidies Helped Motors, So Why Does Elon Slam Them?

Silicon has always relied on the government to innovative businesses—no matter how it clings to the go-it-alone narrative.

shows off the Roadster at a trade

J. Emilio Flores/New York

It’s rush hour in Valley, and the techies on Highway 101 are me laser-beam stares of envy. the floorboard of my Tesla Model S, a pack of 7,000 laptop propels me down the carpool at a hushed 65 miles per hour. traffic grinds to a halt, and stuck trying to merge an exit ramp as Benzes and whip past.

It’s the I’m waiting for: I the throttle, and the Model S rockets up to speed so fast that I about flying off the roada fear, it turns out, the car corners like a barn And there you go, says Tina, my Tesla sales rep.

More Mother Jones of Tesla Motors

Every bit as as a Volvo (rear-facing trundle and sexier than an Aston the Model S isn’t just the greatest electric carit’s the world’s greatest car, The curmudgeons at Consumer Reports the seven-seater the best vehicle ever tested. and that’s docking it considerable points for able to travel 265 miles on a The first mass-market electric car from scratch, it sports trunks in the rear and under the an incredibly low center of gravity, and the to hit 60 mph in 4.2 seconds. Plus you can recharge it for the of a burrito.

Named car of the year by Motor . the Model S has recharged Tesla as In May, the company announced it had repaid, nine years a $465 million loan it had from the Department of Energy.

posted its first quarterly the same month, and by mid-July the price of the decade-old Palo carmaker had more than The buzz in the Valley is that has in the Model S something with the potential of the iPhoneand in its CEO, Musk, the next Steve Individuals come along rarely that are both as and driven as that, says Jim who writes for the New York Times Wheels blog.

Musk is not to settle for a product that is enough for the marketplace. He wants that is insanely great.

Musk, who is 42, certainly plays the well enough. The New Yorker Tad Friend has noted how his curious half-boots and a gray hacking with his Pee-wee haircut, blue-green eyes, South accent (he was born in Pretoria), and determination to save the worldsingle-handedly, if to make him seem somewhat

Fittingly, it turns out, in addition to Zip2 and PayPal, of which Musk cofounded he hit 30, his entrepreneurial portfolio includes Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), a that aims to colonize in 2008, it landed a $1.6 contract to resupply the International Station. He is also chairman and top of SolarCity, a solar finance and firm. There’s a kind of synergy at play here: If we all buy and charge them via a distributed network, then maybe we can the effects of global warming enough to populate the red planet.

as audacious is Musk’s determination to direct to customers, circumventing the dealer-franchise model of auto To do it, he’ll have to get a lot of state and laws changed against the of the dealers and their powerful groups. He’s just to do it his own way, Bill Wolters, of the Texas Automobile Dealers told NPR .

And then there was Musk’s throwdown with the N ew York ‘ Jon Broder, who wrote in a that the Model S had died his winter test-drive. In a wonky that captivated the business Musk used data the test car’s onboard to savage Broder’s fake and claim that he fabricated (The Times stood by its integrity, if not his precision with the

Musk’s latest Jetsons idea is the hyperloop, a bullet of sorts that would get you San Francisco to Los Angeles in a half-hour. My in all of my companies is to be involved in something I thought would have a impact, Musk told Rose in 2011. When I was in there were three that I thought would affect the world: One was the internet, the was sustainable energyboth production and the third one was space exploration, making life interplanetary.

As have turned out, I been able to be involved in all

Geek Mythology: What Startups Say vs. What They Do

RECORDSETTER Rhetoric: Our mission is to the bar of human achievement. Product/service: world records such as the hats worn while a bicycle, fastest poking of 10 friends, and longest Skype

Tesla Motors Electric Cars

Rhetoric: The beginning of history is by mankind’s first attempt to life.


Product/service: Social for mobile devices; also fancy emoji, such as a red drinking coffee.

Elon is a of enthusiasm, good humor, and Renaissance man in an era that needs the director Jon Favreau wrote in a couple of years back, using his friend as a model for Downey Jr.’s eccentric in Iron Man . (Musk briefly himself in the sequel.)

Yet Musk is emblematic of a curious strain of that seems to infect Valley as a whole. His breakaway is a powerful reminder of how the public can turbocharge innovation. It brings to the government-backed $500,000 investment in a startup known as Appleand the grants that funded the for Google.

But rather than poster boys for public-private Musk and other Valley have gone out of their way to themselves from their Shortly after paying off his million loan, Musk that government should no provide such assistance. A tax would be a better way, he adding.

Yes, am arguing against and in favor of a tax on the end bad created. Market then achieve best

It’s perhaps not hard to Musk’s temptation to bite the that feeds him, all the flak he took from over his Department of Energy On the campaign trail, Mitt branded Tesla a loser and it to the bankrupt solar firm (That Musk was an Obama probably didn’t help.) Palin slammed the company the sidelines as a manifestation of the administration’s capitalism. Yet Musk has gone his detractors’ argument that the shouldn’t be picking winners.

I ‘got rich’ from PayPal w zero govt he tweeted in May, and put 100% of into SpaceX, Tesla Tesla would still be with or without the DOE loan, he Popular Mechanics last We were bailed in, not bailed

If you’re an entrepreneur like Musk, you will take the where you can get it, but at the same time as a matter of faith that entrepreneurship and technology that are the of social change, not the state, Fred Turner, a Stanford who wrote the book From to Cyberculture . It is not quite self-delusion, but is a habit of thinking of oneself as a independent agent, and of not acknowledging the that one received. And this on all the time in the Valley.

Next Page: Musk’s business: keggers and Jell-O

Tesla Motors Electric Cars
Tesla Motors Electric Cars
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Tesla Motors Electric Cars
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