Tesla's Co-Founder: Electric Cars Have Been Pieces of Crap


Now that Silicon Valley’s own electric car company, Tesla, is planning on delivering the Roadster at least a year behind schedule, the company is doing some serious PR work in the WSJ this morning, with both an article and a video interview with co-founder and former CEO Martin Eberhard.

The article doesn’t add much to the discussion, but the video interview is pretty classic. Eberhard says all the other people that have tried to start electric car companies have been wrong and those cars have been “pieces of crap” that nobody has wanted to buy. Hopefully the Roadster can take up that gauntlet. Here’s the quote:

In general, it seemed to me, that the way that all other people have started electric car companies — gotten into the business — was wrong. They wanted to make a car that would save the world, so they need to make a car that everybody can afford. And they tried to come in at the bottom end of the market. And they tried to go up against very, very mature companies and a very, very mature industry, and every single component that they buy costs them double what Honda or Hyundai or somebody pays for that same part. So they wind up with a car that is a piece of crap and nobody wants to buy it.

And the video:



Iam in the 90% Ev area. I can not afford a 98,000 electric car. But I do own a Zap Xebra Pk. which cost me about 11,000. I can’t do 100mph but then the highest speed limit in my city is 35mph so I just saved 87,000 dollars being a member of the 90% EV group. Wow, I can even go by a couple more zap’s for my friends and still be under the 98,000 price tag. Look out ……… zap is knocking at your front door.


Eberhard could have simply said the the RAV4 EV and the EV1 were too expensive for their targeted consumers.


Oh no he didn’t? Did he just call every electric vehicle ever made a piece of *#!)? Did he just alienate perhaps 90 percent of the electric vehicle world with this eletist rant? Is that how you build your image, by tearing down others?


Just making them available will be a huge leap forward. I hope the major automakers are watching. Look at the success of the RAV4 EV, which is no longer a program for Toyota, but people are fighting over the models that are left. The EV1 was called by GM the worst model in history, so why did so many people wanted to keep them? I think people are buying up the hybrids right now because there is nothing cleaner in mass production. I’ve been tired of all the talk from Detroit and have started looking at other EV companies. Tesla is probably doing the right thing waiting to release the roadster, although I could never afford one. I’m looking down the road for something more affordable. I do know auto enthusiasts would not be happy about $100,000 piece of crap.


I think much more disturbing from that interview was how Tesla hadn’t much considered the safety issues with their Lithium Ion battery choice. He sounds like addressing that problem was some afterthought that finally occurred about 3 weeks ago.

And why didn’t Joe White ask him why they didn’t build a PHEV instead?

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