Tesla CEO to Pump More Money Into Electric Car Startup

If you’ve been questioning the commitment of Tesla’s CEO and Chairman, Elon Musk, to keeping the electric car startup alive, this should reassure you: As part of a $40 million internal funding round that Tesla is raising from its seven original investors, Musk told the audience at the Web 2.0 conference in San Francisco on Friday afternoon that he will likely put down about half of that figure. So all in all, after that internal round closes, Musk will have invested around $75 million out of the roughly $185 million that Tesla will have raised to date. Which is no small change, by any measure.

Over the past month, Tesla has been rocked by the financial markets, which have left it unable to raise a large funding round on favorable terms — in other words, terms that would not involve giving up control of the company, Musk said. But he also said “It’s tough to carry it [the investment] all yourself.”

Despite the speed bumps, Musk remains confident in Tesla’s value. When moderator John Battelle asked him why GM doesn’t just buy the company, Musk said he wasn’t sure GM could afford it. The auto giant reported a $2.5 billion net loss last week and said it powered through $6.9 billion in cash during the third quarter, leaving it on the brink of going out of business.

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