CEO Elon Musk of the Tesla electric car company has become the world’s richest person surpassing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. Musk is valued at $188.5 billion.
This is fascinating and it speaks volumes. Tesla has been in business since 2003 and has earned a profit in just a few quarters since. And in those quarters Tesla earned a profit by selling something called “regulatory credits”, which are not cars but bureaucratic paper related to ‘green’ laws.
So what keeps Tesla going? Investors do. They have made Musk wealthy by pumping money into a company that has been relentlessly hyped by the media for 17 years. Otherwise Tesla would be out of business.
Even worse, Tesla has sucked up $5 billion in federal government subsidies since 2003. Even worse, the number of cars that Tesla does sell would be much smaller if every one of them weren’t subsidized with tax credits at the point of sale.
Even worse, Tesla is not succeeding because its cars are a product that works well and is selling in the marketplace. Teslas are grossly expensive and are bought as subsidized vanity items by upper-income and wealthy Americans who are overwhelmingly on the political left.
The Tesla S starts at $85,000 while a similar-sized gasoline-powered Toyota Camry is $27,000. The Tesla needs 8 hours to charge overnight in your garage and can only travel a few hundred miles before needing recharging. Even at “super charger” stations by the side of the highway, it takes more than one hour to charge the car. If you are on a trip, are you willing to sit around that long for your car to charge up?
Tesla claims that its cars get the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon, but that it totally unproven. The Model S weighs a whopping 4,647 lbs. A comparable Toyota Camry weighs 3,300 lbs. and can get up to 50 miles per gallon. Thus there is no way that the Model S can get more than twice as many miles per gallon as the Camry when it weighs 40% more.
Electric cars have been around since 1895 and they have never sold in the free market. Today they rely on hype and taxpayer subsidies. They are a massive ‘green’ blunder that may end up being forced on the world by electric car companies and their allies in government and the environmental movement.