Tesla’s Elon Musk is determined to keep us under his green thumb
By Jennifer Hadley 04/16/2014
I have loudly proclaimed to any sentient being (including my little pup, Frankenstein) that I adore Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk. So you can imagine my delight in finding out that Tesla will be opening a showroom in Pasadena. I can only hope Elon (we are on a first name basis in my daydreams) is going to spend his days there, personally welcoming visitors to his new showroom.
Most of the reason for my crush can be traced to the fact that Musk is absolutely fearless when it comes to taking on anyone who dares to criticize his automobiles, or his intentions. He has challenged state governments left and right, demanding to be able to sell his cars directly to consumers via showrooms. Last month he was shut down by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, which told him that under no circumstances could he sell Teslas in the Garden State. I wish New Jersey good luck in keeping Musk down. He may have lost the battle, but the war is far from over.
Musk is aggressive and reckless and brilliant. However, this entire crush hinges on the fact that he makes cars that are equal parts luxurious, well-running, safe and environmentally friendly. Take out that whole “let’s stop ruining the environment” personality trait and he becomes just another suit in the automotive industry, undeserving of my affection.
According to the Web site teslamotors.com, “Tesla Motors was founded in 2003 by a group of intrepid Silicon Valley engineers who set out to prove that electric vehicles could be awesome.” To prove their point, by 2008 the 100 percent electric and emissions-free Tesla Roadsters hit the streets as high-performance sports cars. They also came with a staggering price tag of nearly $90,000, forcing most people out of the market.
As expected, critics came out of the woodwork to lambast Musk and his team for basically producing what they deemed a novelty car. Sure, it was electric and produced zero emissions, they claimed. But what was the point if no one could afford them?
It turns out that building affordable, electric, family sedans was always the plan for Musk and company. The expensive, high-performance sports car was a means to an environmental end all along. In fact, Musk wrote about it publicly way back in 2006. In the aptly titled post, “The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me),” which is viewable at teslamotors.com/blog, Musk shines a light on Tesla’s diabolical plan to populate the Earth with cars that are less harmful to the environment. His four-point master plan included fundamentally controversial concepts, like selling cars then reinvesting the profit into research and design to ultimately create cheaper, family friendly electrical cars.
“So, in short, the master plan is:
• Build sports car
• Use that money to build an affordable car
• Use that money to build an even more affordable car
• While doing above, also provide zero-emission electric power generation options”
It is pretty clear that Pasadena is just the latest city to fall victim to Musk’s plans for global domination, beginning with reducing emissions. Once he had us focused on the fact that in the Tesla Model S he had built what Consumer Reports rated as the best car since 2007, he could ensure that we keep the Earth clean enough to be around for another gazillion years so he can rule it with his iron green fist forever and ever.
However, the joke’s on him: You can’t rule the willing.
For now, I’ll be down at the showroom on any given Saturday, probably just hanging out, because the Tesla hasn’t yet dropped to my price range.
But, boy oh boy, once I have an extra $60,000 I’ll be first in line to order one online.
Contact Jen Hadley at email@example.com.